Farmers market hours aren’t always so convenient and can eat up half of what for some may be a rare day off. And not everyone is comfortable with the crowds and lines. An alternative exists in StonesRiverMarket.com.
“I do think people like not having the fight the crowds on Saturday,” says John Erdmann, owner of Stones River Market. “The Saturday Market (on Murfreesboro Square beginning June 6) has become real popular and you have to get there early to get the best produce in many cases.”
Stones River Market was started in 2008 after Erdmann happened to hear software programmer Eric Wagoner give a presentation at a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) annual conference.
“I was with several other farmers from Middle Tennessee and with my computer background we decided to start Stones River Market,” Erdmann recalled. “There were four farmers to begin and a very small customer base. Murfreesboro customers heard about us from the farmers that were selling at (the former )Cannonsburgh Farmers Market.
“Our first pick up location was next to Hooper Supply. Like most farmers markets, that first winter we closed. Then in 2009 several farmers I had met were growing produce in the winter and needed an outlet to sell, so we decided to stay open that winter and have done so since then.”
In terms of how the market works, Erdmann opens his website market at 8 a.m. every Sunday and closes it 10 p.m. Monday. Customers are able to browse through categories such as artisan snacks and seasonings, vegetables, fruits, tea, coffee, meat and poultry, herbs, noodles, pasta and sauces, and order without even leaving the house.
From there, customers come by Southern Stained Glass on West Main Street on Wednesdays from 5-6:30 p.m. to pick-up their orders. Customers who can’t make it during that hour and 30 minutes can pick up their items at Erdmann’s Christiana farm.
Emily Pegg, who has been a customer for a year heard about Stones River Market by word of mouth.
“I like it because it’s locally grown and it puts money back into the economy,” she said, saying her typical order includes meat, eggs, homemade bread, spinach and lots of other veggies.
Erdmann said some customers no longer shop at the grocery store and order all their food from the online market.
“It’s amazing how appreciative my customers are,” Erdmann says. “I would say I have some pretty local and dedicated customers.”
Circa Daily News Journal