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Vision finally comes to fruition

MURFREESBORO – After years of hard work and community teamwork, Murfreesboro now has a new and improved Farmer’s Market.

Murfreesboro Mayor Lynn Johnson was on hand with several dignitaries to introduce the Roanoke-Chowan community to its new and improved Farm and Garden Market.

Located on US 158 at the Hertford-Northampton county border, the new facility is the result of a co-operative effort between several community entities and private citizens.

Johnson, who was credited by many in attendance with spearheading the effort to build the new structure, was thrilled about the various elements the new Market would showcase.

&uot;We outgrew the location we had in the town,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;The past five and half years our business has continued to grow and we needed more space, as well as shelter from the elements.&uot;

Two of the biggest facilitators in Johnson’s quest to erect a new facility ended up being Northampton County and Watson-Johnson Farms, who deeded the land that the Farmer’s Market operates on.

&uot;The Board of Commissioners for Hertford and Northampton counties were instrumental in agreeing to make this a joint effort for both counties,&uot; Johnson stated. &uot;The fact that private citizens deeded the land to us was a blessing that is in its own classification.&uot;

On hand for the dedication was Hertford County Commissioner Johnnie Farmer, Dr. Claude Odom, chairman of the Roanoke-Chowan Community College Board of Trustees, Northampton County Manager Wayne Jenkins, Hertford County Manager Loria Williams as well as Northampton County Commissioner the Rev. James Hester.

The guest speaker for the day’s events was Steve Troxler, Commissioner of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Troxler seemed as excited as anyone about the opening of the new facility.

&uot;I couldn’t wait to get here,&uot; Troxler said. &uot;To see farm families be able to produce and market their product directly to the public is part of our overall mission.&uot;

Johnson said the market traditionally sees about a thousand visitors per month and will benefit from the increased visibility.

&uot;Our vendors have been accustomed to using tents to set up and sell produce,&uot; Johnson stated. &uot;Motorists would drive by and not realize it was a farmer’s market until they had passed us.&uot;

During his presentation to the approximately 100 people on hand for the groundbreaking, Troxler spoke of the value which the market holds for the farming community.

&uot;Many people have grown up believing that food comes from the grocery store,&uot; Troxler joked. &uot;The Farmer’s Market is a social place for farm families and the community to meet each other as well educate themselves.&uot;

Chowan Area Development Association Executive Director, Sallie P. Surface, emceed the ceremony.

Johnson was visibly moved by the outpouring of support for the initiative.

&uot;It took a lot of good people to make this happen,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;This is a special place.&uot;