Alfa Insurance and Alabama Farmers Federation employees got a fresh taste of agriculture when seven farms from south and central Alabama sold produce at the Alfa Farmers Market June 27.
The annual market day, held at Alfa’s Montgomery home office, allowed employees to buy farm-fresh produce, homemade baked items, jams, jellies and other goods just in time for the Fourth of July.
Alfa claims auditor Debora Woodson said the market day reduces time spent looking for produce after work. She said she was especially excited to try the sour cream pound cake from Pintlala Pantry.
“Getting to meet the people who grow and make our food automatically makes the food better, because you know you are helping someone else feed their family,” Woodson said. “I can’t wait to get back to my desk and have a slice of pound cake with my afternoon coffee.”
Other popular market items included tomatoes, peaches, sweet corn, okra, squash, stone-ground grits and cheese.
The market provides a convenient opportunity for employees to support local agriculture while stocking up on fresh produce, said the Alabama Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association’s (AFVGA) Caleb Hicks.
“It’s great to bring the market to Alfa and the Federation,” said Hicks, the AFVGA’s intern. “Because of time and other responsibilities, some employees may be unable to shop at the local market. Whether it’s with fresh corn, a juicy watermelon or Chilton County peaches, our employees are now ready to celebrate the Fourth of July with all-American, homegrown foods.”
John Aplin of Aplin Farms in Slocomb said he enjoys meeting Alfa employees and explaining where produce comes from and how to care for the food after it’s purchased.
“We used to sell tomatoes all over the U.S. and Canada, but now we make our living selling our produce at farmers markets,” Aplin said. “This gives us the opportunity to interact with our customers and create a lasting relationship.”
Kate Taylor, who works in Human Resources, won a basket of goodies courtesy of Alfa and Federation President Jimmy Parnell through the Alfa Farmers Market Facebook contest.
Other vendors were Wright Dairy of Calhoun County, Penton Farms of Chilton County, Oakview Farms of Elmore County, Hornsby Farms of Lee County, Ballard Creek Farms of Lowndes County and Pintlala Pantry of Montgomery County.