Alfa Insurance and Alabama Farmers Federation employees returned to the company’s roots June 29 as they stocked up on fresh Chilton County peaches, Slocomb tomatoes and other local products at the Montgomery home office’s annual Alfa Farmers Market Day.
Five central and south Alabama farmers set up a colorful array of farm-fresh products in Alfa’s parking garage, thankfully shaded from heat near 100 degrees.
“The Alfa Farmers Market Day presents us with a great opportunity to provide our employees with access to a variety of fresh farm products grown and produced by Alabama farmers,” said Alfa and Federation President Jimmy Parnell.
Alfa Insurance employee Heather Kirklin said she gladly supported local farmers by purchasing peaches and blueberries at the market.
“Being able to know where the food you purchase comes from makes this market appealing,” Kirklin said. “It’s good to know that the food I purchased here is fresh and has been raised by the person selling it.”
Patty Lambrecht of Wetumpka’s Oakview Farms Granary said she and her husband, Joe, returned to the market this year to meet high demands for stone-ground grits, honey and blueberries.
“The enthusiasm we’ve received from the employees purchasing our products here has been overwhelming,” Lambrecht said. “Buying fresh and local strengthens the connection people have between the food they eat and where it comes from. They want to buy something picked today.”
Federation Horticulture Division Director Mac Higginbotham said the market day serves as a reminder that farmers and businesspeople must rely on one another.
“We want to remind consumers about the importance of buying local food,” Higginbotham said. “This market allows our employees to see what we are doing to help Alabama farmers and encourages them to shop at other local farmers markets.”
Others offering produce and handmade goods included AA Creamery of Millbrook; Aplin Farms of Slocomb; GiGi’s Fabulous Foods of Montgomery; and Penton Farms of Verbena.