Berlin Mayor Patrick Bates encourages residents to take part in the 2020 census.

Benjamin Bullard

BERLIN — The Farmer’s Market at Berlin got its first taste of business last week, with the town opening the market for its inaugural day along U.S. Highway 278.

At the town’s council meeting this week, Berlin mayor Patrick Bates updated the council on how the opening had gone, as well as next steps to recruit more local farmers as the summer season heats up.

“We had kind of a soft opening,” said Bates. “We have two farmers whom we’re working with currently, and we’re expecting to add a third — a local person — in what we hope is the near future.”

Located along the highway just west of the Berlin Town Hall along Mt. Carmel Drive, the market is now open four days each week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Each day, the market is open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Motorists passing on Highway 278 can look for the bright white signs, furnished through an agreement with Pepsi. The Cullman Electric Cooperative will be at the market Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to share information on its new Sprout Fiber Internet Service. Representatives will also offer a free ice cream cone to anyone stopping by.

One benefit that Bates hopes will attract even more farmers is the market’s ability, coming later this month, to accept payment through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). “As far as I know, we’re one of the only markets around that will be able to do that,” said Bates.

Any farmer who’s interested in becoming a vendor at the farmer’s market can start the process by contacting the town at 256-736-3138.