Bethlehem, NC – Starting Saturday, April 14th and every second and fourth Saturday through autumn, something new will be available to shoppers in Bethlehem. “We are excited to launch this new opportunity for farmers, growers, artists, and crafters to bring their products to market in the friendly and community-oriented environment of a Farmers Market,” states Athena Garnto whose hard work and dedication to this project over the last year was directly responsible for the new shopping experience. “My husband and I own a small furniture business, Sweet Tea and Moonshine, and we’ve had the opportunity to travel around to many different areas, and I have always been intrigued about the threads that bind communities together. Watching the community come together at events sponsored by the Bethlehem Business Association and Bethlehem Community Development Association like Bethlehem Day, I started to wonder what else I could do to enrich my own community.” Garnto continues, “When we traveled, I noticed how friendly vendors were at events like Farmers Markets and how welcomed I felt, and I thought that a Farmers Market would bring together all the growers, farmers and artisans in the area with community members and others who are already traveling into Taylorsville and Hickory to enjoy the Farmers Markets there.”

The idea became a plan, and Garnto spent almost a year investigating requirements and financing the necessary incorporation and licensing fees, etc., required to get everything in place. Garnto is a co-leader for Brownie troop #12905 and they meet at Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church in Bethlehem.

“It was a logical leap when Athena started looking for a venue for the Farmers Market,” states Mt. Pisgah Spokesperson Susan Lydick Greene, “Mt. Pisgah has strong ties to the community and provides a location for many organizations to meet. Besides the Brownie troop, we host the Alexander County Senior Center two full days a week and Boy Scout troop #275 meets here. We offer open–to–the–public Zumba/dance and F3 fitness classes, a singles club and book club, AA, and four different Bible studies. We are a Meals-On-Wheels pickup location, our Good Samaritan Food Pantry serves Alexander County, and now with our new walking path, we are seeing even more visitors take advantage of the different activities we have to offer. We are very excited to welcome the Bethlehem Farmers Market.”

Vendors will be selling fresh produce and include The Farmer’s Daughter from Taylorsville, bath and body products, farm décor, handmade Christmas ornaments, baked goods, quilted gifts, and more.

All net proceeds will benefit the local community by helping achieve project-oriented goals at the Bethlehem Elementary and West Middle School, as well as the Bethlehem Branch of the Alexander County Library. Vendor spots are still available and are priced at $10 a week. Vendor applications are available on Facebook at the Bethlehem Farmers Market page or by emailing [email protected].

The Bethlehem Farmers Market will be held every second and fourth Saturday of the month from April 14th through autumn (dependent on weather) and will be open for shopping from 8am to 12pm. For more detailed information, call Athena Garnto at (352) 223-4767.

Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church is located at 9379 Route 127 North in Bethlehem, in front of the Lowes Food shopping center. Sunday services are 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM, Sunday school at 9:15 AM. For directions and further information, please call the church at (828) 495–8251, visit our website at or on Facebook as Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church ELCA.