Jul 28, 2014

Market Offers Produce, Soda and Worms

Nothing says summer like a glass of sweet tea and fresh-picked blackberries. Just two miles past Target, you can step into the Cherokee Market and get some home-grown fruits and veggies at lower prices. Oh, and those worms? They're just for fishermen.

The sunflowers out front aren't the only things that have blossomed with the summer at .

When Patch last visited the store, we were greeted by freezing temperatures, owner Lisa Meyer and parrot, Peanut, huddled around a woodburning stove to keep warm.

But now, the market is full of fresh veggies and fruits, organic breads, Amish cheese from Wisconsin, jellies and jams, shell beans and worms for fishermen.

And those glass bottles that were keeping cold from the snowstorms in February? They're keeping shoppers cooled off this summer in an old Coke freezer in front.

After all, it's been a long time since kids survived the summer with a glass-bottle Nehi. 

Although the prices are quite lower than major chain stores--think $3 for a basket of sweet, ripe, blackberries-- Meyer still offers free sweet tea every day and free hotdogs on Sunday. 

Still, quality matters most in the less-than-stable economy.

"If something doesn't look good, I give it away or I feed it to the cows out back," Meyer said.

On Tuesday a box in the front marked "scratch and dent sale" sold tomatoes at a reduced price because they were only suitable for salsa.

As Meyer talks about her produce, particularly the South Carolina peaches she prefers over the Georgia peaches, she stops to chat with her frequent visitors about their lives and purchases.

And even if the red dust that surrounds the market is being stirred up by dump trucks doing construction across the street, you still feel like you'd be better suited pulling up in an old Chevy truck instead of a Civic.

"Me and my father used to go tear down old log cabins and after a while it just gets in your blood," Meyer said about the decor of the market. "I have an old soul trapped inside of me."

As for Peanut, the 45-year-old parrot we found freezing in the Georgia snowstorm earlier? He's moved to live with a family with children in a climate with a warmer winter. 

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