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Richmond County Farmers Market

J.A. Bolton, current Secretary and Treasurer of The Richmond County Farmers Market Association, has a long history with the Farmer’s Market in Richmond County.


It all began when his mom and dad, James and Ruth Bolton, sold vegetables and flowers from their garden. The Farmer’s Market began in the late 1990’s through the Rockingham Downtown Corporation. It grew so large that it was turned over to the Agriculture Extension Service and a building/shelter was constructed on Biltmore Drive for the Farmer’s Market.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be a poor location for the market and was subsequently relocated. Bolton’s mom and dad moved to the square and a few vendors and customers began to make the move as well; it was a gradual growth. Eventually, Bolton joined his parents at the downtown location in 2000.

Bolton said, “I retired and daddy passed away in 2001. I helped mama get her collards up and everything.”

He started growing his own garden and began selling his produce at the Farmer’s Market as well as continuing to help his mom with hers. “Mama continued to have her loyal customers”, Bolton noted.

As for today’s Farmer’s Market, it operates at three separate locations, Hamlet Depot Park, Harrington Square, and the Health Department parking lot. The market is open through October.


Bolton explained, “To start with you have squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and berries. You’re not supposed to sell anything that you don’t grow in your own garden. There are several vendors that sell crafts, jewelry, or honey. We sold in front of R.W. Goodman’s for about a year but it got to where it was just too hot there in the evenings and not enough parking places. It’s pretty shady on the square because the trees pretty much block the sun.”

Rockingham Farmer’s Market became Richmond County Farmer’s Market Association. Bolton explains that various sponsors help support the association.  He spoke highly of Laura Greene, manager of all three farmers markets, and her performance. Bolton also spoke highly of the EBT initiative, which allows those receiving food assistance to purchase more food for their money.


Bolton enjoys fellowship with his customers. He enjoys seeing old friends and making new ones. The majority of customers to the market are Richmond County residents but a few are travelers passing through. Bolton states that going to the Farmer’s Market is a good Saturday morning outing. He clearly enjoys farming and selling his produce at the local Farmer’s Market and encourages others to get involved as well.

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