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024: Inside Clinton County Farmers' Market (with Sally Buchanan)

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

Sally Buchanan recently interviewed with Real Change Wilmington to share a look inside the Clinton County Farmers' Market. Below is a video of the interview followed by highlights.



Sally Buchanan is a Clinton County native who grew up in the former town of New Burlington. Her family's farm was one of the last acquired to make way for Caesar Creek. Growing up, Sally was in 4H for cooking and showing cattle and hog. She graduated from Clinton-Massie, got her nursing degree, and then worked at Clinton Memorial Hospital (CMH) for almost 30 years.


Sally has three children, two of which still live in Clinton County—Dessie Rogers, Director of the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, and Emma Buchanan, new owner of Lumberton General Store along with her husband.


Sally got involved volunteering at the farmers market after her daughter, Dessie Rogers, became the manager in 2008. The previous manager, Tony Nye was ready to pass along his responsibilities. Dessie had just finished her masters degree in Wales and returned to Wilmington to lead a program called 'Grow Food, Grow Hope' during the time DHL left town.


Sally started helping Dessie out at the market by doing cooking demonstrations and other odd jobs. Sally continued to volunteer when Dessie passed her role along to Bella Wall in 2016 and then in 2017, Sally and Taylor Stuckert were asked to be co-managers of the market.


The Clinton County Farmers' Market is a 501 C nonprofit that gets some support from Energize Clinton County, but really relies on sponsorships from the community.


Tony and the Clinton County Master Gardeners started The Clinton County Farmers' Market in 1999. The market started in front of what is now Jobs & Family Services on State Route 68, moved to Nelson, then downtown in 2008, and finally to the courthouse parking lot in 2022.


The mission of The Clinton County Farmers' Market is, "to provide locally grown products and produce that are of high quality and affordability to all members of the community and Clinton County in an enjoyable and welcoming atmosphere", said Sally.


The goals of the market are to let farmers have a place to sell products directly to customers, and where the community can learn about nutrition, the environment, farming, and sustainability.


Vendors must be residents of Clinton County or neighboring counties that touch.


In 2014, the Clinton County Health Department and CMH did a health assessment that discovers that not all citizens had access to fresh fruits and vegetables so Sally and Katie got a grand from Health First for the market's special programing to focus on vulnerable kids, families, and seniors.


Making fresh food accessible to all in the community is a passion of Sally's that keeps her going every Saturday morning managing The Clinton County Farmers' Market.

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