The Clintonville Farmers Market will begin its season a little early this year with its Spring Sprout from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 3.

The Clintonville Farmers Market will begin its season a little early this year with its Spring Sprout from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 3.

During the preseason event, more than 10 local vendors will set up on North High Street between Orchard and West Dunedin roads to offer vegetable and flower garden starters.

Lauren Zimmerman, manager of the market, said the vendors will offer organic starters for 20 types of heirloom tomatoes, herbs, peppers and more. They also will sell small potted trees, shrubs, ferns and native wildflowers as well as compost and other garden necessities.

Zimmerman said the event is an opportunity for local gardeners to talk to the farmers they're buying from to learn how the seedlings were grown, when to plant them and how to take care of them.

"You get to talk to the people who actually grew the sprout," Zimmerman said. "It's straight out of the farmer's mouth."

Zimmerman said the spring preview event also will give residents the chance to train as farmers market volunteers.

During the event, volunteers can train as farmers' assistants, one of the many ways residents can get involved with the market.

As farmers' assistants, Zimmerman said residents help farmers during the market hours and help set up and take down booths. The Spring Sprout will give new volunteers a chance to get their feet wet, she said.

"They can meet the farmers before the season starts and get a feel for what they need," Zimmerman said.

The farmers market welcomes anyone who would like to volunteer, Zimmerman said. On Saturdays, farmers' assistants work between 8 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., and people can devote as many Saturdays as they are able.

For people who would like to volunteer but can't be at the market on Saturdays, Zimmerman said there are many other opportunities.

In its sixth season, the Clintonville Farmers Market will run each Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon between May 24 and Nov. 1.

Zimmerman said this year the market will focus more on educating residents about sustainable forms of gardening by hosting different presentations during the market each Saturday.

"This year, it's a little more education in nature throughout the season," she said.

More information on the Clintonville Farmers Market can be found at the organization's Web site, www.clintonvillefarmersmarket.org.

jnesbitt@thisweeknews.com

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