By Lee Becker
Market Board Customer Representative
Sammy Hansford, owner of Paw Paw’s P’nuts & Such, has a secret. Or at least he had one.
“I hate to say it,” he said. “ But I don’t eat boiled peanuts at all. I don’t like them.”
Hansford hates to reveal his lack of enthusiasm for boiled peanuts because they are the biggest sellers at his stand, which, as has been the case for at least the last six years, will be at the Oconee Farmers Market on Saturday.
The Market opens at 8 a.m. in front of the courthouse in downtown Watkinsville and runs until 1 p.m.
Actually, Hansford cannot remember if he started at the Market in its third of fourth year. But he has been a regular. He works to promote the Market. And he works to promote his stand each Saturday.
Passersby on Main Street most likely will see his signs at the street in front of the Market, advertising, of course, boiled peanuts.
Growing Up In Oconee
Hansford said when he was growing up in Oconee County people didn’t eat boiled peanuts.
He doesn’t remember when they became popular, but when he decided, with other members of his family, to set up in the business those six or seven years ago, he knew he not only wanted to offer boiled peanuts, but a special variety.
“In the south of the state, they boil their peanuts green,” he said.
But up in this part of the state, people prefer sun dried peanuts, according to Hansford, so that’s what he boils each Saturday in a big metal pan at his stand.
In fact, though Hansford buys his sun dried peanuts at the farmers market in Atlanta, they actually come from New Mexico.
And they are, by variety, Spanish peanuts.
Family Covering On Saturday
Hansford won’t be at the Market on Saturday. He has another commitment, but another member of his family will be boiling the peanuts and offering the stand’s products, which includes pork skins, another popular item, pickles on a stick, beef jerky and deep fried peanuts.
During the season, the stand also has fig preserves and strawberry-fig preserves.
Hansford will be joined by 30 or more other vendors on Saturday. In fact, the Market could break a record.
Market Manager Cindy Pritchard thought the Market would break its record of 36 vendors last Saturday, but a few last-minute cancellations kept the Market at 33 vendors, the same as opening day on April 6.
The Market did extend down both sides of the courthouse, as it will on Saturday.
The Market will be open until the end of the season in late November.
This week vendors will again have an abundant variety of items including the following:
- Farm fresh eggs
- Mixed greens including lettuces
- Early spring and root vegetables
- Local and sourwood honey
- Honey butter and biscuits
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Many cuts and varieties of grass fed beef
- Pork and chicken
- Flavored and pimento goat cheese
- Granolas including gluten free options
- Honey peanut butter
- Homemade pastas
- Snow cones
- Organic whole wheat
- Spelt sprouted and
- Banana breads
- Pita and cheese stuffed breads
- Whole cakes
- Whole and mini pies
- English muffins
- Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns
- Landscape and garden plants including strawberry, tomato and pepper plants
- Sea salts
- Essential oil soaps
- Goat and lambs milk soaps and lotions
- Shea butter
- Beeswax candles
- Decorated gourds
- Glass work beads and other jewelry
- Blacksmith crafts
- Kettle corn
- Boiled and fried peanuts
- Local pottery and arts
- Vegetarian dog and cat treats
- Free coffee and ice water