Farmers markets spring to life

Elizabeth Wilkes
Editor-in-Chief

Farmer’s markets around Atlanta are gearing up for spring, with new locations, vendors, and events to come in the upcoming season.  Below is an overview of what you need to know about markets in Buckhead, Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs.

Brookhaven – Brookhaven Farmers Market

Despite the cloudy skies, a generous crowd attended the opening of the Brookhaven Farmers Market last Saturday, March 29, with new and returning customers alike.

“Given the forecast, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s been going very well!,” said Corey Self, the newest member of the market’s Board of Directors.

With 34 vendors lined up, this year’s market returns to the same location in the parking lot of Brookhaven Baptist Church, 1294 North Druid Hills Road.

“This year, we’re going for a family friendly feel.  We’ll have kid’s activities and music every week, and we’ve invested in tables, chairs, and tents to bring back that community feel,” said Self.

The opening event featured a popular cooking demonstration by Chef Christophe Le Metayer of Christophe’s To Go, a local Brookhaven business.  Other special events, including many more chefs’ demonstrations, are planned throughout the season.

“We hadn’t been before, and wanted to check it out – we loved it! We’ll absolutely be returning back,” said Brookhaven resident Aubrey Fordham. “It was great to meet people, shop locally, and buy healthier products- that’s what I’m interested in, at least.”

“There are a lot of people on the North end of Brookhaven that don’t know we exist, and we want people to know that we’re here,” said Self.

The Brookhaven market will be open every Saturday, 9 a.m. – 12 noon, rain or shine, until December.

 

Dunwoody – Dunwoody Green Market

Celebrating its tenth year of existence on Wednesday, April 16th, the Dunwoody Green Market opened at its new home in the parking lot of Dunwoody Baptist Church, 1445 Mt. Vernon Road.

“We’re ready to go! I’m hoping this is our best season yet with our new location,” said market organizer and owner of Heirloom Gardens, Paula Guilbeau. “In recent years, we’ve been at locations with poor parking, but there’s plenty of parking at Dunwoody Baptist for everyone.”

Customers can look forward to over 25 vendors, with two additional vendors of meat products, including bacon and raw milk. The Dunwoody market also features prepared foods and artisan crafts, including honey and granola, and a vendor of fresh coffee each week.

Guilbeau is currently tending spring greens, including spinach, kale, arugula, and cut flowers on her farm, with much more to come as the opening approaches.

“We offer the freshest local and organically grown vegetables, eggs, milk, and meat, as well as artisan breads,” said Guilbeau. “You can round out your grocery list with us.”

The grand opening on April 16th included free breakfast and fresh coffee, pastries, frittatas, and more ‘delicious goodness.’  Visitors can also enter a raffle for a $100 gift certificate in ‘Mad Market Money,’ which can be used with any vendor.

“Come out, shop, and enjoy the music,” said Guilbeau. “We’re looking forward to smiling faces!”

Dunwoody Green Market will occur every Wednesday morning, 8 a.m. – 12 noon, rain or shine , through November 19.

 

Buckhead  –  Peachtree Road Farmers Market

For their 2014 season, the Peachtree Road Farmers Market in Buckhead kicked off on Saturday April 5 at its usual location, the Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road, NW.  The opening festivities included a chef demo by Jeb Aldrich of 4th & Swift and activities for the kids.

New additions to the market lineup include vendors specializing in ginger products, crackers, cold-pressed juices, and to-go meal kits, in addition to the nearly 60 vendors of produce, prepared foods, and meat and dairy.

In its eighth season, the market will celebrate its birthday on April 26th with a demo by market founder chef Linton Hopkins, birthday cake, crafts, and farm animals. The winner of the 2014 canvas bag contest will be revealed then, and all shoppers will receive a free collector’s edition of the bag.

Throughout the spring and summer, chef demos will occur nearly every week, kid’s activities monthly, and periodically master gardeners will visit to offer gardening tips and tricks.

Peachtree Road Farmers Market is held every Saturday from April through September from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon.

 

Sandy Springs – Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market

With a new name and new location, Heritage Sandy Springs now manages the Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market, which opened on Saturday, April 12.

“Heritage Sandy Springs is a perfect fit for serving as the presenting organization of the farmers market.  I think the market will not only be sustained by Heritage Sandy Springs, but that Heritage will be able to take the market to a greater level,” said Andy Bauman, co-founder of the Sandy Springs Farmers Market.

The market will now be located on the lower level of the Parkside Shopping Center on Sandy Springs Circle, across from Lake Forest elementary school.  This location is easily accessed by MARTA bus lines and offers a centralized location not far from the market’s original site, the parking lot of the former Target store.

Each Saturday market will feature live music and nearly 50 vendors, with a wide variety of prepared foods in addition to produce and meat, eggs, and dairy products.

The Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market will be held every Saturday, April through November, from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

 

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