Sunday, May 9, 2010

Farmers Market Season

Miss me? I certainly missed you! Since I am determined that this blog will remain a hobby (I have a bad habit of turning interests into all consuming passions and hobbies into second jobs), I sometimes take extended breaks from blogging. Nothing against you all, sometimes I just don't feel like writing here. For half a year. Ahem.

Moving along! I am breaking my silence today to write about the wonders of Farmers Market shopping. The Alpharetta Farmers Market has been open for two weekends now, and is in a new location in the parking lot behind the Publix on Haynes Bridge Road. The Roswell Farmers Market opens this Saturday in it's new location at City Hall. And a new market in Roswell is opening up this week as well called the Green Street Farmers Market. This one will be located in the parking lot of The Swallow at the Hollow on Thursday afternoons from 3-5 PM.

I went to the Alpharetta market on Saturday was greatly impressed with the early season produce. Obviously the brokers and resellers always have good selection, but a few of the growers were out too. I grabbed strawberries, romaine lettuce and collard greens from growers. I also got tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, green beans and onions from brokers. I know from asking that the broccoli and tomatoes were locally grown. Not sure about the others.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the Roswell Market works in its new location. The former spot in Riverside park was much closer to us, but parking was awful. I'm intrigued by the Green Street Market. According to a thread from the 285foodies forum, it's going to have some of my favorite vendors from other local markets. But the hours just don't work for me. There's no way I'll be able to get out of work in time to make it before they close. Granted, I'll be done working in a few weeks (I teach middle school.), but I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem. Here's hoping Caly Road Creamery and Coles Lake Dairy are selling at other markets this year. Otherwise I will be sad.

If you're new to Farmers Markets, I wrote a short guide to them last year. EcoSalon has a list of the top ten mistakes made by Farmers Market N00bs, which is useful. If you like controversy, the Wall Street Journal has an article about brokers verses growers at Farmers Markets. Personally, I prefer to buy directly from growers when I can. But the brokers at the local markets are all small, locally owned and operated businesses, several of which purchase directly from local farms. So I feel no pain at giving them my business.

Well, that should be enough to keep you busy for a few days.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer. I like your blog. Good to see you back.

I'm not a huge farmer's market kind of guy, but I hear that the Avenue shopping centers (Forsyth and Cobb) have small farmer's markets now. I would imagine they are not the best around, but they might be worth a try.


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