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Honor farmers markets with a month of meals

National Farmers Market Week, this year to occur Aug. 5-12 as proclaimed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is a very nice idea, but here in metro Atlanta, it just won’t do. No, we’ve got Farmers Market Month, thankyouverymuch. It’s brought to you by—who else?—area farmers markets.

Through a collective called the Farmers Market Managers Working Group, nine area markets have organized a series of dining events to raise money and awareness. It’s one of the group’s first joint projects, and it’s the biggest to date, says Lauren Carey, who manages Peachtree Road Farmers Market.

Each of the markets involved—Clarkston, Decatur, East Atlanta, East Lake, Grant Park, Morningside, Peachtree Road, Truly Living Well and Tucker—joined forces with nearby dining establishments to create an event—a meal, a menu, or a day—in honor of the farmers market. The businesses have agreed to donate 5 percent of proceeds from the event to their partner farmers market.

Today, the campaign kicks off with a special dinner menu at Rosebud, raising money for Morningside Farmers Market. For Friday, Aug. 3, Clarkston Farmers Market has organized a multi-vendor dinner at Clarkston Community Center, and the Feed Store in College Park plans to host a dinner to benefit Truly Living Well. The events roll out from there; to see the entire list, click on the image to the right.

August is a critical time for area farmers markets. Although it’s the height of the summer season when tomatoes, okra, watermelon and many other Southern favorites are at their best, it’s also the start of the school year. “That is when farmers markets often see a drop in shoppers because Saturday morning and weekday evening activities pick up again,” Carey says. “We want to remind people that farmers markets are still here; we’re just about halfway through the season. Please continue to come out and support your local farmers market.”