It’s just the first week of March, but by my clock it’s already spring. That’s because Green Market at Piedmont Park has launched for the season—and other farmers markets will soon follow. Dozens and dozens of them, in fact, in the metro area.
A decade ago, I would have sworn that Atlanta and its surroundings would never be able to support more than 10 farmers markets. But every year since, I’ve found myself rounding that figure upward. More and more people are discovering the value, and the pleasure, of buying food directly from the people who make it.
Last year, we included about 40 farmers markets in our Market Guide. I’ve already heard about a few more that recently launched or that plan to launch this year.
We want to make sure we include all them. If there is a place in the greater Atlanta area where local producers gather to sell the food they have raised or made, we want to tell consumers how to find them. Throughout March I will be updating and refining our Farmers Market Guide, so now is the time to let me know about markets we haven’t included yet.
Now, I do admit, I am a little snooty about this whole thing. I reserve the right, with appropriate editorial supervision, to not include your market in the guide if it doesn’t meet reasonable standards. By “reasonable,” I mean that the market vendors must sell mostly food that they have raised or produced themselves within a local distance of the market, as defined by that market. If your market specializes in woven baskets from Thailand and handmade scarves from India that is wonderful, and I’d love to shop there, but I won’t add it to our farmers market list. And though I love a farm stand as much as the next locavore, for time management purposes I can’t include very small markets featuring just one or two vendors.
So, bring it on! If you know of a market that's new, recently expanded or has otherwise escaped my attention, please send me a note. I’ll look forward to visiting it soon.