New farmers market to launch in 2014

Carter Center location offers ample shade, visibility, parking for shoppers and vendors

Atlanta will soon have a new weekly farmers market. The Freedom Farmers Market will be held Saturday mornings at the Carter Center from March 1 through Dec. 20.

The name reflects not only its location along Freedom Parkway, but also its governance: The market will be run by a small group of vendors.

“We’re not answering to a board of directors, and it’s not being put on by the community. It’s being put on by the vendors,” says Laurie Moore of Moore Farms and Friends. “My husband and I were excited about starting a smaller scale, high-quality market with friends we never get to see.”

Those friends include Charlotte and Wes Swancy of Riverview Farm and Celia Barrs and John Cooper of Woodland Gardens. The farmers, along with Laurie’s husband Will, have all worked at area farmers markets for years. They’ll be joined by vendors including Star Provisions, 1000 Faces Coffee, Sparta Imperial Mushrooms, Three Porch Farm, Rise-N-Shine Farm, and Bramlett Trout Farms.

“We’re trying to increase the diversity of vendors and provide opportunity for other vendors, especially smaller vendors,” Moore says. Vendors will have the option of coming every other week or once a month, making the commitment less taxing for small producers.

Freedom Farmers Market will also buck a trend in market governance, requiring vendors to represent only their own products at market. The Freedom market will allow vendors to carry some products of other producers, provided those producers are based within 150 miles of the market and have applied (and been approved) for membership in the market. “We’ll be quite transparent, and it will be clear who the producer is.”

The market will be managed by Holly Hollingsworth, the former, longtime market manager of Green Market at Piedmont Park.