Show some love to still-open farmers markets

Dear local food lovers:

Metro Atlanta’s farmers markets miss you. They’d like to see you. And they’re not proud; they’re even willing to entice you with tomatoes.

That’s right: Although a few farmers markets have closed until next spring, many––and I mean many––are still operating, with or without you. (But they’d prefer it if you stopped by.)

It happens every year, says Peachtree Road Farmers Market manager Lauren Carey.

“As the fall weather comes in and kids go back to school and activities kick up, the tradition of the Saturday morning farmers market comes second to soccer practice,” she says. The many fall festivals compete for families’ attention, too.

But the farmers and vendors need you. And if you like the idea of year-round local food, then you should show them a little love by buying some sweet potatoes, or mustard greens, or goat cheese.

Or tomatoes. “Farmers with high tunnels are bringing their last crop of tomatoes in now,” Carey says, referring to the unheated greenhouses that enable farmers to extend their growing season. Granted, the tomatoes aren’t at every stand, but if you look, you can find some around. With freshly ground cornmeal also available, the green tomatoes are arriving at the perfect time for frying.

But don’t wait too long––for the tomatoes or aything else––as most markets do close eventually. Several wrap up at the end of this month. And with just three exceptions––Morningside Farmers Market, Decatur Farmers Market and the Local Farmstand at Westside Urban Market operate year-round––the remaining markets close in November or December.

“We are here until the weekend before Christmas, rain or shine,” Carey says. “We hope shoppers will make time, around soccer practice and homework and their other activities, for their farmers market.”

Closing this week: Alpharetta Farmers Market ends its season this Saturday with a “Packin’ It Up” party. Market manager Carol Anderson-Wood says the celebration will include free hot dogs, music, and a moon walk, balloons and dance contest for the kids. (The market will return on Saturday, Dec. 4, for a special holiday farmers market.)

Open through October:
ELF Market
Lawrenceville Farmers Market
Riverside Farmers Market
Serenbe Farmers and Artists Market
Snellville Farmers Market
Whistle Stop Farmers Market

And beyond:

(Some of these markets may close earlier than advertised, depending on availability of produce.)
Chamblee Farmers Market: Open Saturdays through December
Decatur Farmers Market: Operates Wednesdays and Saturdays year round
Dunwoody Green Market: Open Wednesdays through Nov. 17
EAV Farmers Market: Open Thursdays through November
Emory Farmers Market: Operates Tuesdays during the academic year, September through June, when classes are in session
Green Market at Piedmont Park: Operates Saturdays through December
Marietta Square Farmers Market: Open Saturdays through Nov. 20
Morningside Farmers Market: Operates Saturdays year-round
Peachtree Road Farmers Market: Open Saturdays through Dec. 18
Sandy Springs Farmers Market: Open Saturdays through Dec. 18
Photo: Fall tomatoes won’t be as abundant as these summer beauties, but they are out there. (Courtesy Lauren Carey)