With full market, Truly Living Well expands mission

Sweet Auburn neighbors and nearby commuters get new Friday shopping option

Last week, something lovely happened at Truly Living Well’s Wheat Street Garden. There among the beds of squash and tomatoes, on a concrete slab where a housing project once stood, a farmers market blossomed.

It’s hard to imagine a better location, really. The spot in the center of Sweet Auburn is convenient to Georgia State and Grady employees, scads of downtown office workers, and of course Sweet Auburn and Old Fourth Ward residents, yet free street parking is abundant. The farm itself is a pretty oasis with a serious mission: to create a culture of wellness in an underserved portion of the city.

The nonprofit organization, founded by K. Rashid Nuri in 2006, has been holding weekly market hours at the site for two years, but until last week the only vendor was the garden itself. Now it’s branching out, inviting other food producers and local entrepreneurs to sell their goods as well. At the inaugural event last Friday, TLW was joined by King of Pops, Pearson Farm, Daddy’s Home Bread, and farmers market newcomer Atlanta Proper: A Bakery, which features freshly milled organic flour.

“Things went really well,” says market manager Andrea Brown. “The only snafu was when a chicken got in my van and released some balloons.”

Well, that’s life in the big city.

Brown hopes to add cheese and egg vendors to her lineup soon. Others, including Red Cactus Café and Zocalo Salsas, will attend the market in rotation.

Brown has included local businesses in the mix, including a massage therapist, soap, jewelry maker and woodworker, and she plans to feature entertainers as well. “I’d like to bring in drumming groups, African dancers, belly dancers,” she says. A runner, she hopes to reach out to the running community by organizing a run along the nearby Beltline. “This can be a spot where people just come and hang out, even into the night.”

This Friday, look for zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes and possibly blackberries at the market, located at 75 Hilliard St. NE. Hours are 2 to 6:30 p.m. every Friday. (Truly Living Well also operates a Wednesday afternoon farm stand at its East Point location, 3353 Washington Road.) Truly Living Well accepts cash, credit, debit and EBT. Through the Wholesome Wave Georgia program, EBT customers can double their purchasing power for produce. The farm also offers a Community Supported Agriculture weekly subscription for produce.