Farmers markets throughout Georgia are revving up for another season, offering good food and plenty of fun. Held in places like local parks, historic squares and church lawns, these seasonal pop-ups provide an outing the entire family — even your dog — can enjoy.
WHY WE LOVE THEM
- Fresh and flavorful. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs sold at farmers markets are grown by local farmers. Picked at peak harvest season — often just hours before the market opens — this is the freshest, and therefore tastiest, produce you’ll find. “The difference in the sweetness, juiciness and crunch is unbelievable,” says Barrow County Extension Agent Alicia Holloway.
Typical market offerings also include farm-fresh eggs, honey, pasture-raised meats and seafood from the Georgia coast. Cut flowers and plants are popular items, too.
- Locally made. Baked goods, jams and jellies, salsa, cheese, and locally roasted coffee beans complement the fresh produce sold at many markets. Alongside edibles, you’ll often find handcrafted items made by local artisans
- Connect with farmers. Meet those who make your food. They often share great tips for preparing fresh offerings.
- Fun! Many markets pump up the excitement with live music, kids’ activities, recipe demonstrations and themed events.
- Dog-friendly. Some explicitly invite you to bring your pooch (well-behaved and leashed) to shop for locally made pet treats.
- Support local economies. When you shop at a farmers market, you support the livelihood of local farmers and small businesses. Money spent with them stays local.
If it’s your first time shopping at a farmers market, here are some tips to make your experience the best.
- Dress for sunshine and heat. Wear a hat and apply sunscreen before venturing out to a daytime market.
- Carry cash. Some vendors may accept credit or debit cards, but all will take your cash.
- Bring a reusable shopping bag to easily carry your purchases around the market.
- Check the market’s website or social media before you go to get up-to-date details about operation hours and special events.
- Use SNAP benefits. If you participate in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), know that many Georgia farmers markets partner with Wholesome Wave Georgia to double SNAP dollars to purchase fresh, local fruits and vegetables.
Here are a few of our favorites that take the chore out of grocery shopping and instead make it a wonderful way to check out local flavors. Most of these markets are already open for the season.
Find it: Wednesdays, 5–8 p.m. at Creature Comforts Brewing Co., 271 W. Hancock Ave, Athens; Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon, Bishop Park, 705 Sunset Drive, Athens
Favorite feature: The Wednesday evening market lets you combine produce shopping and after-work social time at a local craft brewery.
Find it: Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m.; 15 Porter Street, Downtown Winder
Favorite feature: There’s a special event each month, such as Dinosaur Day for kids on June 3.
Find it: Sundays, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; 1040 Grant Street SE, Atlanta
Favorite feature: You can watch celebrity chef demonstrations and then pick up fresh ingredients to make the recipe yourself.
Find it: Fridays, 4–7 p.m.; Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 1400 Killian Hill Road, Lilburn
Favorite feature: You can stop by to pick up your Friday night dinner as well as treats for the weekend.
Find it: Saturdays, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; adjacent to the historic courthouse in downtown Monroe
Favorite feature: On the last Saturday of the month in June, July and August, the first 40 adults aged 65 and up receive a $5 voucher to spend on fruits and veggies at the market.
Find it: Saturdays, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; Harris Shoals Park, 1251 Experiment Station Road, Watkinsville (This is a new location for 2023.)
Favorite feature: Has a vendor who brings fresh, wild-caught shrimp during the season.
Find it: Saturdays, 9 a.m. – noon (Open first and third Saturday only in May); Towne Green in front of Snellville City Hall
Favorite feature: A popular community event, it’s THE place for local residents to gather on Saturday mornings.
Find it: Saturdays, 9 a.m.–noon; Suwanee Town Center Park, 330 Town Center Ave., Suwanee
Favorite feature: Vendors selling international foods.