Farmers Market Update: Atlanta

by | Sep 5, 2010
Delicata Squash

Delicata Squash

I haven’t spent much time in the South, but there is such a strong food culture there and I’ve been dying to know how the local farmers markets step up. Big thanks to Amy Morrison for giving us a peek into Atlanta, Georgia.

Amy’s Morrison’s new blog Fix the Food! focuses on food industry updates, navigating today’s broken food system and avoiding processed food and contaminants. Visit her blog at www.fixthefood.com, like Fix the Food! on Facebook, or follow her on twitter @fixthefood.

Farmers Market Update: Atlanta

by  Amy Morrison

I am thrilled to bring you a Farmers Market Update from Atlanta this week. I’ve been a fan of the Summer Tomato blog for quite a while, appreciating Darya’s infectiously upbeat attitude toward healthy, fresh food as well as her no-nonsense dedication to many of the concepts I feel everyone in America must strive to re-integrate into their lives.

For this update I’d like to take you through the Marietta Square Farmers Market. It is a local-only outdoor market, with their #1 stated rule being that all products must be grown or created by the vendors themselves. It takes place in the heart of downtown Marietta–a town just outside of Atlanta proper–that is typically known as little more than “just a suburb.”

I’ll admit, the first time I saw the Marietta Square I was very surprised. The entire area is so vital and charming: a beautiful old park flanked by lovely little shops, restaurants, and even a grand old theatre. In an area otherwise defined by big-box-stores and the need to drive everywhere, it was refreshing to find this historically-intact gem where people still can walk from place to unique place.

The farmers market takes place on the north end of the Square every Saturday morning from May through November. This year the market features approximately 60 vendors, nearly double its size from just a few years ago. The vendors there sell everything from fresh (a great variety of vegetables, fresh dairy and eggs) to hand-crafted (herb-infused oils, candied jalapeños–yum!, delicious-smelling soaps, etc.)

This week, the first thing that caught my eye wasn’t food, but instead the “angels of agriculture” themselves. A local beekeeper had brought an entire section of his hive for display. How could I turn down some of their very own handiwork? Not only was there honey (raw, of course!), but also bee pollen, one of nature’s most nutrient-dense substance.

Bee Pollen

Bee Pollen

Bees

Bees

The first vegetable that stood out to me was this lovely heirloom red okra. Okra may not be for everyone, but of course as a good southern girl I love it.

Okra

Heirloom Red Okra

One thing that almost everyone had this week was beans, from green to purple hull. But what really looked delicious were the Chinese long beans. Another late summer item on nearly all tables were peppers, both fresh and hand-canned pickled ones.

Cubanella Peppers

Cubanella Peppers

Chinese Long Beans

Chinese Long Beans

Anyone who’s ever grown squash knows that when it comes in, it does so with a vengeance. Pleasantly though, there was not only yellow summer squash, but the lovely late summer squash varieties as well.

Delicata Squash

Delicata Squash

Yellow Squash

Yellow Squash

And of course I’m not the only one that needs good eats, my four-legged pal Penny needs good snacks too. I was delighted by these delicious (I didn’t personally eat one) doggie treats handmade from locally sourced organic ingredients.

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Purchases:

  • Honey and bee pollen – Hometown Honey
  • Heirloom red okra – Indigo’s Produce
  • Whole milk and buttermilk – Johnston Family Farm
  • Chinese long beans, Cubanella peppers, canned pickled peppers – Zio Micu’s Garden
  • Yellow squash – Allene’s Produce
  • Delicata squash, Pink Beauty tomatoes – Turtle Bend Farm
  • Peanut butter dog biscuits – Big Daddy Biscuits

What did you buy this week?

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4 Responses to “Farmers Market Update: Atlanta”

  1. I love squash and purple hull beans. I never had the purple hulls until I moved to the south. There is even a purple hull festival in Arkansas.

  2. kaye says:

    I love vegetables. ilove their color specially when they are together. colorful healthy foods. yumm

  3. Mike K says:

    Thanks for posting this Amy and Darya! I’ve never really looked for any farmer’s market stuff here in Atlanta, and I come to find out there is one about 10 minutes from me (I live in Acworth). Good stuff.

  4. I’m super jealous of that delicata squash; it’s definitely my favorite winter squash variety, well, tied with butternut and kabocha. Either way, I haven’t been able to find any in my area yet. All of your purchases look wonderful, I bet you’re making some delicious dishes!

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