!! Opening Day 2016 !!

written by Madeleine Spitzler, AFM Outreach Intern

Well, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for, opening day of the Athens Farmers Market 2016 season!  We’ve spent the past one hundred and seven days anxiously awaiting the return of our favorite Saturday morning (and Wednesday afternoon) event.  Gone now is the money wasted on off season fruits and veggies from large chain grocery stores, and is instead replaced by bountiful, lush crops grown by our own local farmers.  The brutal summer heat and early 8am market opening times don’t phase us when it comes to one of our favorite Athens weekend traditions.

In case you’ve forgotten, as it has been quite a while, I want to briefly touch on why the market is so important to us as local food consumers and to our community as a whole.  Every Saturday morning when we come to the farmers market by ourselves, or with our spouses and kids, we come together with one common goal: the hunt to purchase fresh, local food.  We all come from different backgrounds and families, different types of houses and modes of transportation, but at the market we are a community.  We come to interact with local farmers offering us a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, meats, and produce, and we celebrate the beginning of spring with this abundance of crops.   We want to make a positive change in our diets and the environment by buying nutritious, local food.  We promote the humane treatment of animals and desire to explore the variety of amazing tastes available to us.  So now do you remember why you missed the Athens Farmers Market so much?!

With this excitement in mind, here are a few updates for our upcoming season:

1) We’ve relocated to the pavilion!
After an exhaustive process, including countless emails and a lengthy petition, we have finally been granted permission for our Saturday market to be relocated to the pavilion at Bishop Park!  Every week our vendors will set up under the shelter, selling their same great food, just in a different location.  No need to fear rainy Saturday mornings anymore, we’ve got you covered ;)

2) In addition to most of our vendors from last year, this year we have added kombucha, Holy Crepe food truck, organic peaches and other tree fruits! The full list of 2016 vendors is below!

1000 Faces Coffee
3 Porch Farm
Antonio's Fresh Pasta
Backyard Bread
Beech Hollow Wildflowers
BG Farm
Booger Hill Bee Company
By George
Catcophony Wearable Art
Cathy Bennett
Capra Gia Cheese
Cedar Grove Farm
Dayspring Farms
Diamond Hill Farm
Farm Cart
Farmington Herbals
Front Field Farm
Full Moon Farms
Golda Kombucha
Harvest Moon Garden
Hickory Hill Farm
Holy Crepe
Johnston Family Farm
Journey Juice
Jubilee Ceramics
Lazy Willow Farm
Love Aquaponics Farm
Natty Michelle Paperie
Normal Soap Co
Oscar Bites
Pale Blue Dot Soap Co
Pastures of Rose Creek
Piedmont Provisions
Pony Trail Farm
Prospect Prints
Rhonda's Blueberries
Sanvi's Sweets and Savories
Sara Lee Parker Textiles
Soap and Stone
Songbird Soaps
Spring Valley Eco Farm
Stamped and Finch
Star Thread Pottery
Starks Valley Farm
Sun and Moon Studio
Sundance Farm
Tagyerit Farm
Tarangela Studios
The Boy and The Dog Beef
The Comerian
The Sultan
Tom Homann Pottery
Veribest Farm
Watsonia Farms
Wellsharpened Knives
Whirly Wraps

3) The Fresh Food Bus is back in its second year!
The Fresh Food Bus, inaugurated in Fall of 2015, is back again providing you with a free bus service to the Athens Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.  For those who were unaware of this service, the Fresh Food Bus provides a free and direct route to the Athens Farmers Market from numerous stops in the community. This year, we are hoping to expand with more service on more market dates...keep your ears open for updates!

4) Georgia Organic’s My Market Club
For the 3rd year, the My Market Club will be back, awarding shoppers a free $5 credit the first time they visit the market.  With each subsequent visit, members have the opportunity to redeem additional prizes and other awesome market goodies.  If you haven’t signed up yet, be sure to do so come April 2nd!

Look forward to seeing you all on Saturday morning!!