Athens Farmers Market is Back!

By Rebecca Smith

Finally, spring is here, along with the much-awaited Athens Farmers Market. My early Saturday mornings will again start with the melodious tunes of local bands, brewing coffee, and the smell of fresh earth and produce. One of my favorite things about the market is the opportunity to connect with the people who grow and prepare my food. The farmers are proud of their produce and will not hesitate to boast of the delicious flavors abounding from their products. There is nothing better than a farmer saying, “You better wash that, I pulled it out of the ground this morning!” Forget looking up a recipe online, they are the ones to ask for their favorite way to cook the wide array of veggies that you will not be able to find at your nearest big box store. The communication between food producer and consumer brings a connection to food and health that money can’t buy.

Spring will bring in new vendors to the Athens Farmers Market and further diversity to the community. Over 20 local, Certified Naturally Grown farmers return to fill your bags with wholesome fruits and vegetables. New vendors will bring beef, pork, sausage, eggs and cheese to the market. You can also find freshly baked bread from Backyard Bread, The Comerian, and The Bakery at Five Points, as well as cold pressed juice from Journey Juice. Other items include Antonio’s Fresh Pasta, Mama Bird’s Granola, Buttercup Farm Pesto and Soup, Sanvi Indian Snacks, Mana in Our Foods jars, and Farm 255’s Farm Cart.

If you are like me and 8 a.m. seems a little too early, a cup of 1000 Faces coffee prepared right before your eyes will be the perfect elixir. Local artisans will showcase their creations including recycled fabric handbags, aprons, hand carved wooden items, jewelry, soap, pottery and more. To set the mood, the Musicsmiths will be playing and Chef Whitney Otawka of Farm 255 will do a food demo with items directly from the market.

In addition to great food, friends and music, the market will hold its inaugural Wellness Walk to promote physical activity. Each week, walk one mile around Bishop Park and be entered to win a basket of produce from the vendors! If your little ones need a place to play and learn, Athens/Jackson Farm to School will hold weekly educational activities to teach children about the environment and nutrition.

The Athens Farmer’s Market is a not-for-profit organization with an overarching goal of improving the health of the community through provision of local, nutrient dense foods, social interaction, and increased physical activity for the whole family. And don’t forget the partnership between Wholesome Wave Georgia still offers doubled SNAP dollars. Just swipe your EBT card and receive twice your benefits to use at the market! If you are unable to attend the upcoming Saturday market, or you just can’t get enough live music and local produce, the Wednesday market by City Hall will be held from 4-7 p.m. throughout the season.

The market aims to build a community around food, and what better way to spend time with family and friends than a beautiful spring morning at the Athens Farmer’s Market. For up to date news and info about the market visit https://www.facebook.com/AthensFarmersMarket.

AFM