Drive down a dirt road along the edges of the Oconee National Forest, skirt impenetrable walls of pine trees, and Cedar Grove Farm appears like a beacon in the vale. In a woodland clearing anchored by a stately two-story farmhouse, Cedar Grove is an idyll, exactly how a beautiful organic farm should look. Sweeping and verdant. Like specks on a broad vista, two young farmers — Caitlyn Hardy and Dylan Payne — work and live on this land. They are partners in the field and in marriage. Dylan's parents — Jay and Marlene — abide in a log cabin across the pasture, across an ever-expanding field of kales, Hakurei turnips perfect as cue balls, tomatoes from heirloom lineages, and a clucking hen named Rosita. Don't mind the farm dogs circling at your feet; they're just as friendly as the farmers. Find Dylan, Caitlyn, Jay, and Marlene working the Athens Farmers Market on Saturdays, and taking part in the Collective Harvest multi-farm CSA.




For Ed Janosik, the farming life began as one trial among a slew of homesteading experiments. Now, it's a full-time job. Drawn South from Pennsylvania to attend forestry school at the University of Georgia, Ed felt lured by acreage in Madison County offering him the opportunity to live off the land. Family in tow, Ed built his own pole beam house not far from Danielsville, planted vegetables, and raised animals to feed his growing brood. Today, that homestead is a bustling organic farm tended by Ed, two of his three children (when school is out), and hired hands. Every Wednesday and Saturday during market season, Ed lugs a plethora of vegetables to the Athens Farmers Market. Even in cooler months, Sundance Family Farm stays productive thanks to hoop houses packed to the edges with kale, collards, radishes, and carrots. Come Thanksgiving, ask Ed about buying one of his heirloom turkeys. He's so proud of his prized birds he keeps their feathers in his hat.




Blueberry bushes, just sitting there, waiting to be picked. Blueberry farming, not much to it? Say that to Chris Luther and prepare for a gut-busting howl. Yeah, right.  Ants, mold, root rot: to bring fresh blueberries to the Athens Farmers Market every summer, the headaches Chris deals with never stop. Thankfully, the stress Chris endures tending to those perennial plants means sweet, juicy berries for the rest of us. Chris and Rhonda Luther care for hundreds of blueberry bushes on their farm near Union  Point in Oglethorpe County. A carpenter by trade, Chris became obsessed with blueberry plants years ago. Not unlike a kung fu prodigy, before barreling into blueberries full-time, Chris travelled to Alma, capital of Georgia's booming blueberry industry, and absorbed all the insight he could assemble about raising berries. But unlike the conventional style employed in south Georgia, where most blueberries are grown only to be frozen, Chris chose to farm organically. No herbicides or pesticides. Which means ants love the fields at Rhonda's Blueberries; they love to bite Chris, too.




In discussing agriculture, the state of the family farm is a regular topic. It's nostalgia, mostly, a desire for a simpler time, a worry over what's to come. But for the Shaws of Hickory Hill, for whom family farming dates back to the Revolutionary War, their roots are healthy and deep. An ancestor of Susan Shaw's received over 200 acres in a King's Grant back in the late 1700s, and this stretch of Oglethorpe County known as The Glade has been in her family, and in agricultural production, ever since. The Georgia Department of Agriculture even honored the Shaws and Hickory Hill as one of the state's centennial family farms in 2015. While the Shaws have tilted this historic land toward growing Certified Organic and Naturally Grown produce, remnants of past uses can still be seen on the property in the form of rustic chicken houses and curing shacks. Then and now, tangible in the same moment. The farm's intergenerational reach continues to extend as daughter Jennifer, son-in-law Josh, and granddaughter Madeline represent the future custodians of the acres of potatoes, lettuce-stocked hoop houses, roaming swine, skittish sheep, and free-ranging hens of Hickory Hill. For a storied farm like Hickory Hill, the future holds promise.




Between mechanic shops and commodity chicken houses, paved roads and thick forests, sits Diamond Hill Farm. Shelley and Carter Dodd cultivate just a few acres out in Hull, but their farm, located along the rural/urban fringe between Clarke and Madison counties, asks silent questions about what we desire of our landscapes. Do we pollute with development and fossil fuels? Cram living beings into metal buildings to maximize protein per square inch? Or do we consider a sustainable option, promote soil-healing actions that look to cover crops, field rotation, and compost to keep alive land that could so easily be thrust into an exurban mess? Carter and Shelley: they are two young farmers just growing vegetables and chicken eggs; two farmers trying to do what's best for their livelihoods and the land they're lucky enough to tend. Cars zoom by headed for Athens. Sunlight glints off chicken house roofs like solar flares. All the while, these farmers scrape grit from fingernails day in and out. They're just trying to do things the right way, no matter how deep a row that is to hoe. Luckily, the Dodds are part of a market, as well as the Collective Harvest cohort, that supports farmers with such ambitions.




Thank Whole Foods for bringing this northern farming couple to Georgia. Farmers Jacqui Coburn and Alex Rilko both grew up far from the sprawling Winterville pasture land they've groomed into Front Field Farm. Jobs with that green grocer corporation sent them to Atlanta from New Jersey, but the bucolic tractor beam of fertile north Georgia soil stole their agrarian talents for Athens. Farmers for less than a decade, Jacqui and Alex are already making a mark in the field. Front Field spearheaded the creation of Collective Harvest, a cooperative of local organic farms offering 12-month community supported agriculture subscriptions, improving the bottom lines of many farmers in the area. Jacqui and Alex approach business building and farm growth with passion. Even though that passion finds them burning candles at both ends, a warm smile  and a bunch of radishes awaits all who visit their Athens Farmers Market booth.




It's the little things that stretches out the line to the 3 Porch Farm booth at the Athens Farmers Market: peonies, strawberries, bottles of seasonings, bags of chai, and those famous Honeypops. Kids and adults alike go wild for the honey-sweetened, pure ripe fruit ice pops created by Mandy and Steve O'Shea on their Comer farm. With an eye toward renewable resources — think solar power and biodiesel — the O'Sheas are champions of value-added farm treats. They grow fruit, raise bees, mushrooms, and herbs to produce the goods they sell each Saturday and Wednesday. While Honeypops reign supreme among sweet tooths, brides, magazines and so many others swoon over the ranunculus and tulips farmed by Mandy. Her on-farm flower design studio — Moonflower Design —  pumps out bouquets of organic, sustainable bouquets with style. The O'Sheas started 3 Porch with a goal of combining sustainability and a celebration of natural beauty. Their fans at the market think Steve and Mandy have been pretty successful.




Farmer Nathan Brett left the late nights and rock'n'roll of Music City behind for a life of soil and toil on the farm. If you ask him, he gave up nothing in the trade. When Nathan returned to Madison County to start a farm with his father, Murray, he met his future wife, Simone. He found that a day full of tasks completed with the ones he loves is far more rewarding than seeing his name in Nashville lights. Together, the three Bretts — including, sometimes, Nathan and Simone's siblings — are building an agricultural legacy, one that Simone and Nathan's children — a son, Noah, and another child on the way — will inherit. What sets Dayspring Farms apart from their colleagues at the Athens Farmers Market is a focus on storage crops. Depending on the season, Dayspring's fields abound with black beans, canola, oats, or wheat, all crops the farmers process for year-round sale. As a family and as farmers, the Bretts like to say they are "reclaiming a better way of life."




On a small parcel of land near Winterville, Iwalani Farfour's Full Moon Farms continues an organic tradition. Bursting with with salad greens, kales, collards, strawberries, and tomatoes, Full Moon's fertile soil results from two decades of care by a series of constant gardeners. Before Farfour and husband Michael moved on the land, Roots Farm was its name, a long-running market farm where many future agrarians applied their burgeoning trade. Before Roots, a school teacher named Paul kept the land, raising vegetables with volunteer help. While Iwalani inherits well-groomed acres, she pushes forward Full Moon's organic mission daily. As a founding member of Collective Harvest, Full Moon leads a charge to improve both the year-round supply of organic produce available to Athens and the livelihoods of dynamic local farmers. Iwalani's husband, Michael Farfour, had revamped the popular Farm Cart food truck, serving biscuits and hamburgers exclusively featuring produce from Full Moon and proteins from area farms. Together, the Farfours and their young son Kai are a local foods powerhouse.




In the classroom, Dr. Carl Jordan influenced generations of sustainable agriculture enthusiasts that took his courses in organic agriculture, agroforestry, and agroecology at the University of Georgia. In the fields of Spring Valley Eco Farm, some of those students plied their emerging plant and soil skills under the instructing watch of Dr. Jordan. Today, the apprentice is also a business partner. Mason Miller, a Madison County native, works alongside Dr. Jordan to advance production on Spring Valley's 73 acres of pasture, farmland, and woodlands. Around the farm, there's a sense of experimentation, attempts at furthering sustainability as well as profit. Duck eggs, a harvest few in the area attempt to any large degree, are a major focus of their efforts. With the help of two farmhands — Vito and Molly — rows upon rows of corn, squash, leafy greens, and root crops grow in fields plowed by a draft horse. Blueberries, a staple crop in Georgia that grow well everywhere, bloom in the shade of paulownia trees, improving the crop in the manner of shade-covered coffee plants. Dr. Jordan, a retired professor, but not a retired educator or farmer, is setting up Spring Valley for future abundance.




Ghosts haunt the hills that skirt the South Fork Broad River. That's how an old story goes, anyway, and it's how the Booger Hill Bee Company got its name. For old time Southerners, a booger is a haint, is a ghost. Pay a visit to Dan Harris' bee colonies out in Madison County, and the only spirits disturbing the calming bloom of flowering plants are bees. Thousands of them. But they are no threat — only an environmental boon and a producer of sweet honey — that is, unless, you bug them. Lulling the hordes with pine straw smoke, Dan extracts honey from hives kept outside his home, in the fields of organic farmers, and various other locals, spreading out the colonies to ensure fair competition for pollen and nectar. Bee keeping is a second act for Dan, who made a career out of selling medical equipment. At 50, eager for meaningful work, Dan went back to college to study horticulture. In the process, he fell in love with bees. Nowadays, Dan teaches classes in addition to raising bees and selling honey. For Dan, bees are a business, but it's just as much about educating masses of people about the necessity of healthy bee populations.




A good bit more than history permeates the valleys and hills along Bolton-Gordon Road in Commerce. This used to be peach country, where growing, packing, and shipping the fuzzy stone fruit employed hundreds. The orchards are gone, and rustic barns are all that's left. But farmer Clancy Bolton is sowing new life into fields along a road that bares his family name. Only a few years old, Clancy started Starks Valley Farm in plots once maintained by his grandfather as a homesteader's garden. Today, the heir to the land cultivates a range of organic vegetables, using the barns and chicken houses built by his forbears as storage for plant starts and a place to wash vegetables for market. Only 24-years-old, Clancy is one of the youngest farmers at the Athens Farmers Market, but his work in the soil grows out of a great tradition.




Will Powers stewards over 300 acres of Oconee County pasture and conservation forest that has been in his family's care for generations. Walk the grounds with Will, past the egg mobile housing hundreds of chickens, the north pasture where two bulls — Al and Ug — graze, the south pasture home to dozens of mama cows and their young, family memories mark the landscape. Barns and cabins constructed by his grandfather, old home sites burned to timbers circa World War II. When it comes to raising beef cattle and layer birds, Will learned that the job means he's a grass farmer, as much as any kind of rancher. Fescue and rye are just as important elements to Pastures of Rose Creek as the rare Italian cattle, called PIedmotese, Will keeps. The results are clear to Will. The land he grew up running around on, splashing in its creeks and hunting through its timber, has never looked better.




An extension of his beloved restaurant on Baxter Street, the Sultan, Zouheir Abouharb prepares vegetarian and vegan Middle Eastern dishes for the Athens Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Sultan's products include baba ganoug, stuffed grape leaves, and tabbouleh, made from recipes Zouheir had perfected over 10 years feeding the people of Athens. With a goal of offering authentic, fresh, and delicious meals, Zouheir had also improved his sense of community by becoming a market vendor in addition to running his restaurant at 1074 Baxter St. He spends his market days alongside hard-working business people he's proud to call friends.




The recipe Melanie Wade uses to produce the oak-aged kombucha tea comes from her grandmother, Golda. What better way to honor her grandmother than to name the low-sugar drink she now brews in Atlanta after the woman who taught her the process. Known for its probiotic qualities, an aid for digestion, as well as an immune system booster, Gold Kombucha is available in growlers at grocers and coffee shops around Athens. At the market, Wade and brand ambassador Jennifer Bell hope to educate the community about the benefits of adding fermented drinks into customer's daily diets.




Anna Ramiah, Rathinam Visu, and their daughter, Suvitha Viswanathan cook together to bond as a family. Inspired by their visits to the market in search of fresh vegetables, the family was inspired to share a small part of the cuisine of their India with Athens. With items like bhonda (potato and onion fried in chickpea flour), pastry puffs, and dosai (rice flour crepes filled with potato masala and tomato chutney), Sanvi's (a mash-up of their names) has become a favorite of market regulars by mixing the flavors of South India with ingredients of the southeastern U.S. A market vendor since 2012, Sanvi's will continue to introduce new foods from their culture to the accepting audience they've encountered in Athens.




For many stalwart Athens Farmers Market customers, every  market day begins with Farm Cart. Flaky biscuits, crispy-edged fried farm eggs, slabs of cart-made sausage or cured pork belly, cheddar slices dribbling down organic flour and butter-formed layers — the heft of a Farm Cart breakfast steadies the body for a morning of produce oggling. Don't forget some savory grits, a creamy bowl of the Southern staple capped by curls of shredded cheese. Credit Michael Farfour for breathing new life into the Farm Cart, a long-running market staple once associated with beloved farm-to-table restaurant, Farm 255. With Farfour, husband of farmer Iwalani Farfour, Farm Cart isn't just connected with the ethos of the market by sourcing ingredients for its nap-inducing meals, it's family.




Pain de mie, sourdough loaves, croissants, scones, pretzels, and baguettes — the spread at the Comerian's table is a gluten-lover's dream. Browns crusts envelop fluffy middles, sometimes studded with olives, other times berries, all times deliciousness. From an expanding bakery in Comer, Angel Cooper produces these treats and necessities. What began as a weekend hobby is now a full-time career, with a goal of fortifying Athenians with an organic alternative to air-filled grocery store loaves. Bread baking ingredients are rather simple: just flour, water, salt, and sometimes yeast. In the Comerian's hands, the results are glorious.




Farmer Ben Legette grew up in Wilkes County, just outside of Washington. He tried college in Atlanta, but it didn't fit him. He left for London and culinary school, but the restaurant life didn't suit him either. Back stateside, catering around his hometown, he began growing vegetables to cook for clients. Working the land, that seemed to stick; he'd found a calling. Lazy Willow began up highway 17 in Tignall, near John Cooper's Harvest Moon Farm, before Ben bought acreage just outside of historic Washington, nearby his parent's home. With a focus on storage crops like potatoes, onions, and garlic, Ben has made the sloping land productive over five years with the help of his sister, Melissa, and mother, Sandra. Working together, Lazy Willow is becoming more than a business. As Ben constructs a home of his own on the land, it's also a homestead. Fruit trees and guinea hens and bleating sheep aren't for sale; they're for family consumption.




John Carter is quite the tinkerer. He stuffs machines, bikes, strange plants, and more into the old milking sheds of the dairy business that once dominated his land in Tignall, in Wilkes County. At his house across the street, he's slowly building an airplane. So much cool stuff can distract a visitor from the beautiful tomatoes and squash growing by the thousands in his greenhouses. Don't be fooled: with the help of a Wilkes County native, Steve, who was born on the same land that he and John tend, Harvest Moon is a working farm, first and foremost. But over in John's backyard, farming and tinkering collide: he's breeding semi-wild boars, no big deal.




Sweet or savory, Saphir Grici makes a mean crepe. Layered with salami, cheese, and spinach, or stuffed with Nutella and bananas, it's your choice. A pioneer in the Athens food truck scene, Saphir has stuck to his plan of having a full-fledged mobile business. He first set up a temporary kitchen during rock shows at New Earth Music Hall. Then, navigating the trickery of local ordinances, he became the first registered food truck in Athens. Finally, Saphir has a dedicated roving location to practice the French art of crepe making. A native Frenchman, Saphir studied the craft in Brittany region, known globally as the headquarters of crepe culture. That's why they are so dang good.




Lynda Brady's farm is stock full of swine. Mamas, a few papas, and lots of babies, all slap covered in mud, rooting through Morgan County pasture. This is how Lynda likes it. Before moving to the area to raise pigs, cows, and chickens for market sale, Lynda ran a game ranch in North Georgia. She's always made a living with animals. These days, it's mostly Berkshire hogs that fill her time, and there are plenty of pigs out at B&G Farms to occupy every minute and second of the day. Big ones like Jane and Dude and Joe are in charge, keeping all the four-week old babes in good behavior. There's no GMO feed to be found at Lynda's, if that's what you're worried about, and no unnecessary antibiotics, either. Just happy pigs, and an even happier farmer.




Heather Russell can't recall a time when putting up the bounty of the garden wasn't part of her life. Canning with her mother and aunts, jars of pears, peaches, and peppers filled the cupboards of her childhood pantry. Preserving continued to play a large part in her life, a reminder that: life need not be so rushed; to think seasonally; to plan for the future. With Piedmont Provisions, Heather preserves organic fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers as jams, jellies, shrubs, vinegars, hot sauces, and more. To Heather, the difference between her small batch products and what's stocked at the grocery stores is in the taste: no mold inhibitors or preservatives, just local and sustainable flavors "put up" for the market.




Amy Lawrence and her brother, Alex, lead a team of juicing enthusiasts out of their brick-and-mortar juicery in Normaltown. A long-time, self-described health nut, Amy retired from teaching elementary school to buy Journey Juice, a business she'd admired as a customer. Instead of educating, she's now vegucating by offering cold-pressed juices filled with the raw nutrients of fruits and vegetables. Every bottle of Journey Juice — Beet Zinger, Just Greens, Veggie Town, for example — packs in 10 servings of fruits and vegetables. As they say: Life's a Journey, Make it Juicy!




Primo pasta maker Antonio Zenere was born and raised in Italy. He came to the U.S. in 1988, studied at the University of Georgia, earning a doctorate in food science.  His interest in food, though, was more than academic. He loves to make and eat pasta. Using an imported pasta maker, Antonio produces ravioli and tagliatelle using flour, semolina, and eggs, and a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs. Antonio always experiments with flavors, but four cheese, eggplant, asparagus, portobello mushroom, and squid ink are classics that keeps Antonio's loyal fans returning to the Athens Farmers Market every Saturday.




1000 Faces is a coffee roaster, merchant of change, and voyager of the agrarian spirit. They travel to countries of origin and establish relationships with producers to ensure the integrity of their coffee. Since they opened their doors on day one, they have been working in partnership with the two most important ends of the 1000 Faces spectrum: the grower and the customer. It is this partnership that is at the foundation for real economic sustainability. 1000 Faces believes that respect for geographic origin, direct relationships, and ecological awareness is the basis for creating a more sustainable coffee culture. Building on these principles, from seed to cup, 1000 Faces has set out to bring forth coffees of unsurpassed integrity and quality.




The Athens Farmers Market features 15-20 local, original, and quality-oriented arts and crafts vendors every season. A rotating cast of these select artisans participates in each market. The images shown here are indicative of what is available for purchase from our arts and crafts vendors every Saturday. 

Ceramics / Jewelry / Textiles / Soap / Skincare / Apparel / Woodworking / Pet Care / Framed Artwork / Photography