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Old 01-25-2018, 09:30 AM
 
235 posts, read 82,493 times
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I am posting this fully aware that farmers markets seems to be a label not well regulated in the industry (ie, Sprouts is not a farmer's market). But I'm curious:

Any regulars to farmers markets within the city of Atlanta or the metropolitan area? Or even farms within the surrounding area? What have been your experiences? I'm asking because I just passed this article:

Future of Georgia's farmers markets debated after audit | The Telegraph

I can't find the audit but they're specifically referring to the state markets in Atlanta, Augusta, Macon, Savannah, Thomasville, Cairo, Cordele, Moultrie and Valdosta.

Quote:
The Legislature approved the state's borrowing of $15 million between 2014 and 2016 to improve the markets across the state, with $14 million of that money going to the Atlanta Market, the audit noted.

State farmers markets are underused by both customers and farmers, according to the audit. Of the nine markets run by the state, five of them cost more to operate than they generate in revenue.

The agriculture department has to consider the mission of the markets, said its marketing director, Jack Spruill.

"Here is the perspective difference," Spruill said. "How are these supposed to make profit, or how much are they supposed to add to the profitability as a whole of the community to give all of the agricultural community an outlet for their products?"

The markets are loved by the communities they serve, Black said.

"Ten weeks out of the year that's a very busy place," Black said. "The local community would like to have it, and the local legislative delegation would like for it to be there."

The Department of Agriculture should focus on each market, other than the one in Atlanta, and determine whether it needs to be closed, auditors said. If the department chooses not to close markets, they need investment and the department must determine if and how they can be improved and modernized.
I blend my grocery shopping between Atlanta's farmers market (for bulk purchases; freezing is a godsend), and groceries at Dekalb Farmers Market, which is an international grocery store. But I have been extremely interested in buying meat directly from farmers. I'm a vegan but my partner isn't, and I have been able to convince him and my neighbors to all go in on a cow every year once we all buy our deep freezers. Ethics, blah blah.

I'm interested in anyone else's experiences with the whole farm/farmers market/international market situation in their areas.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:35 AM
 
235 posts, read 82,493 times
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Dag! Everybody goes to Kroger/Publix/Whole Foods? Alright then!
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Old 01-26-2018, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Downtown Marietta
1,062 posts, read 689,241 times
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OK, I'll play.

Nowadays, I only frequent one local farmers market, the one on Marietta Square, because I live within easy walking distance. It's one of the largest in the metro area, with something like 60 or 70 vendors every Saturday, and is routinely named among the best in the metro area.

Best farmers market in metro Atlanta

The rules are fairly stringent regarding production; here's a quote from their website.

"All products must be grown or otherwise produced by the vendor. "Vendor" shall be defined as the producer of goods sold and shall include the spouse, siblings, children, parents and employees of the applicant who assist in the cultivation, production and/or sale of goods produced at the address listed on the application.

Vendors intending to sell prepared and packaged food stuffs for resale must provide a copy of their current Georgia Department of Agriculture Food Sales Establishment License. These vendors must attest to the fact that they grow or buy from local growers at least one major ingredient in their product. Baked goods are exempted from this regulation. The Cottage Food License is not accepted and open flame cooking is not permitted.
Vendors who wish to sell eggs and/or dairy must provide a copy of their current Georgia Department of Agriculture certification." Application - Marietta Square Farmers Market

There's also a Sunday market, which runs from May through October and has the same organizers. It is a good deal smaller and I seem to remember something about it having a requirement that everything be produced organically, but can't swear to it.
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:46 AM
 
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Thanks! Is it crowded to the point of difficult parking? I'd actually like to check it out sometime this summer, so thanks for sharing. I try to have different kinds of "local honeys" for the sinus-ocalypse.
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Downtown Marietta
1,062 posts, read 689,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seussie View Post
Thanks! Is it crowded to the point of difficult parking? I'd actually like to check it out sometime this summer, so thanks for sharing. I try to have different kinds of "local honeys" for the sinus-ocalypse.
There are usually a couple of beekeepers there with various local honeys. The Saturday market tends to be very busy, and there's often some kind of festival going on, which makes for a fun atmosphere. Parking is not a problem, however; if you can't find street parking, the county-owned parking garage is right there and is open to the public. It's currently free on nights and weekends, but they're about to start charging nominal fees: first half hour will be free, under 2 hours will be $2, under 5 hours will be $5, I think.
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Decatur, GA
99 posts, read 47,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seussie View Post
Dag! Everybody goes to Kroger/Publix/Whole Foods? Alright then!
Yes, for about 1/4 of my food purchases. The rest being split between H-Mart and Dekalb Farmer's Market. Until my cottage farm takes off, I'll still be fattening the coffers of the big corporations. You know, ethics...

I've heard positive reviews from a friend who made a bulk beef purchase through this farm (but have never done so myself): Order 100% Grass-Fed Beef in Georgia from Indian Creek Angus
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:18 AM
 
28,109 posts, read 24,639,595 times
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We have used the Peachtree Road Farmers Market, which is also a producers-only market.

I know a couple of the growers and they are genuine local farmers.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Lake Spivey, Georgia
1,841 posts, read 1,253,607 times
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The Atlanta State Farmer's Market (really in Forest Park, I-75 at Forest Parkway) is fabulous, now, and ESPECIALLY in the heart if the growing season in the summer months. It is the largest in the nation. Give it a try, you will LOVE it! As far as freezing an "entire cow" there is a butcher shop east of Covington. (I THINK it is in Newborn, but am uncertain. ) Anyway, I have known several people that have bought a side of beef there and had it packaged (roasts, stew meat, ground beef, etc) in quantities that surely would last a year. It did cost several hundred dollars, but probably no more than spreading your beef purchases across twelve months, you just pay it all at one time. Just food for thought,
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Old 01-29-2018, 04:40 AM
 
235 posts, read 82,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigup View Post
Yes, for about 1/4 of my food purchases. The rest being split between H-Mart and Dekalb Farmer's Market. Until my cottage farm takes off, I'll still be fattening the coffers of the big corporations. You know, ethics...

I've heard positive reviews from a friend who made a bulk beef purchase through this farm (but have never done so myself): Order 100% Grass-Fed Beef in Georgia from Indian Creek Angus
Thanks for this. Also, what is a cottage farm? A farm of cottages? :P


@ClaytonCountyWhiteGuy
Yeah, I was hoping my neighbors would also want to pitch in so we can share the costs. Otherwise, we have to save double before buying the first time so that we're prepared in advance.
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