Metro Atlanta is home to more than 40 farmers markets that meet in town squares and community gathering places from Peachtree City and Fairburn to Canton and Rabun County. Eight are open year-round, but with the arrival of spring comes the opening of the seasonal markets.
The first opened last Saturday — the Green Market at Piedmont Park. The last will be the Mableton Farmers Market opening June 7 and ending Aug. 23.
Sometimes markets close, like the Johns Creek Farmers Market that won’t be back this year, but then markets open, like the new Dunwoody Farmers Market, which debuts May 5.
Local attorney and community volunteer Marian Adeimy is the market chair. She and her husband were shopping at local farmers markets, traveling up to 20 miles to go to the Green Market at Piedmont Park, Sandy Springs or Alpharetta farmers markets for local produce and gluten-free breads. “One day I was sitting at my kitchen table and thought it was crazy that as active a community as Dunwoody is, we didn’t have our own market.”
Not only did she think it was time for a local market, she knew just the right spot. “My husband and I frequent Brook Run Park almost every weekend. It’s the largest park in north Atlanta, and one of the busiest. It’s the perfect place to have a market.” It didn’t hurt that the park is 102 acres with plentiful parking available for market shoppers.
So she started with a Facebook post last July. It drew the attention of City Council members and friends, and soon there was a committee of 12 ready to help organize a market. Not long after, the Dunwoody Homeowners Association joined in. “As Dunwoody continues to see young families and corporate headquarters like State Farm and Mercedes coming in, we all felt it was the perfect time to take this on.”
Dunwoody had a weekday market that closed several years ago. Adeimy and her committee felt moving the market to Saturday would open it up to a whole new group of residents. By December, they were official and signing up farmers and other vendors.
The response from farmers and food producers has been overwhelmingly positive. There are more than 30 vendors signed up right now. A fun aspect of their vendor list is the number of Dunwoody residents who will be selling products like the beekeepers of Hodge’s Honey, the Pepper Guys who grow peppers and other produce in the Dunwoody area and jam/sauce/salsa maker Regina’s Farm Kitchen.
The Dunwoody market kickoff is sponsored by local businesses including Farm Burger, Cowfish and Northside Hospital, and the market will open with cooking demonstrations, tastings, live music and face painting.
Sara Craig-Goodell is the new executive director of the venerable Peachtree Road Farmers Market, one of the largest in the area. The market hosts 50 vendors every week, with a roster of 75 total since some vendors are at the market only once or twice a month.
Craig-Goodell wants to be sure you are clear. Your local farmers market is not a big corporate entity like the DeKalb or Buford Highway Farmers Market, open most days of the year and selling everything from Chilean grapes to seafood from Vietnam. Those markets have a place. But she wants you to know your local farmers market is a gathering spot for local farmers, local food producers and the community.
“I’m so glad to serve as executive director. It gives me a chance to encourage and educate others about why buying local is so great. Part of it is economics, keeping our food dollars here in Georgia. Part of it is how we can promote our local farms and local small businesses. And part of it is sustainability. Our vendors bring us food that uses fewer fossil fuels to get to us and is more flavorful and fresh because it doesn’t come long distances. Plus, you get a chance to meet your farmer, which is something people don’t get to do at the grocery store.”
The Peachtree Road market will launch a new cooking demo series this summer: “How to cook without a recipe.” It’s a partnership with AREACH, an Atlanta-based nonprofit focusing on high school kids. Each week, teens will shop with a local chef, then help the chef prepare a dish during the weekly cooking demo. “It’s a great way to encourage these teens but also our regular shoppers to shop the way a chef does, walking the market, getting inspired by what’s available and using good basic cooking skills to make a delicious dish.”
The market is also partnering with Meals on Wheels. “At the end of each market day, the farmers’ excess produce will be sold at a discounted rate to Meals on Wheels, and then they’ll deliver that fresh food to local seniors. And we’re working with Georgia Organics and Global Growers to help our farmers get ready for new farm bill requirements. I like to think of it as we’re serving as an information hub for our farmers and other vendors.”
Craig-Goodell was the manager of Peachtree Road’s Wednesday night markets, which are not being repeated this year. But her new job still lets her do what she loves best, growing a community within the local food movement and building relationships between shoppers and the people who are making or growing their food.
Alpharetta Farmers Market
Opens April 14; Saturdays: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Old Canton Street between Milton Avenue and Canton Street, Alpharetta, alpharettafarmersmarket.com
Avondale Estates Farmers Market
Opens April 8; Sundays: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
22 N. Avondale Road, Avondale Estates, avondaleestatesfarmersmarket.org
What’s new? This outdoor market has vendors bringing fruits, vegetables, eggs, cheese, meat, baked goods, prepared foods, jam, sweet treats, handmade goods and more. There’s also live music every week including Battlefield Collective performing on opening day.
Brookhaven Farmers Market
Opens April 7; Saturdays: 9 a.m.-noon
1375 Fernwood Circle, Brookhaven, brookhavenfarmersmarket.com
What’s new? The 2018 market season features new vendors and returning favorites. Find plenty of eggs this year and cheese as well. A survey of market shoppers showed a desire for more ready-to-eat prepared food and on-site food and beverages, and the market listened. Those additions will supplement the market’s existing vendors carrying grass-fed meats, honey, local produce, fresh-baked breads, small-batch soups and sauces, artisan goods, coffee, juice, frozen pops, and the Brookhaven Breakfast Sandwich — handcrafted hot and fresh.
Canton Farmers Market
Opens May 26; Saturdays: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Cannon Park, 130 E. Main St., Canton, facebook.com/Canton-Farmers-Market-139431436086951
What’s new? This market promotes local farmers and artisans. All produce is Georgia grown and almost all is organic. The market hosts cooking demonstrations, kids activities and live music.
Clayton Farmers Market
Opens April 28; Saturdays: 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
108 Plaza Way, Clayton, explorerabun.com/event/clayton-farmers-market-2/2018-04-28/
What’s new? This market has been in place since 2002. Visit and you’ll find locally grown produce, jams and jellies, baked goods, local honey and crafts. The market continues its chef-led “Grow-Cook-Eat Farm & Food” tours. There will be five this year, visiting several local farms, distilleries, vineyards and other agritourism sites and gathering for a cooking demonstration at the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia. For more information on the tours: explorerabun.com/farm-food-tours/.
Cotton Mill Farmers Market
Open year-round; Saturdays: 9-11 a.m. through March 31, then market hours shift to 8 a.m.-noon
609 Dixie St., Carrollton, cottonmillfarmersmarket.org
What’s new? The Cotton Mill market is one of Georgia’s longest running markets, now in its 17th year. The market has kids activities, chef demos and doubles EBT dollars, the electronic version of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, through the Georgia Fresh for Less program.
Coweta County Farmers Market
Opens June 2; Wednesdays and Saturdays: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Saturday market is at the Asa M. Powell Senior Expo Center, 197 Temple Ave., Newnan.
Wednesday market is on the courthouse square in downtown Newnan.
What’s new? The market will have vendors selling locally grown fruits and vegetables, honey, jams and jellies, fresh-cut flowers and baked bread. There’ll be folks selling goat milk lotion and soap and naturally raised pork.
Decatur Farmers Market
Wednesday market opens April 11; Wednesdays: 4-7 p.m.
Saturday market opens April 14; Saturdays: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
308 Clairmont Ave., Decatur, cfmatl.org/decatur
What’s new? The market’s educational chef will be there every week with easy, healthy recipes for seasonal produce. There will be weekly music and plenty of kids activities from story time with the local bookstore to arts and crafts at the kids booth. Keep your eye out for seasonal picnics that celebrate the community and farmers’ harvest.
Dunwoody Farmers Market
Opens May 5; Saturdays: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Brook Run Park, 4770 N. Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, dunwoodyfarmersmkt.com
What’s new? The Dunwoody Farmers Market will be held in Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park between the ballfields and playground. Over 30 vendors have already signed up to be part of the market. Market shoppers will find treats for their pups, pies and pastries, locally brewed organic coffee, gluten-free baked goods and lots of seasonal produce.
East Atlanta Village Farmers Market
Opens April 12; Thursdays: 4-8 p.m.
572 Stokeswood Ave. SE, Atlanta, cfmatl.org/eav
What’s new? The market continues to host seasonal community potlucks, and chef Carolynn Ladd of A Date With Figs will demo recipes each week. Look for the always fun Free Fried Okra Day, Chili Night and Kale Fest and get your hands dirty in the market’s educational garden. Sign up for Market Champions through the newsletter to receive free market products just for coming to the farmers market.
East Point Farmers Market
Open year-round; Wednesdays: 4-7 p.m. March-November, 2-6 p.m. December-February
2757 East Point St., East Point, in the commons area of downtown East Point, EastPointFarmersMarket.com
What’s new? You’ll find fresh ravioli, pimento cheese makers, beef, chicken and eggs. There are activities for everyone to enjoy and live music to entertain shoppers. The market is just a block away from the East Point MARTA train station. The market doubles EBT dollars, the electronic version of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.
Fairburn Farmers Market
Opens June 1; Fridays: 5-8 p.m.
Stage and Courtyard, 15 W. Broad St., Fairburn, fairburn.com/187/Farmers-Market
Freedom Farmers Market at the Carter Center
Open year-round; Saturdays: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. March-December; 9 a.m.-noon January-February
453 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, freedomfarmersmkt.com
What’s new? This year, the market hosts a kids tent each week. There’s also a bike valet each week and monthly celebrations featuring the fruit or veggie of the season. There’s a restaurant pop-up tent, chef demos, live music and Georgia Fresh for Less, which doubles the dollars of Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program recipients at the market.
Fresh MARTA Markets
West End Station: Opens Tuesday, May 1, 3-7 p.m. 680 Lee St. SW, Atlanta
H.E. Holmes Station: Opens Wednesday, May 9, 3-7 p.m. 70 Hamilton E. Holmes Drive NW, Atlanta
College Park Station: Opens Thursday, May 10, 3-7 p.m. 3800 Main St., College Park
Five Points Station: Opens Friday, May 4, 3-7 p.m. 30 Alabama St. SW, Atlanta
What’s new? The Fresh MARTA Markets will include even more locally sourced produce from Georgia and Atlanta farmers this year, as well as introduce value-added products to the stations, including pre-cut fruit cups and salads.
Grant Park Farmers Market
Open year-round; Sundays: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Winter market: 1015 Grant St. SE, Atlanta
Main market season: begins April 8
600 Cherokee Ave., Atlanta
What’s new? This market has more than 40 weekly vendors. Spread out across the western end of Grant Park, there’s ample space to picnic and shop. Look for local cheese, meats and vegetables, including some grown right in Grant Park. This year, there will be an educational chef every week. Look out for events like the Mother’s Day flower giveaway.
Green Market at Piedmont Park
Opened March 24; Saturdays: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
12th Street and Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta, piedmontpark.org/green-market
What’s new? The Green Market has lots of new vendors, including Hobo Cheese Co., Bear Hug Honey, EstoEtno Fine Bakery, Island Spiced Bakes and Bites, Steph Stein Designs, Franklin Farms and more. In addition to live music, chef demonstrations and a children’s activity center, the market will also feature the occasional pop-up library from the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.
Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market
Opens April 14; Saturdays: 8:30 a.m.-noon
6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs, heritagesandysprings.org/3485-2/community-events/hss-farmers-market/
What’s new? The market will open on Lake Forrest Drive this year but move to its permanent home at City Springs (the city of Sandy Springs’ government center), 237 Johnson Ferry Road, on May 12. Check the website to confirm the date of the move.
Historic Downtown Acworth Farmers Market
Opens April 6; Fridays: 8 a.m.-noon
4583 Church St., Acworth, acworthparksandrecreation.org
What’s new? The market is sponsored by the Acworth Downtown Development Authority and offers a traditional mix of folks selling vegetables, eggs, honey, baked goods, jams and jellies, beauty products, bedding plants, locally roasted coffee, mushrooms and goat cheese.
Jonesboro Farmers Market
Opens May 12; Wednesdays: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Saturdays: 8 a.m.-noon
155 Lee St., Jonesboro, jonesboroga.com
What’s new? The Jonesboro Farmers Market is attracting more vendors and urban farmers to the market this year. There is no charge for farmers/vendors to participate at the market, which makes the market unique. The market’s vendors include urban farmers with a variety of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, cottage food vendors with an array of homemade products and a handful of vendors selling house plants and vegetable seedlings to start your backyard garden. UGA Clayton County Master Gardener Extension volunteers are at every market day sharing Extension gardening information. The market will also continue its live food preparation/nutrition demonstrations on occasional market days.
Kennesaw Farmers Market
Opens May 7; Mondays: 3:30-7:30 p.m.
2820 Cherokee St., Kennesaw, facebook.com/KennesawFarmersMarket
What’s new? The market continues to run in conjunction with a food truck event, Dinner at the Depot, so visitors can have dinner and shop.
KSU Farmers Market
Open year-round during the school year; Wednesdays: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
540 Parliament Garden Way NW, Kennesaw, facebook.com/KSUFarmersMarket/
Lilburn Farmers Market
Opens June 1; Fridays: 4-8 p.m.
1400 Killian Hill Road, Lilburn, lilburnfarmersmarket.org
What’s new? The Lilburn market offers chef demos every week using ingredients available from its farmers and other vendors. Come watch the demo and take home a new recipe and the ingredients to make it. Other special activities include kids activities, live music and a chance to meet local community groups and learn about their causes. The market accepts EBT, the electronic version of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.
Mableton Farmers Market
Opens June 7; Thursdays: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Mable House Complex, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton, mableton.org/mableton-farmers-market
What’s new? The market opens for its ninth season with fresh produce from local small farmers, fresh-baked items, honey, handmade soap, personal care items and cooking demonstrations that show shoppers quick and easy ways to prepare the produce at the market. Cobb & Douglas Public Health will be there to talk about their healthy lifestyles programs for families.
Marietta Square Farmers Market
Open Saturdays year-round; Saturdays: 9 a.m.-noon
Sunday markets opening May 6, noon-3 p.m.
65 Church St., Marietta, mariettasquarefarmersmarket.com
What’s new? The Marietta Square Farmers Market has more than 65 vendors offering fruits and vegetables, cheese, honey, pork, beef plus jams and jellies. Arrive empty-handed and leave with everything you need to make from-scratch meals at home. You can even dress your dinner table with freshly cut local flowers.
Morningside Farmers Market
Open year-round; Saturdays: 8-11:30 a.m.
1393 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, morningsidemarket.com
What’s new? This certified organic market is the grandmother of Atlanta area farmers markets, started in 1995. Last year, it added an occasional chef pop-up and benches for visiting with neighbors while enjoying your Cafe Campesino coffee and La Calavera snacks.
Norcross Community Market
Opens June 2; Saturdays: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Lillian Webb Park, 5 College St., Norcross, facebook.com/norcrosscommunitymarket
What’s new? This is the third season for this market that sits at the top of Norcross’ 5-acre Lillian Webb Park. Each week, there are locally and sustainably grown food and handcrafted items sold directly by the producers. Also featured are live music, children’s activities and food demonstrations. The market accepts and doubles Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks from pre-authorized shoppers for qualifying purchases.
Peachtree City Farmers Market
Open year-round; Wednesdays and Saturdays: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
215 Northlake Drive, Peachtree City, hvh662.wixsite.com/ptcfarmersmarket
Peachtree Road Farmers Market
Opens April 7; Saturdays: 8:30 a.m.-noon
2744 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, peachtreeroadfarmersmarket.com
What’s new? It’s the 11th anniversary year for this large producer-only market. Come to the market to shop from 50 local vendors each week and pause for a few minutes to enjoy the weekly chef demos. In summer, the demo series will focus on “cooking like a chef” with chefs and local teens shopping the market for inspiration, then returning to the demo tent to prepare a dish from what they gathered.
Ponce City Farmers Market
Opens April 10; Tuesdays: 4-8 p.m.
“The Shed” on the Eastside Beltline trail just outside Ponce City Market, cfmatl.org/poncecity
What’s new? An educational chef will be on hand each week to demonstrate new, easy and healthy recipes using seasonal produce. Look for live music from local acts as well as athletic events and special dinners. This year, there’ll be a heavy focus on CSAs to support farmers. Sign up for Market Champions through the newsletter to receive free market products just for attending the farmers market.
Roswell Farmers and Artisans Market
Opens April 14; Saturdays: 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
City Hall, 38 Hill St., Roswell, roswellfam.com
What’s new? Some new things at the Roswell market this year are the acceptance of Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits, chef demos every fourth Saturday and a free exercise class on the green every Saturday featuring different exercises each week. There will also be weekly dog adoptions.
Serenbe Farmers and Artists Market
Opens April 14; Saturdays: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Selborne Lane, Chattahoochee Hills, serenbefarms.com/market
What’s new? The first market of 2018 follows Serenbe’s Spring Trail Race that morning. The race begins at 9 a.m., and the market will open right after. The market offers organic produce, fresh pasta, granola, goat milk soaps, textiles and original artwork. There are children’s activities and live music and monthly chef demos. The Art Farm at Serenbe will also offer kids crafts and art activities.
Snellville Farmers Market
Opens June 2; Saturdays: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
On the Town Green in front of Snellville City Hall, 2342 Oak Road, Snellville, snellvillefarmersmarket.com
What’s new? The great majority of the vendors who have been with the market year after year will be returning. But there will also be a new vendor who will offer a large variety of locally made cheeses as well as vendors with freshly baked breads. As the market folks like to remind everyone, “Our market will be THE place to be on Saturday mornings in Snellville to meet up with friends and neighbors.”
Stone Mountain Farmers Market
Opens May 1; Tuesdays: 4-7 p.m.
Municipal Parking Lot, 922 Main St., Stone Mountain, stonemountaincity.org/departments/economic_development_downtown_development_authority/farmers_market.php
What’s new? The market will hold a big kickoff event on May 1 and mark the end of the market on Oct. 30 with a special Halloween event. There will be at least 15 vendors, an artist market and live music each week at this community gathering place.
Suwanee Farmers Market
Opens May 12; Saturdays: 8 a.m.-noon
Suwanee Town Center Park, 330 Town Center Ave., Suwanee, suwanee.com/whatsnew.farmersmarket.php
What’s new? Last year, the Suwanee market began hosting a monthly market during the “off season” from October through April. On April 14 this year, the market will be open from 9 to 11 a.m. The regular season will start on May 12 and run through Oct. 6. Then the monthly markets will be in place for the remainder of 2018 and through April 2019.
Sweet Apple Farmers and Artisans Market
Open year-round; Thursdays: 2-6 p.m.
320 Hardscrabble Road, Roswell, sweetapplefarmersmarket.com
What’s new? Now in its eighth year, Sweet Apple continues to bring local produce and products to the community throughout the year. New for 2018 is milk. Sawnee Quality Foods brings fresh milk (whole, chocolate and buttermilk every week), and Capra Gia has goats’ milk on request. Pop’s Produce began in 2017 bringing a wide variety of produce, specializing in sweet and hot peppers, and Trefoil Garden joined over the winter months. In addition to Bean’s Bounty’s all-natural soaps and lotions, Livin’ Off Earth now brings the market a full line of handmade, all-natural skin care products. The market has also added Bernhardt’s German Bakery, Confessions Coffee, and Pure Bliss Organics to the vendors that have been with the market for years … many since the market’s inception. Sweet Apple always has meats, eggs, fresh seafood, local honey, and great locally grown produce, plants and more.
Tucker Farmers Market
Opens April 5; Thursdays: 4-8 p.m.
2333 Main St., Tucker, tuckerfarmersmarket.com
West End Farmers Market ATL
Opens May 18; Fridays: 4-8 p.m.
Gordon White Park, 1354 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. SW, Atlanta, webmarket6.org
What’s new? The market’s expanded offerings will include freshly laid eggs, free-range chicken, garden-grown herbs, coffee, popcorn, jams and more. Master gardener and resident chef Sister DeBorah Williams will demonstrate recipes with products from the garden and will return with her “Build a Bowl” special.
Woodstock Farm Fresh Market
Opens April 21; Saturdays: 8:30 a.m.-noon
Market Street in downtown Woodstock between Mill and Maple streets, visitwoodstockga.com/portfolio/farm-fresh-market
What’s new? The market is still taking applications for vendors for the year. All produce vendors are required to grow at least 85 percent of the produce they bring to market.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.