Amid pandemic-inspired shortages at grocery stores last year, farmers markets quickly were deemed essential businesses, but managers had to work with their local governments to determine what precautions to put into place.
Hand-washing stations at the entrances, vendors in masks and gloves, cashless transactions and plenty of social distancing became the norm.
Many markets moved to a year-round model, and some, like the Tucker Farmers Market, went virtual, with contactless pickup and delivery options available, but no face-to-face contact.
There are two new markets: Vinings Jubilee, which opened last October, and the Virginia-Highland market, due to open in April.
Nancy Qarmout is the longtime executive director of the Tucker Farmers Market. In January, 2020, she also accepted the position of executive director of the Peachtree Road Farmers Market, accepting the position before the full implication of the nation’s battle with COVID-19 had hit.
“We had opened the Peachtree Road market, then took a two-week break to figure things out,” she said. “How could we support our vendors, whose livelihood depends on connecting with customers in direct sales, and keep everyone safe? At Tucker, we quickly put together an online market. Our customers could purchase from over 25 vendors online, then show up on Thursdays to pick up their orders. They’d open their trunk, we’d put everything in, and the customers could drive off.”
At Peachtree Road, Qarmout and her staff used that two-week break to work out the logistics. “We had to say ‘no dogs,’ because dogs made it hard for everyone to keep their distance,” she said. “We couldn’t allow sampling or eating anything on-site. Our vendors were spaced out, and were asked not to put cloths on their tables, so it was easy to sanitize the surfaces. We encouraged credit or debit card use instead of cash. We set up hand-washing stations and put out hand sanitizer. And, because this market is on private property, we were able to require masks for both vendors and customers.”
The Peachtree Road market opened this year on March 6, with most of those same precautions in place. But, Qarmout said, they will adapt. For example, music is coming back to the market, but only instrumental music (and no wind instruments), because that helps create a pleasant environment. “We are going to slowly ease back into things as conditions permit.”
She also has added special programs to both markets, in which customers can contribute either money or shelf-stable food, or purchase produce from the market vendors, to help stock local food pantries. “Our customers recognize our neighbors need help, and they appreciate a way to support our local food producers while making sure people get fed,” she said.
2021 FARMERS MARKETS
Alpharetta Farmers Market
Opens April 3; 8:30 a.m.-noon Saturdays
North and South Broad streets in front of City Center, alongside Town Green; alpharettafarmersmarket.com
What’s new? Free parking is available in the City Center and Milton Avenue parking decks, and at Alpharetta Baptist Church on Old Roswell Street. There’s also easy pedestrian access across Main Street. The market has nearly 100 vendors, and offers live music.
Avondale Estates Farmers Market
Open year-round; 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays
22 N. Avondale Road, Avondale Estates; avondaleestatesfarmersmarket.org
What’s new? The market has expanded. It features more than 30 vendors, including some with produce, homemade baked items, handcrafted goods and prepared foods. The Georgia-based vendors give shoppers a variety of items to shop each week. The market is open rain or shine, and is following COVID-19 protocols by requiring all vendors and customers to wear masks while shopping. Hand sanitizer stations are set up throughout the market.
Brookhaven Farmers Market
Opens March 20; 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays
1375 Fernwood Circle, Brookhaven; brookhavenfarmersmarket.com
What's new? There will be more than 40 vendors, both new and returning, at the market this year.
Candler Black Market
1-5 p.m. Sundays through November.
2321 Candler Road, Decatur. 404-452-5694, candlerblackmarket.com. Read more here
Castleberry Farmers Market
Opens April 19, running through Nov. 8; 4-7 p.m. Mondays
492 Larkin Place, Atlanta; castleberryfarmersmarket.org
What’s new? This is the second full year for the Castleberry Farmers Market, which expects to have 10-15 vendors, with some vendors participating weekly while others participate biweekly or monthly. The market doubles Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program and Electronic Benefit Transfer amounts. Farmers include Westside Growers and Local Lands. Value-added producers include Bake N’ Jam, Dancin’ Salmon, Bee Wild, Jake’s Produce & Cannery, Kith & Course, La Bodega, Sincerely By Paryani, Taylor’s Dip, Sweet T’s Candles, True Products, Russell’s Gourmet Coffee, We Three Girls and Nisha’s Flavors of India. Shoppers are required to wear masks.
Cotton Mill Farmers Market
Open year-round; 9-11 a.m. Saturdays through March, 8-11 a.m. beginning in April
609 Dixie St., Carrollton; cottonmillfarmersmarket.org
What’s new? The market celebrates its 20th year, with vendors from within a 50-mile radius offering produce, meat, cheese, baked goods, honey, jams and arts and crafts. SNAP/EBT benefits are doubled through the Georgia Fresh for Less program, starting in April.
Coweta County Farmers Market
Opens June 5; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays
Asa M. Powell Senior Expo Center, 197 Temple Ave., Newnan; mainstreetnewnan.com/p/events/the-weekly-downtown-farmers-market
What’s new? The first hour is reserved for senior shoppers or anyone who is medically fragile. Vendors wear gloves and masks, and the market is set up for social distancing. Local farmers will be selling fruit and vegetables, homemade jams, jellies and fresh baked breads. There will be cut flowers, live plants, honey, mushroom, organic coffee and free-range duck and chicken eggs available.
Decatur Farmers Market
Opens March 31; 4-7 p.m. Wednesdays
308 Clairmont Ave., Decatur; cfmatl.org/decatur
What’s new? The market will have twice the number of vendors as before. Masks are required in the market space, and hand sanitizer is available at each entrance. Social distancing is encouraged, and many vendors offer touch-free checkout. Through a partnership with Wholesome Wave, Community Farmers Markets matches the amount of EBT dollars swiped with an equal amount of tokens for fruits and vegetables.
Dunwoody Farmers Market
Open through Dec. 18; 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays
Brook Run Park, 4770 N. Peachtree Road, Dunwoody; dunwoodyfarmersmkt.com
What’s new? The market’s COVID-19 precautions include spacing vendors at least 10 feet apart, requiring vendors to wear masks and have hand sanitizer available at their booths, restricting samples, and providing a hand-washing station at the market information booth. Shoppers are encouraged strongly to wear masks. The market has expanded its season to ensure that customers have access to local farmers and food businesses without being in large crowds that would pose health risks.
East Atlanta Village Farmers Market
Opens March 25; 4-8 p.m. Thursdays
572 Stokeswood Ave. SE, Atlanta; cfmatl.org/eav
What’s new? Each week, the Treat Yo’ Shelf General Store will offer a variety of shelf-stable products from local vendors. The market will celebrate Earth Day (April 22) with a Plant 2 Plate event with Love Is Love Farm. Led by Wholesome Wave Georgia and Food Well Alliance, Georgia Plant 2 Plate provides households on SNAP with 50 percent off local fruit and vegetable plants with EBT, plus free gardening kits to grow fresh food at home. The amount of EBT dollars swiped is matched with an equal amount of tokens for fruits and vegetables. Masks are required in the market space, and hand sanitizer is available at each entrance. Social distancing is encouraged, and many vendors offer touch-free checkout.
East Point Farmers Market
Open through December; 4-7 p.m. Wednesdays
2714 East Point St., East Point (1 block from the East Point MARTA station); m.facebook.com/EastPointFarmersMarket
What’s new? COVID-19 safety precautions include having vendors widely spaced out, attendees wearing masks and a no-touch policy. The market doubles SNAP benefits for fruits, vegetables and plants. Vendors offer fresh breads, meat, herbs, organic nuts/granola, eggs, all-natural skin care and soaps, handmade arts, crafts and jewelry, aromatherapy and more. There is live music to entertain shoppers.
Freedom Farmers Market at the Carter Center
Open year-round; 8:30 a.m.-noon Saturdays
Carter Center, 453 John Lewis Freedom Parkway, Atlanta; freedomfarmersmkt.org
What’s new? The market is open rain or shine every Saturday of the year even through the coronavirus pandemic. The footprint of the market has doubled to allow for social distancing.
Fresh MARTA Markets
What’s new? A winter market is being operated at four MARTA stations through early April. Regular hours will resume and the Bankhead Station will open the first week of April. Pantry items are available to customers courtesy of Urban Recipes, while supplies last. Masks and social distancing are required. The amount of EBT dollars swiped is matched with an equal amount of tokens for fruits and vegetables.
- West End Station, 680 Lee St. SW, Atlanta: Tuesdays. Open noon-4 p.m. March 16-30, 3-7 p.m. April 6-Dec. 14
- H.E. Holmes Station, 70 Hamilton E. Holmes Drive, Atlanta. Wednesdays. Open noon-4 p.m. March 16-March 30, 3-7 p.m. April 7- Dec. 15 (closed Nov. 24)
- Bankhead Station, 1335 Donald Hollowell Parkway, Atlanta. Wednesdays. Open 3-7 p.m. April 7-Dec. 15 (closed Nov. 24)
- College Park Station, 3800 Main St., College Park. Thursdays. Open noon-4 p.m. March 4-April 1, 3-7 p.m. April 8-Dec 16 (closed Nov 25)
- Five Points Station, 30 Alabama St. SW., Atlanta. Fridays. Open noon-4 p.m. Feb. 5-April 2, 3-7 p.m. April 9- Dec. 17 (closed Nov. 26)
Grant Park Farmers Market
Open year-round; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays
Eventide Brewery, 1015 Grant St. SE, Atlanta; cfmatl.org/grantpark
What’s new? The market has lots of flowers and produce, with tie-dye merchandise coming soon. The store offers a variety of shelf-stable products from local vendors. Masks are required in the market space, and hand sanitizer is available at each entrance. Social distancing is encouraged and many vendors offer touch-free checkout. The amount of EBT dollars swiped is matched with an equal amount of tokens for fruits and veggies.
Green Market at Piedmont Park
Opens March 27; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays
Returns to 12th Street and Piedmont Avenue in Piedmont Park; piedmontpark.org/green-market
What’s new? Safety protocols, such as mask requirements, sanitation stations and distancing requirements will be upheld to match local government and CDC requirements. New vendors include Pinewood Springs Farm from Stockbridge and West Georgia Produce from Roopville. Other vendors include Furrowed Earth Farm from Griffin, Earth Dog Farm from Atlanta, DaySpring Dairy from Gallant, Southern Berkshire Farm from Westminster, South Carolina, and Wild Light Honey from Savannah. Shoppers also can find ready-to-eat or frozen pupusas from Buenos Dias Cafe, meal kits from Essential Meals, and a variety of plants and creative terrariums. Several additional jewelry and craft vendors will be on hand throughout the season.
Halcyon Farmers Market
Opens March 16; 4-7 p.m. Tuesdays
6365 Halcyon Way, Alpharetta; facebook.com/halcyonfarmersmarket
What’s new? The market, located in the multi-use Halcyon development, will begin its second year with about 40 vendors, focused on locally grown and produced foods and wellness items. Products available include fruits, vegetables, flowers, baked goods, seafoods, meats and dips. Free parking is available in the 1,200-space parking deck adjacent to the site.
Historic Downtown Acworth Farmers Market
Opens April 9; 8 a.m.-noon Fridays
Logan Farm Park, 4405 Cherokee St., Acworth; acworthparksandrecreation.org
What’s new? The market offers a traditional mix of vendors selling vegetables, eggs, honey, baked goods, jams and jellies, beauty products, bedding plants, locally roasted coffee, cheese, beef, pork, lamb, goat, salmon, sausages, nuts and granola, boiled peanuts, spices and sauces. COVID-19 safety protocols are in place.
Jonesboro Farmers Market
Opens May 8; 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays; 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays
155 Lee St., Jonesboro; jonesboroga.com
What’s new? There is no charge for farmers and vendors to participate at the market, which makes it unique. Vendors include urban farmers with a variety of locally grown fresh fruits, microgreens and vegetables. Cottage food vendors offer an array of homemade products, such as canned goods, jams, jellies, honey, breads, cookies and cheesecakes. Also available are house plants and vegetable seedlings and crafts created by local artists. All items sold at the market must be locally or Georgia-grown, or homemade. Live food preparation/nutrition demonstrations will continue to be held on occasional market days.
Kennesaw Farmers Market
Opening date to be determined
Location to be determined. For updates, visit facebook.com/KennesawFarmersMarket
What’s new? Market season generally runs from June through the end of August.
Lilburn Farmers Market
May 7-Aug. 27; 4-7 p.m. Fridays
1400 Killian Hill Road, Lilburn; lilburnfarmersmarket.org
What’s new? Celebrating 12 years, the market will continue to offer online purchases with contactless, drive-through pickup and local delivery available. Vendors also will be at the market for in-person sales. Masks are required for shoppers and vendors. Hand sanitizing stations are provided. Special activities include live music and a chance to meet local community groups and learn about their causes. SNAP/EBT dollars are matched and doubled to purchase fresh, local fruits and vegetables.
Mableton Farmers Market
The market plans to open June 3 and run through Aug. 12 (closed July 1); 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursdays
Mable House Complex, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton; mableton.org/mableton-farmers-market
What’s new? The market opens for its 11th season this year, bouncing back from last season’s pandemic shutdown. There will be fresh produce from local small farmers; fresh baked items; local honey; certified organically prepared gourmet nuts, energy bars, bites and mixes; a knife, scissors and tool sharpening vendor; and a jewelry maker. Cooking demonstrations will show quick and easy ways to prepare the produce sold at the market. The Cobb and Douglas County Public Health Department will be there to talk about healthy lifestyles for families. SNAP customer purchasing power will be doubled through the GA Fresh 4 Less program. COVID protocols will be in effect. Market visitors are asked to wear appropriate masks and socially distance.
Marietta Square Farmers Market
Open year-round; 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays
41 Market St., Marietta; mariettasquarefarmersmarket.com
What’s new? The Sunday market has been suspended. For people with health concerns, the market is open an hour early, 8-9 a.m. All vendors are required to wear masks, and everyone has hand sanitizer available for customers. There is a hand sanitizer station at the entrance to the market. There is no sampling of food at this time.
Morningside Farmers Market
Open year-round; 8-11:30 a.m. Saturdays
1411 N. Morningside Drive, Atlanta; facebook.com/morningsidefarmersmarket
What’s new? This certified organic market has moved to a new location in the parking lot of Morningside Presbyterian Church, its first new location since the market opened in 1995. Vendors this year include Root Baking Co., Pulp, Cradleboard Creations and Thousand Hills Ranch.
Norcross Community Market
Open for drive-through pickup of online orders 9-11 a.m. Saturdays; in-person opening date to be determined
Norcross City Hall parking lot, 65 Lawrenceville St., Norcross; norcrosscommunitymarket.com
What’s new? Order online from Sunday mornings to 5 p.m. Thursdays. At Saturday pickup, stay in your vehicle and a market volunteer with bring your order to you.
Oakhurst Farmers Market
Open year-round; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays
Sceptre Brewing Arts, 630 East Lake Drive, Decatur; cfmatl.org/oakhurst
What’s new? The market is welcoming six more farms. Masks are required in the market space, and hand sanitizer is available at each entrance. Social distancing is encouraged, and many vendors offer touch-free checkout. The amount of EBT dollars swiped is matched with an equal amount of tokens for fruits and vegetables.
Peachtree City Farmers Market
Open year-round; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays
Aberdeen Village Shopping Center, 215 Northlake Drive, Peachtree City; peachtreecitymarket.com
What’s new? The market runs rain or shine and has about 60 vendors offering a variety of fresh produce, poultry, beef, pork, bread, sweet treats, honey, eggs, prepared foods, homemade bath and body products, pottery, jewelry and candles. Live music is performed.
Peachtree Road Farmers Market
Open through Dec. 18; 8:30 a.m.-noon Saturdays
2744 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta; peachtreeroadfarmersmarket.com
What’s new? It’s the 15th season for this large producer-only market, which has more than 50 vendors. All of the farmers are certified organic or certified naturally grown. Holiday artist markets at the end of the year feature more than 25 local artists.
Ponce City Farmers Market
Opens March 24; 4-8 p.m. Wednesdays
The Shed on the Eastside Beltline trail, just outside Ponce City Market; cfmatl.org/poncecity
What’s new? The market is moving to Wednesdays. Its location in the Shed allows for safe outdoor gathering. This year’s farms include Cosmos Farm, which is offering Community Supported Agriculture pickup at the market. Other weekly vendors include Dandelion Food & Goods, Georgia Peach Truck and Honey Next Door. The store will offer a variety of shelf-stable products from local vendors as well, including Georgia Grinders nut butters and Hopes Salsa. Masks are required in the market space, and hand sanitizer is available at each entrance. Social distancing is encouraged and many vendors offer touch-free checkout. The amount of EBT dollars swiped is matched with an equal amount of tokens for fruits and vegetables.
Roswell Farmers and Artisans Market
Open April 10 through October; 8 a.m.–noon Saturdays
Roswell Presbyterian Church, 755 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell
What’s new? This producer-only market will feature 40 to 50 vendors (both farmers and artisans) whose businesses are within 100 miles of Roswell. The market’s mission is to create a community around a local, sustainable food economy, to support Georgia farming families and to give the citizens of Roswell access to organic, local, affordable and healthy food.
Sandy Springs Farmers Market
Opens April 17; 8:30 a.m.-noon Saturdays through Sept. 25; 9 a.m.-noon Oct. 2-Nov. 20
City Springs, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs; citysprings.com/farmersmarket
What’s new? Vendors provide an open-air opportunity to purchase fresh produce and artisan foods. Check the website often to keep up with new offerings.
Serenbe Farmers and Artists Market
9 a.m.-noon Saturdays
Selborne Lane, Chattahoochee Hills, serenbefarms.com/farmers-market
What’s new? From 9 to 10 a.m., masks are required. From 10 a.m. to noon, masks are encouraged. Vendors offer local produce, meats and prepared foods in a large green space surrounded by plentiful trees, rather than an asphalt parking lot. Customers are asked to follow COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.
Snellville Farmers Market
Open October through May, 9 a.m.-noon the first and third Saturdays of each month
City Hall parking lot, 2342 Oak Road, Snellville
Open June 5-Sept. 25, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays
Town Green in front of Snellville City Hall, 2342 Oak Road, Snellville; snellvillefarmersmarket.com
What’s new? This producer-only market offers a variety of fresh local produce, pasture-raised meats, shrimp from the Georgia coast, local honey, eggs, baked goods, jellies, barbeque, made-to-order pizza, plants and cut flowers, as well as other locally made food products, bath and body care products, and a selection of local crafts. Pandemic procedures remain in effect: contact-free hand sanitizer dispensers are located at the market entrance; vendors wear masks and customers are encouraged to do so; social distancing is encouraged; customers are asked not to touch any products until they have paid for them.
Stone Mountain Farmers Market
June 8-Aug. 31; 4-7 p.m. Tuesdays
Municipal parking lot, 922 Main St., Stone Mountain; facebook.com/stonemountainfarmersmarket
What’s new? Vendors include David’s Garden, Hungarian Pastries, Pearson Farms and B&C Farms from the village of Stone Mountain.
Suwanee Farmers Market
Opens April 3; 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays in April; 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, May-October
Winter market is twice a month through March
Suwanee Town Center Park, 330 Town Center Ave., Suwanee; suwanee.com/explore-suwanee/events/farmers-market
What’s new? The market is following COVID-19 protocols, including spacing out the vendors.
Sweet Apple Farmers and Artisans Market
Open year-round; 2-5 p.m. Thursdays
320 Hardscrabble Road, Roswell; facebook.com/SweetAppleFarmersMarket
What’s new? The market has spaced out its vendors, and both vendors and customers are asked to wear masks.
Tucker Farmers Market
Online market open Fridays through Wednesdays, for pickup or delivery 4-6 p.m. Thursdays; in-person market opening date to be determined.
St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 4882 LaVista Road, Tucker; tuckerfarmersmarket.com
What’s new? At this time, the market is pre-order only, with contactless pickup, or delivery available in the Tucker area. Order at localline.ca/tuckerfarmersmarket.
Vickery Village Farmers Market
Open year-round; beginning March 18, spring-to-fall farmers market open 9 a.m.-noon Thursdays; beginning Nov. 6, winter market open 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays
Vickery Village Courtyard, 5920 Post Road, Cumming; facebook.com/VVFarmersMarket
What’s new? This is the fourth year for this market, which features local vendors and farmers who use organic growing practices or are Certified Naturally Grown.
Vinings Jubilee Farmers Market
Open year-round, 2:30-5:30 p.m. Thursdays
4300 Paces Ferry Road, Vinings; facebook.com/viningsfarmersmarket
What’s new? This new market, located at Vinings Jubilee, opened Oct. 1, 2020, and has been running weekly since. Local vendors include Ed Gaile BBQ, Alligator Pear Foods, Hometown Honey, Bernhards German Bakery and Pure Bliss Organics, as well as vendors with fresh produce, seafood, homemade baked goods, meats and sausages, dips and more.
Virginia-Highland Farmers Market
Opens April 22; 4-8 p.m. Thursdays
Farm Burger parking lot, 1017 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta; cfmatl.org/virginia-highland
What’s new? This new market will open on Earth Day. It’s a collaboration between Community Farmers Markets, Farm Burger and the Virginia-Highland District Association. The store will offer a variety of shelf-stable products from local vendors as well. Masks are required in the market space, and hand sanitizer is available at each entrance. Social distancing is encouraged, and many vendors offer touch-free checkout. The amount of EBT dollars swiped is matched with an equal amount of tokens for fruits and vegetables.
Woodstock Farm Fresh Market
Opens April 17 and runs through Dec. 18; 8:30 a.m.-noon Saturdays
Market Street in downtown Woodstock, between Mill and Maple streets; visitwoodstockga.com/portfolio/farm-fresh-market
What’s new? This year’s Saturday market will include events from the Cherokee County Farm Bureau, cooking demonstrations from local chefs and live music.
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