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Farmers’ markets readying for season

POSTED: May 29, 2014 12:04 a.m.
Micah Green/

Owner of the European Table, Jacqueline Chambliss spreads gourmet wine gelee on a cracker during the Brookwood Farmers’ Market at Caney Creek Preserve in south Forsyth. The market is open on Friday afternoons through October. The Cumming Farmers’ Market opens June 4 at the Cumming Fairgrounds.

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FORSYTH COUNTY — Looking for a taste of summer? Forsyth County’s two farmers’ markets may have just what you’re seeking.  

The Cumming Farmers’ Market, which has offered fresh vegetables from locals for several decades, will open at 6:30 a.m. June 4 for the season.

The Brookwood Farmers’ Market in south Forsyth opened in April and will run from 4 to 7 p.m. every Friday through October.

Randy Gazaway, market manager, said the Cumming outlet will feature a variety of produce, all from growers in Forsyth and nearby counties.

“We’ll have corn, squash, potatoes, okra, zucchini, cabbage, peppers and tomatoes,” he said, naming just a few of the offerings.

Gazaway noted that the market will also include items such as breads and pies, local honey, pork and beef, eggs and blueberries.

According to Gazaway, vendors can attend the market as little or as often as they like, each time just paying a $5 flat fee per day.

The market is offered every Wednesday and Saturday at the Cumming Fairgrounds through the end of September. Vendors open for business at 6:30 a.m. and remain until items sell out.

He said each day will draw at least a dozen vendors, and some likely as many as 30.

Gazaway said most vendors won’t stay much past 11:30 or noon, particularly during the hottest stretches of summer.

Patrons looking to stay in bed a little later may want to check out Forsyth’s other local market, the Brookwood Farmers’ Market.

Now in its fifth year, the market draws about 25 vendors offering everything from fresh produce to jewelry and soap.

“All of our vendors are from Georgia,” said manager Kim Smith, noting that some of the offerings including breads and pastries, cheeses, peaches and strawberries.

“We have someone with fresh squeezed lemonade and a butcher shop with pulled pork sandwiches and ribs that have been slow cooked that you can take home.”

The market started off as a fundraiser for the Brookwood Elementary School Parent Teacher Association, or PTA.

For the first few years, it was held in the school parking lot. However, last year, after Forsyth County opened Caney Creek Preserve near the school, the location was moved to the park.

“While we’re not at the school anymore, all the proceeds still go to support the PTA,” Smith said.

Like the Cumming market, Smith said vendors can attend the Brookwood market at a rate of $10 each day.

Whether it’s in Cumming or Caney Creek in south Forsyth, residents will find a unique array of super-fresh items this summer.

“The thing about it is whenever you go to the grocery store or some of these produce stands, the items there are picked a little early so they will get ripe during transit or once they get to the store,” Gazaway said.

“Our vegetables are vine-ripe before we pick them so you’re not going to get any fresher, and your vitamins and everything are going to be at the highest content.”

 

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