Two of Forsyth County’s largest farmers markets are ready for business.
The Cumming Farmers Market, held at the Cumming Fairgrounds on Castleberry Road, opened for the season Wednesday.
The market is a longstanding tradition in the county.
“We’ve been going for 35 or 40 years,” said Edsel Orr, president of the market.
It will open at 7 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays through Oct. 1. The market stays open until vendors sell out.
Orr said the market provides a wide range of fresh produce, including tomatoes, okra, green beans, watermelons, cantaloupes and corn.
“We got every kind of vegetable you can think of,” he said.
What separates the market from some others is that the products have to be homegrown in Forsyth or neighboring counties.
“We don’t have any of that going to some other place and buying stuff from south Georgia and Mexico and bringing it back up here,” Orr said, noting that from Lumpkin County is the farthest products typically travel.
Now in its second year, the Brookwood Farmers Market opened May 20 at the Brookwood Elementary School parking lot in south Forsyth.
While the products are not necessarily from the county, they are all from Georgia, said founder Kelly Walczak.
“Everything is made in Georgia or grown in Georgia,” Walczak said.
The Brookwood market offers a range of produce, as well as baked goods, meats, and arts and crafts items like birdhouses, pottery and jewelry. There are also ready-made food items like barbecue and pizza.
Orr said this year’s Cumming Farmers Market will also offer arts and crafts made by locals.
“If they make it, they can sell it,” he said.
Walczak said the Brookwood market, which is open from 4 to 7 p.m. every Friday through Sept. 30, typically has about 35 vendors.
“It’s quite a large market,” she said, noting there can be as many as 400 customers each night. “Families come out and have dinner and see their friends and neighbors.”
Now in its second year, the market is organized by the Parent Teacher Association at the school. Vendors pay a $10 booth fee each time they come and 100 percent of those fees go to the PTA, Walczak said.
Vendors at the Cumming market pay $10 to sell produce and $15 to sell craft items, a portion of which goes to the city for use of the grounds.
Both Walczak and Orr are excited for the season.
“People can’t wait for it. I had them coming up to me weeks ago asking, ‘When’s the market going to open?” Walczak said.
Added Orr: “It’s a true local farmers market and we’ve been doing this for a long time. We’ve got a good reputation.”