• The Forsyth County Farmers Market is open from 7 a.m. to noon every Wednesday and Saturday at the Cumming Fairgrounds parking lot, 235 Castleberry Road.
• The Brookwood Farmers’ Market is open from 4-8 p.m. every Friday at Brookwood Elementary School parking lot, 2980 Vaughan Drive.
• The Green Market is open from 3-7 p.m. every Wednesday at The Avenue Forsyth, 410 Peachtree Parkway, in the parking area near Coldwater Creek.
The Forsyth County Farmers’ Market opened Saturday, carrying on a tradition that began more than 25 years ago.
For about a decade, Sandra Bottoms said her family’s farm has been part of the market, which will be open from 7 a.m. to noon every Wednesday and Saturday at the Cumming Fairgrounds parking lot this summer.
“It’s the strongest market in the area,” Bottoms said. “Every time I turn around, people were saying, ‘When’s the market opening?’ For all the people that shop with us at the market, it’s just a big family thing.”
While the market has become a staple in the county over the years, two other farmers’ markets are offering some friendly competition this year.
The Brookwood Farmers’ Market and the Green Market at The Avenue Forsyth are both under way in their inaugural year.
Kelly Walczak said a recent trip to a Washington, D.C., market reminded her of those from her childhood. She was inspired to bring a similar market to her community in south Forsyth.
In line with Brookwood Elementary School’s goal to become a community attraction, Walczak and fellow Parent Teacher Association, or PTA, members began planning in November.
“And it all kind of snowballed from there,” she said. “We just started calling farmers and ... slowly but surely, we got the response we were looking for.
“All farmers and vendors are from Georgia and we have just really made a concerted effort that everything at our market is locally made and locally grown.”
The Brookwood Farmers’ Market began with 22 vendors on May 21 and has since grown to about 30. It’s open every Friday from 4-8 p.m. through Sept. 3.
Each week, said Walczak, there are various guest speakers.
“It’s mostly people from this community but we’ve had people coming in from Fulton…it really has a sense of a gathering place, not just to shop,” she said.
The Green Market started last fall at The Avenue Peachtree City and “was such a success, it became obvious that it would be good at a lot of the other Avenue locations,” said Karen Adler, market coordinator.
Adler said several area farms have come on board and in addition to produce, locally made soaps, cookies and breads are also for sale.
“It certainly gives people a green focus there at The Avenue, which is one of the goals,” she said. “It’s a place to get fresh food and to learn about green living and to meet local farmers.”
The green market will run from 3-7 p.m. Wednesdays through the fall.
When time allows, Bottoms said she plans to participate in both new markets along with the older one.
“I think competition is good for the soul,” she said. “But there are plenty of people in Forsyth County and I don’t think there are enough farmers, so I think the more the merrier.
“I’m delighted they’ve opened these new markets up.”