The Marietta Square Farmers Market, which is located on Mill Street off the Marietta Square between the corner of Church Street and West Park Square, will be open for the winter months on Saturdays between Jan. 7 and March 31, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The “regular” 2012 market will begin April 7 and be conducted every Saturday and Sunday through Nov. 18. December is the only month when the market will not be open.
“Rain, shine, sleet or snow, we will be open,” market director Johnny Fulmer said of the winter market. “We’ll continue it every year. This is not a test run. … We’ve had too many people, both vendors and customers, that wanted it to become more of a year-round market.”
Fulmer, who runs the farmers market with his wife, Susie, said he “pleaded” with the city of Marietta at the end of November to host the market during the winter months.
Thirty-eight vendors, compared to the regular market’s 65, are participating in this year’s winter market, which will feature Georgia-grown or -made products such as vegetables, baked goods, eggs, honey, meats, fish, dairy products, pasta, salsa, Shea butter and flaxseed.
Vendors come from Cobb and Paulding counties, along with participants from Rockmart and Chickamauga and as far south as Peach County, just below Macon, Fulmer said.
“In the metro area, there are a number of growers,” Fulmer said. “We see a lot of young people getting into the farming business, which is exciting. Often people think of the farmer as being an old guy. The young vendor is also attracting young customers.”
Nancy McKinney of Acworth, who has sold baked goods under the name Fat Lady Baker at the market off and on for the last 10 years, will be participating in the winter market.
McKinney, who also runs The Collective Kitchen off Johnson Ferry Road in east Cobb, said the farmers market exposes her to a new clientele every Saturday.
“It’s just fantastic,” she said. “You’re outside, you get to see all these different people. Old friends come back and the other vendors, we’re like a small family. I’ve met a lot of good people. It’s such a good market.”
McKinney specializes in fresh ground, whole grain and vegan breads, specifically Ezekiel bread.
“I do some artisan bread, some pastries and I grind all of my wheat fresh,” she said.
She began baking 10 years ago because she was tired of being in the “corporate world” managing an accounting department for a big payroll company working behind a desk, she said.
“I kind of fell into it and was interested in the healthy side of it and the healthy grains and kind of came up with the Ezekiel bread recipe,” she said.
McKinney said she believes people should buy locally because vendors care about the reputation of their product and what they give to the product.
“If you have someone selling goat cheese, you know that person is taking care of his goats. The goats aren’t on a corporate farm. The same with the honey and bread and vegetable person,” she said. “We have reputations to uphold. It’s like an art for us.”
The farmers market, now in its tenth year, started in the parking lot of First Baptist Church near the Square and moved to Mill Street four years ago. The market has grown from 12 vendors to offering approximately 65 spaces each Saturday and Sunday.
For more information or to view a full list of vendors and products, visit www.mariettasquarefarmersmarket.com or call Fulmer at (770) 499-9393 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.