The demand for locally grown foodstuffs available at farmers markets in Brookhaven, Buckhead and Sandy Springs is steadily growing.
However, despite the freshness of such produce and it being organically grown, the convenience of chain grocery stores with regard to location and hours of operation still presents a problem for such markets in attracting more customers.
Although this is how Sara Craig-Goodell, executive director with the Peachtree Road Farmers Market in Buckhead, viewed the situation, she said more people continue to look for locally grown foods in such markets, primarily because they are grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
Peachtree Road, which opened for the 2019 season March 2, was the first local farmers market to open this year. Located in the Cathedral of St. Philip parking lot at 2744 Peachtree Road, the 13-year-old market will continue operating Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon through Dec. 14.
“It is a great way to connect the community to the ones who are growing its food, especially with our local producers coming from a radius of more than 250 miles around Atlanta,” she said.
According to its website, each Saturday Peachtree Road has more than 50 vendors, live music and a chef demonstration at 10 a.m.
“The popularity of farmers markets can be seen in the growth of this type market,” Craig-Goodell said. “When we started Peachtree Road Farmers Market, there were only a handful of farmers markets in our area, but now there are two more within five miles of our location.”
One of the markets she was referring to is the Brookhaven Farmers Market, located at 1375 Fernwood Circle and opening April 6. It will operate Saturdays through mid-November from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Brookhaven market has about 45 vendors and also includes live music each week.
According to its website, its mission is “to provide healthy, locally produced food and products to the community, while cultivating a sustainable connection between producers and consumers which will support the local economy and enhance the overall health of the local people and their environment.”
The Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market, which will open April 13. Located at City Springs at 220 Mount Vernon Hwy., the market runs Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon through Sept. 21 and then from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 5 through Dec. 14.
Each week it has 40 to 50 vendors, live music and chef’s cooking demonstrations, according to its website.
“I look forward every year to seeing my regulars who come get their cheese,” Robin Schick, cheesemaker and founder of CalyRoad Creamery and a vendor at Heritage’s market since 2010, said in a news release.
A fourth local market, the Shops Around Lenox Farmers Market next to Lenox Square mall in Buckhead, has ceased operations, according to its marketing team.