As winter turns to spring locals begin to think about planting gardens and reaping the rewards of their labor this summer. For those who do not have a green thumb and want to enjoy freshly picked produce, our area has a variety of fresh farmers markets ripe for picking all season long.
Weekly markets begin in late April and early May each year bringing farmers and makers from the local area together with a wide variety of homegrown and handmade goods. Farmers Markets in the Hall County area focus on Georgia Grown produced by smaller farms. Shoppers are thrilled to find handmade goods including breads, jams, jellies, spices and essential oils produced locally by licensed artisans.
2021 markets the 10th anniversary of the Flowery Branch Farmers Market. This market began in the parking lot at the Spout Springs Library serving neighbors in Sterling on the Lake and grew so rapidly that it moved to downtown Flowery Branch on the lawn behind the historic train depot. Even through the socially distanced summer of 2020, growers and makers managed to hold the market-finding customers were eager to add fresh produce to their stay at home dinner plans.
Opening day for the Flowery Branch Farmers Market is Thursday, May 6th. The market will run through October every Thursday from 3:30pm to 6:30pm. To celebrate the 10th anniversary, the City of Flowery Branch and Discover Lake Lanier have teamed up to bring live music to the market weekly along with a series of education seminars and hands on workshops. “The Farmers Market is a key component to our downtown revitalization project” says Bill Andrew, City Manager. “We are investing in the program this year and plan to move it in December to the new covered market we are building behind the train depot.” Until then, the Flowery Branch Farmers Market will be held on the lawn of City Hall with seminars and events happening inside the comfort of the building’s event space.
“We are so excited to assist the city with managing the Flowery Branch Farmers Market this year” Renee Carden with Discover Lake Lanier remarked. “We’ve been involved for the past three years in helping to promote the market and producing special events like the Tomato Sandwich Party held in July.” Carden looks forward to playing a much more active role as market manager this season. Plans are underway for the educational seminars and hands on workshops in partnership with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office in Gainesville. Carin Booth, the Family and Consumer Sciences agent agrees 2021 is going to be an incredible year for the farmers market. “It’s a great collaboration between UGA Extension office in Hall County, the city of Flowery Branch and Discover Lake Lanier. Being part of the market helps us share our knowledge and expertise on growing, harvesting and preserving all those delicious fruits and vegetables summer yields.” Booth will be conducting educational events including free pressure cooker testing and how to classes on jams and salsas among other topics.
Local beekeeper, Bob Bradbury has high hopes for the 2021 market season. He sells his honey products at several markets in the region but has a soft spot for Flowery Branch since this is where he makes his home. “Our Flowery Branch Farmers Market is very special. The vendors have developed a comradery that comes from our common mission of providing the public with fresh and local products that support a healthy lifestyle.”
The Flowery Branch Farmers Market opens on Thursday, May 6th with a live musical performance by Karleigh Dills, an aspiring country music singer from Hall County. On the second Tuesday of each month, the market will be Alive@5 with a live band and special activities involving the Main Street merchants.
For more information on the Flowery Branch Farmers Market, visit their website at www.flowerybranchfarmersmarket.com or find them on Facebook.
AREA FARMERS MARKET SCHEDULE
Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday
Hall County Farmers Market
734 E. Crescent Drive, Ga
Flowery Branch Farmers Market
5410 Pine Street, Flowery Branch
Gainesville Farmers Market
On the Square Downtown, Gainesville
Braselton Farmers Market
9924 Davis Street, Braselton H