Farmers Markets = Local Food Festivals

For me, Farmers Markets are popup local food festivals. Here today but back next week… as long as the season lasts!

In addition to fresh from the field and farm products you’ll find food makers offering craft and small batch honey, jams, teas, vinegars+++. You’ll also discover bakers who only sell their pastries and breads at farmers markets and so much more. Many foods are based on legacy, family recipes handed down from generations.

Don’t think if you’ve been to one farmers market you’ve been to them all. Nope! Each market has its own unique vibe. I want to take you on a virtual visit to three metro Atlanta farmers markets where we’ll meet a few talented and passionate food makers.

Peachtree Road Farmers Market

On Saturday mornings, high on a hill (well an urban hill) in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, the Peachtree Road Farmers Market borrows space from the Cathedral of St. Philip’s parking lot. Now in its 14th year about 50 vendors are invited to participate each week.

The scene in Buckhead is colorful, musical, always delicious. This market has the feel of a community meetup. There are even picnic tables where you can catch-up with friends over coffee, and of course, enjoy a nosh from a foodpreneur.

The morning I shopped it was a bit drizzly but people were friendly and the vendors enthusiastically shared their stories. With 💛 and admiration I’m excited to highlight three women foodpreneurs you’ll find at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market.

Sonia Paryani, Paryani Foods

Sonia Paryani, Paryani Foods. I ‘met’ Sonia on the gram when I included @paryanfoods in #StoryItForward (a space on Instagram where I highlight craft food businesses). Her sweet sensations are gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and refined sugar free.

I loved all of her cakes but it was the lemon coconut that stopped me in my browsing tracks. It’s an explosion of natural lemon 🍋 flavor in your mouth. The bonus is a delightful after taste that begs just one more bite. P.s. try the chocolate… it does not disappoint.

Darlene Wilson, The Last Straw

Darlene Wilson, The Last Straw. As a Yankee from Boston, moving to Atlanta began an adventure in exploring a new cuisine ~ southern cooking. One of my discoveries was cheese straws. These little crackers are traditional favorites. It’s not unusual for families to have a recipe that goes back several generations.

The Last Straw’s cheese straws are extra special. The first bite is a crunch of sharp cheese but wait for it… a back drop of spice aka heat kicks it up a perfect notch. P.s. Darlene also makes pound cakes in a variety of yummy, seasonal flavors.

Tracy Gribbon, Georgia SourDough Co.
Nancy Qstmout, Executive Director – Peachtree Farmers Market

Tracy Gribbon, Georgia Sourdough Co. Several years ago my pal Doug Marranci of PREP gave me a few bags of Georgia Sourdough crackers to try. If you are looking for a Flavorful, crispy cracker that can hold a dip or complement a topping – look no further.

The crackers are made with the same starter which was used on the first day of production. P.s. Tracy even sells her sour dough starter at the market! How cool is that?

Dunwoody Farmers Market

The Dunwoody Farmers Market is nestled among tall trees in the beautiful Brook Run Park. Shop and then take a walk past the skate boarders and explore the park trails. Or create a delicious picnic from the yummy foods offered by the foodpreneurs.

Gina Gallois

Walking into the market I was greeted by a fun surprise. Children’s book author Gina Gallois was reading stories from her new book. What a great idea to make a kid’s farmers market experience even more exciting.

Karl Walbrook, The Ginger Room

It was lovely to meet up again with Dr. Karl Walbrook, co owner of Ginger Yums and the unique tea room – The Ginger Room. I met Karl at a special food bloggers’ Ginger Room afternoon tea. Located in an historic home in Alpharetta this venue is designed as a charming ‘real British’ tea room. Karl’s passion and warm hospitality comes through even under a tent at a farmers market.

deb-Bee’s Honey

Bourbon infused honey? Tangerine honey? These are just two of the innovative honey flavors you’ll find at deb-Bee’s, a family operated beekeeping business with its own bee yards (apiaries). Not a surprise to my friends… I fell in love with the bourbon honey. My afternoon tea will be extra delicious.

Marci Alt, MaPa’s

I picked up some yummy kugel and potato latkes from Marci Alt of MaPas; I met Marci a few weeks ago at the Tucker Famers Market and it was great to see her at the Dunwoody Farmers Market.

Vendors often lead a bit of a bohemian life going from market to market. For shoppers it’s fun seeing ‘friends’ at multiple locations. For the vendors it creates a sense of family and community.

Tucker Farmers Market

Hidden away by shrubs from the La Vista Road traffic in Tucker, on Thursday afternoons, the small green space in front of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church turns into a magical food festival. It’s the Tucker Farmers Market! This is one of the smaller area markets but it’s cozy vibe makes it easy to visit with lots of vendors and not feel overwhelmed.

Anna Bells Max & Cheese

What a delight to learn more about the history of Anna Bells‘ Mac & Cheese… from Anna Belle’s son. Shhh… dont’t tell anyone but I am not a big Mac & Cheese fan. However! Anna Belle’s was The Best I’ve ever tasted – sooo creamy, sooo much yummy cheese, sooo good! #believer

Simply Southard

Simply Southard is owned by a woman farmer. The corn she pick for me was picture perfect. So many options of what to do with farm fresh corn. I fired up the grill… it was the perfect choice! Simply Southard also offers baked goods, pickles, relish and more goodies.

Grayson Grow

Tomatoes from Grayson Grow were as sweet and luscious as the farmer promised. Chef Juan Montier, Chez Montier,, had given me a bunch of his garden fresh basil. I ripped up some leaves, topped the tomatoes with it along with fresh mozzarella, olive oil, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Calling this one – Summer in a Bite.

Annie’s Baking

It was a special treat to see my favorite French baker – Annie’s Baking. Take a bite of an almond croissant, close your eyes and you are in Paris. Annie’s husband and granddaughter were at the booth – loved that the generationsare working together at the market.

TLR Rock Honey

Choosing from TLE Rock Honey was a challenge. I took home Tupelo raw honey. It has an interesting back note that ‘fancied-up’ my afternoon tea.

A fun & different experience… every time!

Farmers markets are a stop in Diva Foodies’ New Foodie Journey – a way to incorporate food into a life long adventure that goes beyond white table dining. The New Foodie Journey takes us from how and where food is grown and produced to restaurants, farmers markets, and festivals where we can enjoy the end results. Each stop along the way is infused with a special ingredient – Love.

As we’ve seen, farmers markets are also places for the community to engage and to better understand the people who produce our food — from farmers, cottage kitchen bakers, to professional chefs.

The markets are also an opportunity to explore and better understand local food customs and cultures. Bonus! you’ll find unique, food gifts that are way cooler than a t-shirt or magnet. With each taste you’ll relive wonderful memories.

Resources

Peachtree Road Farmers Market

Dunwoody Farmers Market

Tucker Farmers Market

Georgia Grown

Community Farmers Market

USDA National Farmers Market Directory

Author: Toby Bloomberg

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