Special To The Citizen
Now that spring has officially sprung, Farmview Market is gearing up for its busiest and most exciting season since the locally-sourced grocery, butcher shop, and café opened early last year.
Farmview will kick off its open-air market season with a Spring Harvest event on April 29, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature live music, kids crafts, supplier demos and sampling, giveaways, Farmview Schoolhouse demos, and more.
This harvest event will officially usher in the weekly Farmers Market that will continue to operate each Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through October.
Farmview is currently welcoming Georgia growers or producers within a 75-mile radius of Morgan County to participate in the weekly open-air Farmers Market. With the mission of promoting local agriculture and fostering a connection between community and farmers, this geographic restriction makes Farmview a marketplace of locally-grown and produced goods.
These goods can be raw agricultural products like fruits, vegetables, eggs, or flowers, as well as non-agricultural products that are handcrafted by the vendor. These may include handmade soaps, handcrafted furniture, pottery or other juried arts and crafts. The Farmers Market will also be open for products made by local agricultural products like baked goods, jams, jellies, syrups, or oils.
Owner Brad Kelly said Farmview has streamlined the guidelines for vendors to make it easier and less expensive to participate. This year, the weekly space rental is $10, or $175 for the year. Those interested may download an application at FarmviewMarket.com/Suppliers.
This year, vendors already include CJ Orchards, CCG Farms, Knead to Farm, Hundred Acre Farm, Double L Ranch, and Lovin Farms. Kelly said he’s encouraging more fresh produce farmers and growers for this year’s market, based on requests from consumers.
Last year, the Farmers Market drew a good number of travelers down Hwy. 441 and I-20, in addition to several locals who were there every week looking for locally-grown and produced goods. This year, Kelly says he’s also hoping to see a lot of local and regional restaurant owners supporting the effort by shopping local vendors.
“That’s one thing that a lot of the more seasoned farms, especially organic farms, look for,” said Kelly. “In a lot of the Atlanta markets, restaurants will buy most of their fresh items on site, so if we have local restaurants support us, it would be an added benefit for the vendors.”
For the community, the Farmview Schoolhouse will also be open and active during the market season. This educational program offers classes and workshops on topics of wellness, nutrition, hobby farming, homesteading, cooking, gardening, food growing, harvesting, canning and preserving.
Current classes include this weekend’s “Make & Take” project of hand-drawn and painted notecards with artist Toni Carlucci, beginning at 10 a.m. on March 25. Participants will learn basic techniques of creating simple drawings of flowers using watercolor and pen. Each student will “make & take” several notecards during the two-hour session. The class is open to ages 14 and up for a $30 fee, with all materials provided.
On April 11, LeeAnne Cordell will lead a class on “Essential Oils for Everyday: An Introduction to the uses for Home and Health” from 5:30-7 p.m.
In time for Easter weekend, horticulturalist Gail Zorn will walk participants through another Make & Take workshop, “Create a Living Easter Basket Holiday Arrangement” on April 12 from 5:15-7 p.m. The fee for this class is $55 and includes a locally crafted basket of kudzu vine to fill with a variety of potted plants, cut flowers, moss, and accents.
For information or to register for upcoming classes, visit farmviewmarket.com/classes.