As reported in the Red & Black, on Saturday, April 1 about 2,000 visitors joined 44 vendors for the start of the 10th annual Athens Farmers Market.
The market, open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m at Bishop Park, featured varied offerings from organic produce to natural soaps and handcrafted jewelry.
Many vendors returned from last year and four news vendors were also added.
Another new addition to the market this year, is the market’s manager, Sarah Thurman, a former vendor excited about her new role.
“I think the farmers market has always been fantastic, and my goal is to maintain the integrity of the market and continue with the good stuff,” Thurman said. “We have a little bit of a larger nonprofit presence as well as a renewed focus on local businesses that do things with children, so that people know what great things are going on in town.”
Amanda Sutton, a market customer for four years and a first-time vendor in charge of the Golda Kombucha booth, said this year’s turnout was strong.
“[Turnout has been] really good. In a little over an hour, I sold half of my products,” Sutton said.
Sutton said she has always enjoyed the variety available at the market and watching the community come together.
“You can come here and get local produce but then you can also go home with ceramics, pottery, fresh bread and even kombucha,” Sutton said. “I also really like the sense of community. When you come here, you’re always going to run into someone you know.”
A desire to eat more locally farmed foods is what brought customers like Anna Genetti, a senior health promotion major, to the market.
“I’m taking an environmental health sciences class right now, and we have an assignment where we change one thing that we do that has an impact on the environment,” Genetti said. “I’m trying to eat more local foods, which is why I came today.”
Eva Farfour, a vendor for Full Moon Farms, returned to the market for the fifth time. She said her favorite part is seeing the community altogether.
“[My favorite part is] seeing the community spirit and seeing all the families and kids out together,” Farfour said. “Being able to directly talk to consumers and share recipes and food is the best.”
Thurman said the market provided a special venue for community engagement.
“I don’t know of anywhere else in Athens where a couple thousand people can get together every weekend,” Thurman said.
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