From farm, to market, to table in Cherokee County

By Sampson Jenkins

Woodstock native Ken Jones with K Jones Farm will participate in the Woodstock Farmers market this season for the second time, offering fresh vegetables, diverse perennials and annual lines of produce.

Jones is one of dozens of farmers who will participate in farmers markets in Cherokee County this summer.

“I always liked the growing side of the business along with edible plants. For the past six years or so I have wanted to start growing vegetables for the retail customer base,” Jones said. “When you go to any store to buy vegetable plants your options are limited and there are very few growers that participate in this side of the market. Now that the public has become more aware of GMO’s and organic methods they want to use plants that haven’t been genetically modified or constantly sprayed. I believe that growers haven’t caught up to that demand and don’t offer the right options to customers who want to live a healthier life.”

What surprised Jones the most about this market is the “sense of family everyone has for each other,” he said.

“All the vendors are very nice and a lot of friends were made,” he said. “These friends are not just friends for the time of the farmers market, they are friends throughout the year. Everyone is there for one another and helps each other throughout the year. This is something I didn’t expect and am very happy I was able to experience.”

Nichelle Stewart, onsite market manager for Rockin S Farms said her family has participated in the Woodstock Farmers market for over five years.

“I love being able to bring the passion and love we have for our farm and share it with the community,” she said. “I feel like it happens with all the vendors at the market. We are a huge family and that spreads to our customers.”

Rockin S Farms grows tons of fruits and vegetables, anything you can imagine, Stewart said.

“We have a variety of raspberries, yellow, red, purple and black,” he said. “We specialize in heirloom varieties. One unique item and new to us is the fava bean and lots of new heirloom tomatoes and peppers. We also grind our own non-genetically organized organism and no pesticide heirloom corn so we will have fresh ground grits, fat grits and cornmeal.”

Stewart said Woodstock is an incredible place and her and her family eat their own crops.

“We grow it in a way that is healthy for us and our customers,” she said. “It’s not always easy but very rewarding.”

Fred’s Fresh Produce will also venture out to Woodstock for the Farmers Market, according to Randall Mahon.

“Each year the vendors get better quality food and selections,” he said. “We will have hot peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, green onions, potted plants, green peppers and Italian beans. The most unique items we sell are horseradish greens and ground extreme hot peppers.”

Mahon said all the crops they sell are grown in their 900 square foot back yard.

“Amazing how much produce one can grow in limited space in the city,” he said. “It is a labor of love — we use only organic fertilizers and no pesticides.”

Canton Farmers Market
Time: Saturdays beginning May 27 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. through October.
Location: Cannon Park, 130 East Main St.
Contact: cantonGAfarmersmarket@yahoo.com
The Canton Farmers Market, presented by the Canton Main Street Program, kicked off its ninth year in May in downtown Canton. Market Manager Micki Farley said the 2017 Season should be another big year as they doubled their vendor participation last year and already have several new vendors applying for this season. All of our regular farmers and vendors are returning this year, Farley said, including Whim-Wham Art Farm, Heritage Trading LLC, Great Scott Farm Fresh, Mountain Breeze Farm, and Pleasant Union Farm to name a few. In total, Canton Farmers Market has 23 farmers approved for this season to date.

Acworth Farmers Market
Time: Fridays from April 7 through Oct. 28, from 8 a.m. to noon
Location: Acworth First Baptist Church parking lot, 4583 Church St.
Contact: Jeff Chase, jchase@acworth.org
The Acworth Farmer’s Market is proudly sponsored by the Acworth Downtown Development Authority. Market customers will have a wide variety of garden ripe Georgia grown vegetables, eggs, cheese, bedding plants, fresh baked bread, pies, cakes, honey and jams to choose from each week.

Waleska Farmers Market
Time: Thursdays from May 11 through July 27, from 3 to 6:30 p.m.
Location: 7198 Reinhardt College Parkway in Waleska
Contact: (770) 720-5988
The Waleska Farmers Market at Reinhardt University is back in its eighth year with all homemade and homegrown products. Sponsored by Reinhardt University, the Waleska Farmers Market is in the parking lot behind the North Cherokee Church of Christ at the corner of Highway 140 and 108 in downtown Waleska. Admission and parking are free, and the market will operate rain or shine.

Woodstock Farmers Market
Time: open every Saturday, May – September in 2017, with a Winter Market season October – December. Market Hours are 8:30am to Noon.
Location: Market Street in downtown Woodstock
Contact: email Kyle Bennett at kbennett@woodstockga.gov
Now known as the Woodstock Farm Fresh Market, Woodstock’s farmers market enters its ninth year in 2017. The Woodstock Farm Fresh Market has rules in place to help guarantee that it is the best market in the region to get locally grown fresh produce. Produce vendors are now required to grow at least 85 percent of the product they bring to the market.

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