Market provides place for meeting friends, neighbors
People of all ages come to the Rockmart Farmers Market.
They are there before 3 p.m. Thursdays to mingle with neighbors, friends and people they have never met.
If it rains, they come and summer’s sizzling heat doesn’t diminish the crowd.
This proved true on Thursday, June 26, when a summer storm brought wind and rain prior to the opening of the local market. And, it was hot!
Vendors came and set up their wares despite the puddles and running water. Then, the crowds of people began to arrive. They did not seem to mind the weather as they shopped for a particular item.
Market Manager Erica Gordon said there is an average of 15 to 20 active vendors who bring something each week.
The shoppers have their own experiences to share.
Paul Nipper said he has a garden in the middle of a kudzu patch. Growing there are many vegetables, excluding cucumbers.
“I am looking for the best I can find,” he said. “I plan to pickle the ones I buy.”
His visit was not in vain.
Additionally, Nipper learned that Tommie Walker brought something different – seedless squash.
Ray Garrett was looking for honey, which was one of the items provided by Sue Edwards and her grandson Aden Edwards.
They came from Rosedale near Rome and Edwards smiled as he talked of sharing duties with his grandmother dur- ing the summer months.
Bob Watford of Cedartown was there to get vegetables and Amanda Giles, Makaya, Eli and Isaac Giles were there to see what was available. They stopped to view the display - including tomatoes - set up by Donald Cochran of Taylorsville.
Two girls were there to reveal their talent. Ivy Gordon showed several pieces of art she had completed and Savannah Gordon of North Carolina was showing wallets she had made.
Shoppers also asked questions of farmers and gardeners seeking expertise in growing produce.
Other reasons they came to the Rockmart Farmers Market are:
The fruits and vegetables purchased at the local farmers market are the freshest and tastiest available. Fruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to the market - no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process and no sitting for weeks in storage.
The food bought at the farmers market is seasonal. It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavors. Shopping and cooking from the farmers market helps people reconnect with the cycles of nature in the region.
Support neighbors and friends who garden or live on a farm. Buying directly from growers gives them a better return for their produce.
Food at the farmers market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.
Educational presentations help shoppers with such things as a way to cook different foods and more.
Socializing with friends and neighbors brings a feeling of community to many who are senior citizens. It provides a community hub or a place where many meet with friends, bring their children and grandchildren or just enjoy a feeling of hometown.
“I love coming here each week,” said Suzy Green. “It is fun!”
Paul Nipper arrives at Rockmart Vegetable Market looking for cucumbers and found that Tommy Walker brought seedless squash.
Sue Edwards and her grandson Aden from Rosedale near Rome provides a variety of items to shoppers, including honey.