Cedartown Farmers’ Market opens on Tuesday
There are all types of farmers’ markets opening throughout Georgia this time of year, and the one opening in Cedartown next week is of the decidedly casual variety.
No registration or licensing of farmers is required, no market manager runs things, and there are no fees charged to vendors. There’s only produce and flowers for sale, no arts and crafts, no baked goods, no preserves or canned goods.
But, said UGA Ag extension coordinator Ricky Ensley, “As long as you grew it, you can sell it.”
Ensley said the market has moved a few times over the years, but farmers are happy with the location at Peek’s Park and shoppers are getting used to it being there. The farmers set up under the trees in the parking lot next to the tennis courts from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. two mornings a week (Tuesdays and Fridays this year).
The group of six to eight farmers who regularly sell at the market get together every spring to set an opening date, depending on how their crops are doing, Ensley said.
This year’s date of June 30 is a little later than usual because heavy spring rains slowed down harvesting of some crops. “They really pushed that date as far as they could and they still don’t know how many vegetables are going to be ready. We’re behind this year because of the rain,” Ensley said.
Throughout the summer, the market will offer every kind of vegetable imaginable, as well as herbs and flowers, but at the beginning, there may not be as much variety as there will be later.
“All I know is I hope they have tomatoes,” Ensley said. “No need to open a farmer’s market if you don’t have tomatoes, everybody wants tomatoes -- and green beans.”
Debbie and Hank Connelly, who run Five Cedars Farm off Cherokee Road in Cedartown, sell at both the Rockmart and Cedartown markets. They got their garden in before the heavy rains and are now harvesting Cherokee purple tomatoes, all kinds of cucumbers, squash and zucchini, including the crisp golden variety, plus rattlesnake green beans, onions, and peppers.
Ensley said sweet corn, another favorite, should start coming in around July 4th.
Home gardeners are also welcome to sell at the market. “You can just come and show up,” Ensley said. “The farmers know the legit price so just ask a farmer what they’re selling things for.”
Debbie, 57, and Hank, 74, started Five Cedars Farm in 2005. Hank usually does the Cedartown market on his own, starting his day at 4:30 a.m.
He said it’s not a huge market due to the early hour but they do get people stopping by who are taking a morning walk in the park and on their way to work.