Cedartown Farm­ers’ Mar­ket opens on Tues­day

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By TRICIA CAMBRON As­sis­tant Editor

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.

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