Photo by Corinne Nicholson
CONYERS -- This Saturday marks the opening of the seventh annual Rockdale County Farmer's Market, where local growers can sell their produce and area residents can buy fresh, homegrown vegetables and fruits.
The Farmer's Market is located at 1400 Parker Road and will be open every Tuesday and Saturday, from 8 am. until 1 p.m., through the month of August.
Local gardeners are invited to set up their signs, umbrellas and most importantly their vegetables at the Farmer's Market. Tomatoes, radishes, squash and a variety of beans are some of the items that will be offered at the Farmer's Market, along with an assortment of other produce.
"We have at least eight local gardeners that come and sell each year, but we always hope for more," said Roger Hatch, a local farmer and one of the coordinators of the Farmer's Market.
Hatch, along with friend LeRoy Bigham, set up the Farmer's Market seven years ago. Bigham originally came to Rockdale as the county's Extension Service agent 24 years ago and has since stayed active in the community through his participation in the Farmer's Market.
Each year the farmers really look forward to the event, Hatch said. They spend months in preparation growing their crops, and then, when the time comes for the Farmer's Market to open, they finally get to show off their work.
Not only can buyers receive great homegrown vegetables at the Farmer's Market, but it's also a great place to come and meet new people.
"Nobody's there to get rich, just to sit out and talk and compare vegetables," Hatch said.
One way the farmers like to encourage interest in agriculture in local families is by hosting a Farm Day each summer. This year Farm Day will be held on June 29 and will be a full day of activities for the entire family. There will be a pie sale, a dairy cow, and other animals for youngsters to see, with hopes of generating more interest in agriculture.
Local growers see the Farmer's Market as a great avenue to show off what local farmers have been doing all year, and a way for residents to support them and benefit from fresh, healthy food.
"We encourage everyone to come, because vegetables are the healthiest food you can get," Hatch said.
A portion of Parker Road south of Flat Shoals Road is scheduled to be closed until 7 p.m. Saturday for road construction. The Farmer's Market, located at the old Maxell Building, will be accessible from Dogwood Drive.