Farmers markets battling for relevancy after pandemic

With warm weather and sunny days becoming common, more farmers markets throughout DeKalb County have opened their doors to vendors and customers.

Some markets are changing their hours and operations, including DeKalb County’s mobile farmers market “Fresh on DeK” – which is trading in its drive-through style pandemic response market for a traditional farmers market setup.

However, a return to pre-pandemic habits have also resulted in more trips to grocery stores and less local support at farmers markets, according to Tucker Farmers Market manager Nancy Qarmout.

“It’s still hard to say how well we’re doing this year. We have our loyal customers, but I think it’s easy to get back into our old habits and easy to forget to support local farmers and vendors,” said Qarmout. “I think that’s the honest truth. Now that folks are out and about more, it’s hard to remember that a weekly farmers market is an option.”

Qarmout added that supporting local farmers is important. “It’s as important as ever, especially with the harsh winter we’ve all had. Even the peach crop is significantly lower this year. A lot of farmers lost a devastating amount this winter,” she said.

There are plenty of farmers markets to support in DeKalb, including markets in East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Decatur, Dunwoody, Lithonia, and other locations. The Fresh on DeK market will also travel around the county, visiting 15 locations including one in Snellville.

The 2023 Fresh on DeK season will run for a total of 16 weeks. It began May 15 and ends on Sept. 8. Fresh on DeK’s schedule states that Session A occurs from May 15 – July 7, while Session B takes place July 17 – Sept. 8.
Fresh on DeK will be open during each of its sessions from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. and from noon until 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at different locations for each time slot.

Officials said that for 2023, the market is “transitioning back to [its] original model as a farmer’s market and will be able to provide a wider variety of fruits and vegetables.”

Fresh on DeK will also provide free produce via a voucher system for individuals who participate in Fresh on DeK’s weekly education sessions. Weekly Monday classes will also provide participants with a $10 coupon for Fresh on DeK purchases.

For more information, dates, and class registration links, visit: extension.uga.edu/county-offices/dekalb/fresh-on-dek/2023-application.html.

Farmers Market list:
Atlanta
• The East Atlanta Village farmers market is open Thursdays from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at 372 Stokeswood Ave, SE in Atlanta. The market advertises that EBT dollars get double value and that it hosts educational classes and cooking demonstrations.
Avondale Estates
• The Avondale Estates Farmers Market is open every Sunday from 1 a.m. until 1 p.m. at 22 N Avondale Road in Avondale Estates. For a list of vendors and vendor registration link, visit: avondaleestatesfarmersmarket.org/.
Brookhaven
• The Brookhaven Farmers Market is open every Saturday until Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. until noon at 1375 Fernwood Circle NE in Brookhaven. The market also features events such as Christmas in July and Dog Days of Summer. For a full list of events, vendor registration links, and other information, visit: www.brookhavenfarmersmarket.com/.
Decatur
• Decatur Farmers Market is open every Wednesday until Nov. 15 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 308 Clairemont Ave. in Decatur. The market advertises that it doubles the value of EBT dollars spent. The market operators run a Saturday market in Oakhurst from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at 630 East Lake Drive Suite E.

• Kensington MARTA Market – MARTA operates farmers markets outside of several of its train stations, including Kensington Station at 3350 Kensington Road in Decatur on Thursdays from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. For more information on MARTA Markets, visit www.cfmatl.org/marta/.
Doraville
• Another MARTA Market can be found at the Doraville MARTA Station at 6000 New Peachtree Road. The market is open on Fridays from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. until Dec. 8.
Dunwoody
• Dunwoody Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon and includes artist vendors. For more information and vendor registration forms, visit dhafarmersmarket.com/weekly-market/.
Lithonia Market on Main
• Lithonia Market on Main will be open on Saturdays from noon until 4 p.m. from June 3 until Sept. 30 on Main Street in Lithonia. The market will not open June 24. Lithonia Market on Main will feature booths for food, art, clothing, and other vendors. For tickets, vendor forms, or volunteer forms, visit: https://linktr.ee/thelithoniamarket.
Tucker
• Tucker Farmers Market is open every Thursday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at 4882 LaVista Road in Tucker. Organizers said the market features 35 vendors and an online store and delivery service that may be accessed at www.tuckerfarmersmarket.com.

Fresh on DeK

Session A: May 15 – July 7
Tuesdays 9 a.m.- 11 a.m. County – Line Ellenwood Library, 4331 River Road, Ellenwood.
Tuesdays noon – 2 p.m. Beulah Missionary Baptist Church, 2340 Clifton Springs Road, Decatur.
Wednesdays 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Scott Candler Library, 191 Candler Road, Decatur.
Wednesdays noon – 2 p.m. Lou Walker Senior Center, 2538 Panola Road, Lithonia.
Thursdays 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Clarkston Community Center, 3701 College Ave., Clarkston.
Thursdays noon – 2 p.m. East Lake YMCA 278, Eva Davis Way SE, Atlanta.
Fridays 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Reserve at Hairston Lake, 1023 N Hairston Road, Stone Mountain.
Fridays noon – 2 p.m. DeKalb County Extension, 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur.
Session B: July 17 – Sept. 8:
Tuesdays 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. EMBARC Community Youth Farm, 1185 Rock Chapel Road, Lithonia.
Tuesdays noon – 2 p.m. Norris Lake Community Benefits Corp, 8320 Norris Lake Road, Snellville.
Wednesdays 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. South DeKalb Senior Center, 1931 Candler Road, Decatur.
Wednesdays 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Stone Mill Elementary School, 4900 Sheila Lane, Stone Mountain.
Thursdays 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Redan Recreation Center, 1839 Phillips Road, Lithonia.
Thursdays noon – 2 p.m. The CREST Center, 2321 Candler Road, Decatur.
Fridays 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Starnes Senior Community 3543, Clarkston Industrial Blvd, Clarkston.
Fridays noon – 2 p.m. DeKalb County Extension 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur.
Due to DeKalb County holidays, Fresh on DeK will be closed on May 30 for Memorial Day, June 20 for Juneteenth, July 4 for Independence Day, and Sept. 4 for Labor Day.

Loading

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *