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Jun 22, 2013 03:13 AM

Outdoor farmer's markets

It's summertime! I'm finally getting around to exploring the local farmer's markets. Which one's are your favorites and why? Any particular stands I shouldn't miss?

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  1. Atlanta is so big, unless you want to venture to the State Farmers Market. But, most neighborhoods/suburbs have their own - so the easiest to find out in the local paper, or maybe do a search on Facebook.

    I know Virginia-Highlands and Roswell have one......other than that, I'd do a little more research. Maybe someone else from the area will chime in.

    1. I find the neighborhood farmer's markets a bit lacking in variety and choice. Maybe I just have gone at the wrong time of year. Decatur and Tucker also have them. I prefer the DeKalb Farmer's Market and also the one on Buford Hywy just outside 285.

      3 Replies
      1. re: andabien

        This is interesting to read in that folks are comparing YDFM and BHFM to the one-day-a-week markets like Morningside, Peachtree Road, and Piedmont Park. To me, the former are "farmers markets" in name only. In reality, they're warehouse grocery stores (excellent ones at that, but nonetheless).

        Even the State Farmer's Market, while a great place for inexpensive in-season produce, has stuff that is largely coming through wholesalers.

        What I think of as a farmer's market or truck market is where there's a truck of X (watermelons, peaches, squash, or tomatoes, e.g.) all from one place with either the farmer or a family member sitting there selling.

        You still see this in Birmingham at Finley Ave. And of course more or less at all the neighborhood markets now (at a much boutique-y-er price point).

        The GA Grown aisles at the State Farmer's Market in Forest Park come closest to this, but there's still a vast majority of stuff that's just zero-overhead resellers with wholesale produce.

        1. re: ted

          When I think of a farmer's market I think mainly of produce. Many of the local farmer's markets deal with local merchandize, but much of it is locally processed, meaning it is salsa, bread, candy, cookies, etc. I'm rarely looking for processed (even locally) food. My preference of produce, even though not local, is still YDFM and BHFM.

          1. re: andabien

            I agree. There's a lot of other stuff besides produce at the newer markets in the various neighborhoods. That still doesn't make YDFM and BHFM more than a grocery store (albeit really great ones).

      2. sandy springs has one every Sat-its not great, some nice stuff but not huge--nice music and plenty of parking--the buford highway one is much better if your goal is the food

        1 Reply
        1. re: bobstripower

          I like the Sandy Springs one too. It's small, but I really feel like I can get to know the vendors when I go each week. And they always have a local musician and a charity selling drinks.

        2. The best I've found by far is the Peachtree Road Farmers' Market on Saturday.

          1. Thanks for all the replies! In past years, I've visited the weekly markets in Tucker and Snellville and I ventured out to the State Farmer's Market awhile back when a friend and I wanted to try canning some vegetables (whoa, what a production). And I'm a big fan of YDFM, BHFM, Nam Dae Mun and the many other wonderful produce markets.

            There's something about wandering through the outdoor markets that appeals to me. It's the whole experience of relaxed browsing, I guess...people watching, chatting with the vendors, and occasionally discovering something special to prepare for dinner. For me, when I'm in the mood to venture to an outdoor market it's not about finding a bargain or finding the perfect heirloom tomato (though I'm pinching pennies and I'd truly love to make a peach pie this weekend).

            I'll definitely look for the other markets you've recommended!

            3 Replies
            1. re: chattahoochee

              if you ever go to SF the weekly outdoor market in Palo Alto is incredible--worth a visit,plus Stanford is a great place to roam

              1. re: bobstripower

                Well if you want to start recommending out of town FMs, I'd suggest the West Tisbury Market on the Vinyard and the Hillcrest Market in San Diego. ;)

              2. re: chattahoochee

                There used to be one vendor at the State Farmer's Mkt who had whatever peaches were coming out of SC that week. And maybe one or two other items. I'm not sure if they're still there or not. Some of the best peaches I've ever had lasted maybe 2-3 days after buying before they were substantially rotting. Just really delicate varieties but with amazing flavor and chin-dripping juiciness.

                Let me know what time to arrive for dessert! ;-)