If you have ever visited a local farmer’s market before, you understand the fresh feeling you get when buying the locally-grown-goodness. Sure, a tomato from Wal-Mart looks and could possibly taste the same as one grown locally, but the fact is that produce bought from the farm is not only healthier for you, but also gives you the freshness and peace of mind that only a farmer’s market can. Perhaps this feeling comes from the fact that the fruits and veggies are literally fresher. Produce from farmer’s markets does not have to travel a great distance to get to a supermarket, and is usually harvested just a short distance away. Plus, the product is not grown with pesticides, which gives it that noticeably fresher taste. And, since the harvest is always grown in season, you know that what you are buying is the freshest, most healthy option out there.
Luckily in Georgia’s Rome, there are a number of markets that carry not only fresh goods from the farm but also non-consumable goods. These events vary from single to multiple vendor markets that provide homegrown and original delicacies to their community, some with proceeds going back to benefit local organizations.
Every Saturday from June – October, Cave Spring Farmers’ Market opens at Cave Spring Elementary School from daylight until 11 a.m. For a $5 vendor fee, farmers and crafters can participate in the market where customers can buy plants, canned goods and, of course, fresh produce. What is indeed a true community experience is taken a step further when every time the market meets, a non-profit organization is invited to run the weekly “Bake-Sale.” In this special sale, all of the money raised goes to help the non-profit’s organization or in some cases, to help a specific family in the community.
Another multiple vendor market in Rome is held twice a year at Berry College. Hosted by the Berry College Student Enterprises, a group of student-ran and operated businesses, the farmer’s market features items made and cultivated by the students. The biannual market features woven crafts, canned goods, furniture, beef, milk, fresh produce and much more, all handmade or produced by the students. And to add a community feel here, the enterprises invite local vendors outside of the college to participate in the market as well.
Farmers markets not only give you the most fresh and original option for what you would be purchasing elsewhere anyway, they also provide that special sense of community and raw marketplace experience that the supermarket simply lacks. And, they are not limited to the markets mentioned here–Rome has plenty of markets to offer. The Ridge Ferry Farmer’s Market (Wednesdays & Saturdays), Lowrey’s Farm Market (regular hours), and Oakdale Farms (regular hours) are just a few to mention. Feel free to click on any of the hyperlinks for more information.
Every Friday, starting April 17 and lasting through September, Last Stop Gift Shop is offers fresh and locally grown goods. The “RomeGrown, RomeMade” mini-market runs from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Come by and take the opportunity to buy fresh, healthy produce, while at the same time supporting your local community! The market features fresh produce from Nan Selman, and flowers from Stolen Flowers Farm.
For more information on farmers markets and other farm fresh goodness in Rome & Floyd County, visit www.RomeEvents.org or call 800.444.1834.