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County farmers market returns for fifth season
by Nneka Okona
June 07, 2013 12:03 PM | 999 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Summer breezes along with local summer crops and goods will be plentiful this year at the Henry County’s Farmers Market.

Presented in conjunction with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extensive Office, the market will run through Aug. 29 on Thursdays from 2 to 6 p.m., except the first week of July, when it will be on a Tuesday.

Frank Hancock, the agriculture and natural resource agent for the extension office, said the market was created to fit a specific need.

“We started the farmers market in 2009 to give our local farmers a place to sell their produce,” he said. “Back when we started, there wasn’t a good outlet here close by. They had to go to Atlanta or the north side of Atlanta.”

In the past five years, the market has grown to include 30 local farmers, although on an average week, 10 to 12 regulars bring their tomatoes, squash, okra, beans, cabbage, greens, honey, homemade soaps and home-sewn goods.

Gary West of Westworthy Farms is one of the farmers who participates in the market.

He said his farm’s involvement has been quite beneficial.

“I’ve learned things from other people who also garden and farm, such as canning techniques and how to minimize using insecticides,” West said. “It’s also enjoyable to meet with the public and talk with them.”

West said customers often ask questions about how to garden at home and he offers helpful tips.

Hancock said the market has benefits aside from allowing local farmers to congregate in their own backyard.

“Having a locally grown farmers market keeps a lot of revenue at home,” he said. “A lot of the money gets spent here in the county and that’s one big advantage of local business.”

The market also gives residents an opportunity to meet the farmer who grows their produce, which West said is one of the more enjoyable aspects of the experience.

Hancock said on average, the market attracts 200 customers every Thursday.

The market is at the Jason T. Harper Event Center at Heritage Park, 95 Lake Dow Road, McDonough.
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