Peachtree Road Farmers Market in Atlanta is a bountiful, bustling place. In fact it's the largest producer-only market in Atlanta, and for the past 2 years has required its vendors to be Certified Organic or Certified Naturally Grown. In the midst of all the hubbub is Lauren Carey - the market's Manager, Executive Director and the one making it all come together. Here's what she has to say about her favorite market and why farmers markets are so important, especially today.
~Leave a comment telling us why farmers markets are important to you.~
Describe your market: We are Atlanta’s largest producer only market with more GA farmers in one place than anywhere else. Our market features chef demonstrations spotlighting our farmer’s produce, activities for children, and opportunities to get involved in the community.
How long has the market been around? 2013 will be our 7th season
What experiences prepared you to be a market manager? I have a deep love of food and the best food is the freshest and raised with care. My background in event and nonprofit management also gave me skills I use every day.
When & why did the market choose to require certification? In 2011 we moved to being a producer-only market for all our vendors and for our farmers we began requiring certification - either Certified Organic or Certified Naturally Grown. It helped take Peachtree Rd Farmers Market to the next level and show our commitment to those farmers raising food in a natural way. Having an outside organization establishing standards and enforcing compliance is a huge help to me as a manager. Juggling all the pieces of the market is already so much to do well, knowing that farmer inspections are being done is a great help.
What do you love most about the market? The people. Over the years we have seen couples get married with engagement photos at the market, watched them start a family, meet other parents and now their toddlers race around the market greeting farmers by name.
Why are farmers markets important? In a time consumed by technology, farmers markets are a return to a simpler time. You see your neighbors, spend time outside and most important you are buying food directly from the farmers. When you choose to buy local CNG food you are saying the environment is important, local farms are important, treating animals in a humane way is important and feeding your family clean food free of pesticides is important- which makes that tomato taste even better!
~Why farmers markets are important to you? Let us know what you think in the comments.~