I try to avoid going grocery shopping when I’m hungry, but as soon as I see the baked goods section at the grocery store, that notion pretty much goes out the window. It’s tempting to get a chicken tender sub at Publix or hoard Costco samples until they beg you to leave, but for those that want fresh, organic foods, those aren’t a great option.
If you want fresh, organic foods, farmer’s markets are your best option. They have local, humane produce, great people, and – if it’s well organized – a pleasant atmosphere to take it all in. In the perimeter, there are a few different options: the Green Market in Piedmont Park, the Decatur Farmer’s Market, and the Freedom Farmer’s Market. All of these markets are great venues to shop and pick up your weekly groceries, meet people, and grab a meal, but what makes the Freedom Farmer’s Market special?
Local farmers and vendors show up at the Freedom Farmer’s Market at around 7am (rain or shine) to begin setup with the help of local volunteers and long-time organizer Holly Hollingsworth. Holly has been organizing markets like this for 15 years, and her experience shows. By 9am, small crews have set up roughly 25 tents for vendors, a bike valet, picnic benches, a children’s tent, and a small pop-up restaurant. All these amenities, live music, and wonderful people make the atmosphere worth the trip any Saturday.
Freedom Farmer’s Market has tons of fresh produce from local farms including Woodland Gardens, Rise n Shine Organic Farm, Riverview Farms Meats, Watsonia Peaches, and Hickory Hill Farm. Once you’ve had your fill of fruits and vegetables, you can browse other stands such as Proof Bake Shop, Dayspring Dairy, Treehouse Milk, and Piedmont Provisions.
The farmers are obviously the backbone of the market, but what makes the Freedom Farmer’s Market unique is the local pop up restaurant that will keep you fed (and damn well) while you shop. Each week has a different restaurant, so there’s always something new to try.
Today’s pop up restaurant is Rise and Shine. They’re making a phenomenal Riverview ham and cheese galette (think crepe) made with gluten free buckwheat flour, topped with a fried egg. Sweet baby Jesus this thing was delicious. I had to get two because the first one looked so good that I ate it without taking a picture first. I completed the meal with some fresh coffee from 1000 Faces Coffee, just a few steps away!
The prices are reasonable and the food is great. Vendors take cash or tokens (few take credit). Tokens are cash equivalent, so you get 10 tokens for $10. They’ll also double your EBT if you’re on SNAP.
So come by, say ‘hi’ to Holly and all the friendly folk, and pick up your week’s groceries and a delicious lunch. The market is open every Saturday from 9am-1pm at the Carter Center Library. Look for signs along Freedom Parkway, there’s plenty of parking for everyone.
I hope to see yall there!