jasper farmers market 2

Eager shoppers gather at the Jasper Farmers Market. Photo by Jenny Fellenbaum.

New location for July 3 Jasper Farmers Market

By Xaviere Chatagnier

Our fantastic Jasper Farmers Market is the only farmers market around that is 100 percent local. Everything at the market has to be home grown, handmade and/or baked. Unlike the other “farmer markets” around, our farmers have to actually grow the vegetables they sell.  It is really awesome to buy directly from the grower and to know that so many of our farmers are pesticide free.

Because of the fair, this Wednesday, July 3, market—will be in a slightly different location. It will still be open from 2–5:30 p.m. but will be located at the back gate of Lee Newton Park (catty corner to our normal place) off Burton Street.

Zach Hensen will be at the Wednesday and Saturday markets with beans, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, potatoes, a few tomatoes and maybe mushrooms. Now Zach doesn’t just sell “potatoes” he sells incredible heirloom potatoes such as purple Peruvian, Red Pontiac and Kennebec. Who knew potatoes had such cool names!

Chris Wilson of 5 Sons Blueberry Farm will also be at both markets with his fresh picked blueberries and blueberry pies. Jenny Fellenbaum will have blackberries, beans and maybe a few more treats. Rumor has it that Chef Tony will be at the Wednesday market and hopefully Irene with her delicious baked goods.

The Saturday Jasper Farmers Market should include all the above but many more vendors. We will be back in the Park and Ride lot near the Chamber of Commerce. The Saturday market will be open from 7:30 a.m. to noon. Kenneth Kirk will have the first apples of the season. Kenneth Childers plans to bring green beans, squash, cucumbers and potatoes. Cole Johnson will bring some of the first tomatoes of the season, squash and cucumbers.  The first tomatoes are trickling in but soon we will be flooded with them!

5 SONS BLUEBERRIES 
Fresh blueberries are always a treat. Photo by Xaviere Chatagnier.

Papas Bakery, Irene and Brandy Hays all have really nice baked goods. Audrey Lewis sells carved spoons and spatulas. Stephen Kirchen makes neat carpenter bee traps. My favorite potter of all, Patti Schellhardt, plans on being at the market this Saturday (barring rain). Patti flat out makes the nicest pottery around. She only comes to the market a few times a year so I stock up whenever I see her. She is amazing and basically sells her pottery for a song.

The 5 Sons Blueberry Farm is open all week including July 4; they have 2,400 blueberry bushes and are swimming in blueberries. I went picking last week and picked two gallons in no time.  The blueberries are grown organically in a pretty flat area so picking is easy.  The farm is located at 639 Hamrick Rd., 7.9 miles from Hwy. 515 heading westbound on Hwy. 53. Basically, as soon as you see the cool store, Hinton Milling, Hamrick is the next street on your left.  You need to call John Culbertson before you go to check on the optimal picking. His number is 404-202-4709. I can’t think a nicer way to spend the morning of July 4. You can look them up on Facebook or 5sonsfarm.com.

Our local Ellijay peaches are in season. Friday morning, I stopped at R&A Orchards and bought a bushel of Early Loring peaches. They are my very favorite peach of the summer but then all peaches are close runner ups. They are located at 5505 Ga Hwy 52 in Ellijay.  R&A is only about 25 plus minutes from Big Canoe’s North Gate. Other orchards will have their peaches later in July.  

The way I see it is after the Jasper Farmers Market, drive up to the Ellijay Market and see Donny Hunter. He has terrific beets, zephyr squash, beans, lettuce and cherry tomatoes (grown organically). His father-in-law (Mr. Hill) still has really good new potatoes. Then cut over to Hwy 52 and get peaches at R&A. A bushel is around $30 or a basket is $12, no decision there. Yes, I get a bushel almost every week because just about everyone I know wants these peaches.

The tough part about being a farmers-market junkie is deciding where to shop. It is always Jasper Farmers Market first but if I need peaches, I head north to Ellijay market. If I am going blueberry picking then the Jasper market first then south to the Canton Market for Vivian’s Sorbet before I head back up to 5 Sons Blueberry Farm.  

And somewhere in between all of these markets we try to squeeze in 61 Main for breakfast on Saturdays. Jenna supports the local farmers. Home Restaurant’s John Lupi has the farmers almost lined up. This week he is buying his produce from Chad McKinney, a Big Canoe son and one of the original organic growers near us. He has radishes, lettuce, beans and arugula. Donny Hunter is also selling his organically grown squash, beets, lettuce and beans to Home Restaurant. John Lupi is buying my basil and jalapenos this week. How much more local or organic can you get?

Eat Local and Shop Local,

Xaviere

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