Jasper Farmers Market back at regular location for last four 2019 markets
By Xaviere Chatanier
Our Jasper Farmers Market is back in the Park and Ride lot for the last four markets of the season. The last summer market is November 2 with free refreshments celebrating the end of our 20th year! I remember years ago when I was one of six vendors and sold lettuce out of the trunk of my car. Back then, I was hard pressed to get $2 for a large bag of organic lettuce. Things have greatly changed with 40 vendors at the peak of the summer season.
Zach Hensen anticipates having beans, squash, eight-ball zucchini, okra, figs and Swiss chard this coming Saturday. Sargent Peppers will be back at the market this weekend with their outrageously fantastic pepper jelly and spices. Think holiday gifts because you have never had one this good. Jackie Carlisle will also be back at the market with her delicious healthy Ezekiel bread, English muffins, roll, millet bars and gluten free treats. Chef Tony always has sourdough bread and pizzetties. I anticipate Floyd to be at the market with his eggs, birdhouses and knitted items. Jenny Fellenbaum said that her flowers have been on strike with this drought but she hopes to have okra and of course her beautiful hand turned wooden votives, rolling pins, and wine stoppers. Jean Pfiel sells fresh eggs. Irene makes great pecan pies, lemon pistachio and blueberry loaves and other delicious sweets.
One of the best treats this weekend will be Denise Seibel’s persimmons. I make a killer persimmon vinaigrette from Food and Wine magazine. Basically, one very ripe persimmon that is peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (I use 2), one small shallot, 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil plus 3 tablespoons, salt and pepper. It is rare that we have these treats at the market so I am thrilled. Denise also makes exquisite goat milk soaps that feel divine on your skin. Denise’s own goats give the milk for these best soaps ever. She sells them for a song so stock up for Christmas gifts. I gave Denise a trunk load of verbena and she has just finished her first batch of lemon verbena soaps. There is a good chance that I will buy it all but she will have more shortly. All of her soaps are beautiful and good for your skin.
There are many artisans at the Jasper Farmers Market. It is never too early to shop for the holidays and hostess gifts. Anyone can buy a gift at the big box stores but it takes great thoughtfulness to buy a special sweater for a friend, knitted scarves, hand turned rolling pins, wine stoppers and candle votives, wooden gifts from Mountain Man, pottery, amazing pepper jelly, birdhouses and gorgeous goat milk soap.
The Ellijay Apple Festival will be October 12-13 and 19-20. The festival is packed with artists, vendors, food, live entertainment and of course apples! There is also an antique car show, 5k race and apple recipe contest. Dahlonega’s Gold Rush Festival will be October 18-20.
John Lupi, Home Restaurant, has been buying lettuce, swiss chard and more from Donny Hunter, microgreens from Stacey (can you get more local?), mushrooms from Ellijay Mushroom Farms and peppers from Whitney. He also buys produce from other local farmers.
We always go to 61 Main for breakfast after the market. Our group changes weekly but it is always fun and interesting, not to mention the best breakfast in town. Jenna also lets you order eggs anyway you want or a veggie omelet which is a nod to our diverse group.
Jasper Farmers Market Fall schedule:
- November 2 is the last JFM of summer season and customer appreciation day with free refreshments and snacks. This is at our normal location.
- The winter market will be November 23 and 30, December 14 and 21. The winter market hours are 9 a.m. until noon and will be located inside the Pickens County Extension Office/ Chamber of Commerce building, which is catty corner to our regular location.
Eat Local and Shop Local,