Shop locally this summer

From May through October, you’ll typically find a lot of local farmer’s markets open. Watch Anthony Bourdain. The first thing he does in any country he finds himself is to visit the always thriving farmers market. If it is real farmers who run the place, it is your best choice for fresh, local, variety and inexpensive food.

Tomatoes, peppers, and corn – summer staples

I’ve written here before about Flowery Branch, which has its own farmer’s market on Thursdays at the City Hall lawn area (

As with anything, there are pros and cons to shopping at farmer’s markets. Some of the cons include the fact that they may only be open for limited hours (Flowery Branch’s, for example, is only open on Thursdays) and they’re also not open year-round. Any outdoor market will be affected by inclement weather. Like other food venues, not all produce available is organic. Be sure to ask the growers before buying.

The pros of farmer’s markets include really fresh food, and produce that’s been harvested a day or so before it’s sold. You can also find rare varieties of food such as heirloom tomatoes that you might not find at a grocery store. One of the biggest pros is that most of the money you spend at a farmer’s market stays in the local economy and directly helps farmers and small business owners. The social aspect of the farmer’s market is one of my favorite things about them; got questions? Ask a vendor.

If you’re in Georgia, be sure to check out Northeast Georgia Locally Grown, a market in Gainesville near Brenau University; Jaemor Farms in Alto, Brookhaven Farmers Market in metro Atlanta, as well as The Cumming Harvest in Cumming, Georgia.