The City of Lithonia Farmers Market is offering locally-grown fruits, vegetables and other goods every Sunday through Sept. 18, 1 to 5 p.m., at the City Hall parking lot, 6920 Main St.
Shoppers can be seen packing up newly laid eggs, selecting just picked produce and even learning about the secret lives of bees from the local honey expert, just to name a few of the things in store when you arrive.
Growers like Gwendolyn Washington, who operates Phoenix Gardens with her husband, Brennan, love to chat with shoppers who are interested in how they grow their crops. Washington is one of Georgia’s certified organic growers. She works hard to grow food for Georgia families and she feels that by educating them on how food is produced, shoppers will be more likely to feel directly connected.
“When your food is traveling hundreds of miles across the country, and sometimes from other places around the world, you have no idea who grew it, how they grew it or where it was grown. It’s a healthier experience when you know who your farmer is,” Washington explained.
Lithonia Mayor Deborah A. Jackson is excited about having the farmer’s market in the city.
“Having fresh, locally grown produce comes from the city’s effort to create a food hub, since the area qualifies as a food desert,” Jackson said. “Helping the community learn about ways to grow their own food is part of the long-term strategy.”
At the farmer’s market, you are able to have a direct conversation with producers and no question is considered off limits. As a matter of fact, farmers love to talk about the food they grow.
So what questions should you ask? A good place to start is with what matters most to you. Are you seeking food grown as close to home as possible? Do you have a particular eating plan (gluten free, vegan, paleo) that guides your food choices? Are their food traditions that you are seeking to preserve? Is sustainability important to you?
In an effort to help farmers market patrons navigate this discussion, the Georgia Farmers Market Association has created a chart of some key terms used while shopping. Stop by the GFMA tent and grab one during your next visit to your local GFMA member market.
Lolade Olowoyeme is manager of the Lithonia Farmers Market. The Farmers Market is made possible with funding from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in partnership with the DeKalb Board of Health)