The market began its season on Saturday, May 8. A special addition this year is the Tuesday afternoon market, held from 4 to 7 p.m. in the parking lot of Little Kings Bar at the corner of Hull and Hancock.
On my visit to the first-ever Tuesday market, May 11, I found an easy-going, communal atmosphere as I browsed the fruit and vegetable stands — tables, actually — under white canopies. A large enough crowd of shoppers had gathered at four o'clock so that it was technically crowded but not uncomfortably so. A good variety of produce was displayed, including Swiss chard, collards, bok choy, cabbage, carrots, spinach and strawberries. The back doors of Little Kings were thrown open, allowing blues music to flow out into the shopping area. A few food and drink vendors encouraged shoppers to sit a while and take it all in.
Ryan Olivera and Jessie Downs were manning the Luna Baking Company table. Olivera said he loves working the market because of the closeness it offers the community.
Downs added, "We are only wholesale, so this gives us an outlet to sell to individuals."
Amanda Mays and Megan Freeman were frequent visitors to the market last year. Freeman feels it is important to bring produce to the city of Athens. "It breaks the chain of invisible farmers and disrupts the ignorant consumers."
Mays said the market is easy to access but likes it best that as a shopper she gets to see the farmers who are growing her food.
Some participants in Tuesday’s market were Veribest Farm, Cedar Grove Farm, Front Field Farm, Fertile Crescent Farm and McMullen Farm. As members of the Athens Farmers Market all growers have agreed to use organic-like methods. Many of them participate in the Certified Naturally Grown
In addition to the Tuesday market, the Saturday market continues at Bishop Park from 8 a.m. to noon, running from May 8 to November 20. The Tuesday market will run from May 11 to November 16.