Coweta Farmer’s Market open at two locations through Sept.
by Sarah Fay Campbell
The Coweta County Farmer’s Market kicked off last week, and will continue every Saturday and Wednesday until September, possibly into October.
This year, for the first time, the market is located in two locations: downtown Newnan and the Powell Expo Center on Temple Avenue.
The market, which only admits farmers from Coweta and the surrounding counties, has been held on Temple Avenue for decades.
The new location, in the parking lot of the Depot History Center between East Broad and East Washington Streets, is the result of a partnership with the city of Newnan.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m Wednesdays at the depot, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at the expo center, located in the Temple Avenue recreation complex, located behind and to the right of Waffle House.
In addition to fresh produce, some vendors also sell jams and jellies, eggs, baked goods, flowers and crafts.
Vendor requirements include that produce must be grown in Coweta, Fulton, Fayette, Spalding, Meriwether, Troup, Heard or Carroll counties. The vendor fee is $3 per day.
A license is required to sell eggs, meat, dairy products, live plants/flowers, and low acid/or acidified canned goods, including pickles and salsas. A certification is required to label foods as organic.
No license is required for jams and jellies, cakes, breads, cookies and pies. Some vendors also sell handmade crafts, but they must be secondary to food items.
Last year, Our Community Farmer’s Market held a weekly market in downtown Newnan. The city of Newnan decided not to have the market return and “the city basically got in touch with us and said, ‘Hey, y’all already have a market going … let’s partner,’” said Stephanie Butcher, Coweta County Extension coordinator.
There had been a vendor meeting earlier in the year “where we actually brought up the subject of locations,” Butcher said. “One of the reasons we considered the downtown location was because of visibility.”
The expo center was designed for the farmer’s market but it is “kind of tucked around the corner” and is not visible from the road.
“The vendors had asked for maybe another option for more visibility,” Butcher said.
In downtown Newnan, the vendors will be out in the elements, but “they have the option of bringing a tent and many of the vendors felt like that would be a small price to pay for the visibility,” Butcher said.
Even though the market has existed for years and years, “we still run across folks that don’t even know that there is a farmer’s market” in Coweta, she said.
“We try really hard to make sure that the community knows about the market, because we have a lot of vendors with fantastic produce.”
Pickings can be a bit slim in early June, as many vegetables aren’t ready for harvest. The first week, “we had a few vendors who had produce and they almost sold out of everything,” Butcher said. But, by the end of the month, there will be a lot more variety, and bumper crops will be available in June.
Anyone interested in becoming a vendor can call the Extension Office on Pine Road at 770-254-2620 for more information or see market manager Cynthia Jackson, who is on site any time the market is open.