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Market opens for season
4 Farmers Market pic1
Local farmer Jacob McPherson, 12, shows off a head of cabbage he picked the night before to sell June 29. - photo by Morgan Bennett Dawson Community News

With a cowboy hat to block the summer sun and a truckload of fresh vegetables he's not old enough to drive into town, Jacob McPherson looks like a veteran as he approaches a customer at the local farmer's market.

"That's a Grenadier cabbage," said the 12-year-old, who credits his grandfather for instilling his love for gardening. "I grew it, and I picked it all last night."

McPherson was among a handful of farmers offering locally grown, fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers when the Dawson County Extension Office's annual produce market opened June 29 near downtown.

Extension agent Clark Beusse said he was impressed with the quality and quantity of the produce brought to the market, which is in its ninth season.

"We have tomatoes, squash, beans, plums, cucumbers, blueberries, eggplant, onions, herbs, just a variety of foods," he said.

Farmers said much needed spring rain made 2011 a good year for growing, for the most part.

"Squash and zucchini grew the best," said Janelle Pruett, who has a farm on Juno Road.

But she and her husband planted beans three or four times before they grew, and her corn yields have been about the same.

"One stock of corn out of four or five may come up," Pruett said.

The trick to a successful garden? Keep planting. And "keep it weeded," McPherson said.

Only vendors who live in Dawson or surrounding counties can sell at the market, though anybody is welcome to buy produce, Beusse said.

But show up early.

Vendors usually begin selling by 7 a.m. and are out of goods sometimes within an hour.

The market at 298 Academy Ave. is open Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Interested vendors may fill out an application at the market. Those who have sold at previous events need not apply. There's no cost to set up.

In addition, the city of Dawsonville allows farmers to set up behind city hall from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Those interested in selling at the municipal market should contact the city for the necessary paperwork.

There is a $10 monthly fee to sell at city hall.