On Saturday, May 9, the Amicalola Regional Farmer’s Market officially opened for the 2020 season in its new location in Dawson County.
In the past, the market has been held in the parking lot area of the Dawsonville City Hall, but with the completion of the new Dawsonville Farmers Market area the market has been able to relocate to a large covered location right next to city hall.
Throughout the morning, vendors lined up portable tables or backed pickup trucks under the pavilion so that customers could walk from stand to stand with ease.
Because of continuing COVID-19 precautions, customers and vendors were asked to continue to observe social distancing standards. Vendors and customers alike were asked to wear masks, and produce was pre-bagged in even dollar amounts so that customers could pay in cash for their goods and walk away with limited contact.
Market Manager and local UGA Extension Agent Clark MacAllister said that the turnout for the market had been successful for the first day and will likely rise as the market continues.
“It’s kind of an early time to open the market because people are in that transition between early spring and summer, so you’re not gonna see a lot of the summer vegetables yet,” MacAllister said on Saturday morning. “But we’ve had a good vendor turnout for this time of year with cool-weather crops, we have people that grow more of the summer-time vegetables so they’ll be here later on.”
Adam Stinson, owner of “Grown With Reason” micro-greens, said that he was glad to have been able to be at the market as a vendor for the opening day.
“This is my first year as a vendor,” Stinson said. “We didn’t really know that this was gonna open this week, but my micro-greens grow fast, so that was nice that I could get them ready in time.”
Stinson said that he will be adding new varieties of greens in the following weeks and he’s looking forward to participating in the 2020 market season.
“It’s going well and I’m glad to see that people came out, even though everything’s going on people are staying safe,” Stinson said. “And this new pavilion is top of the line.”
MacAllister said that being able to move the market to its new location has been a huge blessing.
“In the past, we had it in the city hall parking lot in tents, it was hot and if it rained, it wasn’t covered,” MacAllister said. “But it’s great up here. We’ve got WiFi so the vendors can connect up their Square machines and when it rains nobody will get wet, so it’s been fantastic.”
Despite concerns with COVID-19, customers of the market were excited to come out and support the vendors. The hope is that the number of customers will continue to grow in the coming weeks, according to MacAllister.
“I think people are just happy to get out and do stuff again,” MacAllister said.
The farmer’s market will be at its new pavilion by City Hall every Saturday from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. or until the vendors run out of produce.
For more information about the market, visit http://fb.me/amicalolafarmersmarket or call the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce at (706) 265-6278.