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Market open
Farmers peddle produce
3 Farmers Market pic
Juanita Blankinship enjoys the local, fresh vegetables that the Dawson County Farmers Market offers. She bought squash from Robert and Jennell Pruitt. - photo by Amanda Head Dawson Community News

Rain didn't stop Kerrie Gunier and her daughter, Emily, from venturing out recently to buy fresh grown vegetables and cut flowers from local vendors at the Dawson County Farmer's Market.

"I knew it wouldn't be a good show up this morning because of the rain," Gunier said.

Dawson County Extension Agent Clark MacAllister said attendance has been off this year due to rain, but the market will run as long as people have crops to bring in.

"With Mother Nature, there is always something to contend with," MacAllister said.

Some of the produce available includes apples, blueberries, cucumbers, peaches, peppers, red potatoes and squash.

Grace Collett said that they had to start their garden three or four weeks later than normal because the ground was too muddy to plow.

Collett is teaching the basics of growing and selling to her two granddaughters, 14-year-old Heidi and 13-year-old Caroline.

"She [Collett] grows it and we help her pick it and then we come here and we sell it," Heidi said.

Robert and Jennell Pruitt have been selling at the market for three to four years.

"People get used to us coming," Jennell Pruitt said. "Like [Juanita Blankinship], she comes every year and what she got will last her a week and she'll be back next time because they enjoy fresh vegetables."

Blankinship looks forward to the market every year for the local, fresh vegetables.

"They're the best," she said.

The market opens at 7:30 a.m. each Wednesday and Saturday in the parking lot of the local Extension Office, 298 Academy Ave. It stays open until the vendors sell out, which can happen quickly, so shoppers are encouraged to arrive early.

Anyone interested in being a vendor must fill out an application at the market, which will run through the end of September.

Only local farmers are allowed to sell their goods at the extension office's market.

There's no cost to set up and all are welcome to buy from the vendors. For more information, call (706) 265-2442.

Another opportunity for local growers is through the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, which allows farmers to set up in front of the municipal complex from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Those interested in selling at the municipal market should contact the hall of fame at (706) 216-7223. There is a $10 a month fee to sell at the market.