“The market is a great way for the consumers to interact with the farmers directly,” Tedrow said. “They learn about products they may not be familiar with, like kohlrabi, and learn new recipes.”

Local chefs offer weekly cooking demonstrations featuring foods available at the market. UGA-trained Master Gardeners are on hand to answer questions ranging from composting to canning.

“People are looking for home-grown, local foods,” said Ronnie Barrentine, UGA Extension agent in Pulaski County, which is located in middle Georgia. “The problem is not that we don’t have the demand. It is having the amount of produce.”

Barrentine started a market in downtown Hawkinsville on Saturdays in the summer, a trend that began in 2004. Plans are to open daily soon. Before this market, growers traveled to markets in Cordele or Macon to sell their goods.

When the Henry County Farmers Market opened in 2009 in south metro Atlanta, UGA Extension agent Frank Hancock didn’t know what to expect. The first day, 50 people were lined up waiting for the market to start.

“Everybody likes the market,” Hancock said. “We are focused on our goal of providing our farmers with a place to sell their goods and local citizens a place to buy fresh produce. Our market is growing.”

The market sells produce grown within a 50-mile radius of the county, all freshly picked. Vendors also offer freshly baked breads, homemade jellies, ice cream and salsas. Fresh flowers are available, too. A couple hundred people stop in to purchase goods on Thursday afternoons.

Susan Howington, UGA Extension coordinator in Henry County, also conducts cooking demonstrations and food preservation classes at the Henry County market.

“The local people here in Henry County are benefiting and so are our local farmers because we are keeping it right here in our community,” Howington said.

To find a farmers market near you, visit www.pickyourown.org/GAfarmersmarkets.htm or www.localharvest.org.