Acworth Farmers Market promotes local, fresh products

·3 min read

Jun. 28—ACWORTH — David Read had basketfuls of fresh, juicy peaches for sale at the Acworth Farmers Market in Logan Farm Park.

Read has been pitching his white tent to sell peaches at the weekly market for over 10 years. Every week, he greets the loyal customer base and promotes the value of farm-fresh peaches over store-bought produce.

"These are 24 hours off the tree. You can't get any fresher than that. They've only been refrigerated overnight, and refrigeration can really damage the flavor," Read said. "By keeping them out of the cooler and getting them directly to the customers, they're just that much better."

Acworth resident Cecily Cornish bragged on the juiciness of Titan Farms' peaches after discussing the importance of sustainability. She said she supports the farmers market because it cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions and the poor environmental practices often used by industrial-scale farms.

"We need to do better with our soil, our water, how we grow," Cornish said. "We need to leave ... a sustainable Earth for our children and our grandchildren."

Kevin Mobely, who recently started selling his great-grandmother's smoky macaroni and cheese at the Acworth Farmers Market, also said reliance on those industrial-scale farms has consequences beyond a damaged environment.

"We have no resiliency in our food system, and supporting local farms, local markets gives you that resiliency," Mobely said.

Amid the smell of coffee and potted plants, other vendors selling produce, unprocessed meats, skincare products and baked goods offered a perspective just as fresh as the goods they had for sale.

Herb and vegetable vendor Robert Paradies said the market offers an opportunity to teach and learn from locals. In addition to selling his plants at the market, Paradies often diagnoses herb illnesses and seeks knowledge from community members who use unique herbs.

"I get to educate people on the varieties of herbs that they can't find at Home Depot," Paradies said. "And then, I get educated too because somebody who's grown this stuff ... they can educate me about how they do it."

Vendor and market manager Tina Rhoades agreed with Paradies' sentiment on the mutually beneficial properties of the market: she said local businesses have an opportunity to sell their wares, and customers get access to better quality, less processed goods.

"We know that, when the produce is here and in season, it's locally grown and locally produced," Rhoades said. "You're supporting a local family, or you're supporting a local farm. Without the customer support on a regular basis, those forums cease to exist."

Angela Bretz, an attendee at the market, said she knows the importance of a local customer base and shopping from small businesses because she owns one herself.

"I just think it's really important (to buy local)," Bretz said. "The money goes back into the community and we're just helping our fellow community members."

The Acworth Farmers Market is held every Friday 8 a.m. to noon at Logan Farm Park, rain or shine. The market begins the first week of April and lasts until the end of October.

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