The Acworth Farmers Market, located in historic downtown Acworth in Logan Farm Park, allows locals to buy fresh, organic products from local vendors. Vendors sell products such as vegetables, fruits, plants, fresh baked goods even skincare/herbal remedies every Friday morning from eight AM to noon.
The global pandemic pushed back the opening date of the farmers market immensely. Originally the event started on April 10, but due to the distress and panic that circulated, it did not open until June 5. Amidst the pandemic, however, six separate vendors came together to form an indoor farmer’s market in an old store. Now that the market has opened again, a new set of rules protects shoppers from spreading germs and maintains social distancing and safety.
“It’s been a pain with the new rules so many vendors didn’t show up this year. Everyone has to wear [a] mask and we aren’t allowed to touch any money, but there are still many customers to buy our products,” Al Jorgenson, a vendor at the market, said.
Al and his wife, Dorothy Jorgenson, started to sell their houseplants six years ago, after taking up the hobby three years prior, and like multiple other vendors, they decided to participate in this event as their hobbies grew. They both enjoy plants, so when Al’s greenhouse expanded to the point that he began spending over 200 dollars a year on it, he realized he wanted to make money off of his hobby.
“I began doing this for my mother, Margaret, who passed away from pancreatic cancer just a month after she was diagnosed. I researched a lot about chronic diseases and became painfully aware of the toxins I was putting on and in my body. I wanted to educate people on this and find all-natural alternatives to some of the harmful products we normally use.” the owner of Margie Beth Botanicals, Mary Kondratowicz said.
She sells organic herbal remedies and skincare products that contain thoroughly researched ingredients. In addition to selling products at her stand, customers can purchase things like immunity gummies, skincare regimen kits, hand sanitizer, and flu/cold syrups from her website.
The farmer’s market allows locals to buy extremely fresh products and it supports local businesses, which most vendors agree makes the farmer’s market a much better place to shop at than the grocery store. David Read, owner of B.J. Reece Orchards in Ellijay Georgia, said that unlike what you could buy at the store, his fruit makes it to the stand extremely fresh. While he purchases his peaches from the same place as some stores, he gets the products to customers much faster. Just 24 hours off the tree, the apples and peaches taste much better than competitors. Al and Dorthy Jorgenson, who usually sell eggs at their stand, can say the same for their products as well.
Critics on the Acworth Farmers Market website expressed their distaste for having the event on a Friday morning, eight AM to noon. During this time most potential shoppers work or go to school, making it highly inconvenient. The majority of these people end up missing the market due to their busy lives, and despite multiple people requesting for it to move to Saturday, or even later in the day on Friday, no changes will take place.
Despite the frustration amongst some of the shoppers, most still agree this market affects the community positively. In addition to giving back to small businesses, the lack of pesticides and efficient shipping time proves that the farmer’s market makes a great alternative to shopping at the grocery store.