The Rockmart Farmers Market has finally begun the promised Holiday Markets, and alongside winter vegetables, the market is greeting the county's artists and artisans with open arms. Rockmart's Water St. is now the perfect place for locals to grab organic foods and homemade crafts, and since the market is open every Thursday from 4 through 6 p.m., citizens have plenty of time to shop.
"Local artists and crafters will join the farmers to bring even more local goodness to downtown rockmart," Farmers Market Executive Director Shonna Kirkpatrick said. "The local farmers will also be growing all the goodness you need for your holiday tables including turkeys, hams, and rib roasts."
Artisan and craft vendors can apply here http://www.rockmartfarmersmarket.com/holiday-market-vendor-application. Craft makers must pay a $75 fee prepaid for all 6 markets, or pay $15 at the start of each market.
"No vendor will be allowed to sell food unless they are a regular food vendor at the Rockmart Farmers Market, all artists must be based within 60 miles of Polk County, all items sold must be hand made, no vendor will be allowed to set up prior to 11 a.m., and vendors can't smoke at any time," Kirkpatrick explained.
Alongside having craft vendors, the current farmers market is specializing in fruits and veggies that prosper in colder weather. This means locals will be provided with all the collard greens, turnip greens, and pumpkins one could want. Classic greens like carrots and tomatoes will still be offered at the market, but winter weather foods are the superstars for at least the next couple of months.
"People say collard greens are the sweetest after they've been kissed by the frost,” Kirkpatrick mentioned. “Everyone loves the July tomato, but January vegetables are some of our culture's most popular."
Citizens should consider stocking up on their favorite items because while the holiday market adds many new features, the holidays themselves mean the market will be closed at certain points.
"The market will be closed for 2 weeks at Thanksgiving and 3 weeks at Christmas but open the rest of the year rain or shine."
Despite December's cold weather and shorter days, the market decided to forego the planned schedule change and will stay open from 2 through 6 p.m. even during December.
"We've put so much time into advertising that the market is every Thursday from 2 through 6, that it would cause trouble to change it to 2 through 5 p.m. like we planned," Kirkpatrick said.
The farmers market is undergoing some pretty heavy changes, but patrons can rest assured knowing the Georgia Fresh for Less Program through Wholesome Wave, Georgia is still going strong by offering food stamp participants an opportunity to double money spent on farmer's goods.
"The market can double up to $50 per person using their SNAP card at every market. Bring your SNAP card to the green market booth at the weekly market and take advantage of the popular program," Kirkpatrick said.
Those looking for more information on the various farmers selling goods on Water St. can visit http://www.rockmartfarmersmarket.com/. Those itching to become a holiday crafts vendor at the market should contact Kirkpatrick