‘Local-only’ farmers market expands in PTC, Newnan locations
A new type of farmers market opened last year in east Coweta County. This year, Our Community Farmers Market has expanded to locations in Peachtree City and Newnan.
Our Community Farmers Market (OCFM) is a market with a difference because its vendors are all local, offering organic or naturally-grown products and carry a “producer-only” qualification, explained OCFM co-owner-operator Marianne Pizzitola.
Now in its second year of operation, OCFM is open on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. in Newnan at the recently restored historic train depot on East Broad Street and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at MacDuff Plaza on Ga. Highway 54 in Peachtree City. Both locations will be open until the end of November.
Pizzitola said OCFM is a producer-only market ensuring fair prices for both the vendors and the consumers, she said.
“All of our vendors meet strict requirements, all are preparing food in a licensed kitchen certified by the Ga. Dept. of Agriculture and our vendors are licensed. There is no other farmers’ market in a 30-mile radius that meets these standards. You know when you shop with us how your jams, jellies and bakery goods are made and that they are processed in a certified and inspected kitchen. Our farmers are all-producer only,” she said.
Customers at both locations can choose from selections such as vegetables, garden plants, salsa, honey, pastry, doggie cookies, landscaping services, grass-fed beef and lamb and relishes, spreads and fudge.
“And all the vendors are local, from Fayette and Coweta counties or from adjacent counties,” Pizzitola said.
As for the number of vendors at each location, Pizzitola said OCFM steers clear of broker operations that populate some farmer’s markets, adding that producer-only means that everything at the market has been grown, raised or made by the seller, ensuring fair prices for both the vendors and the consumers.
Another difference in the OCFM market is the intent to stay a small-scale operation. Currently operating with 12-15 vendors and with a maximum of 20, Pizzitola said the idea of staying small is meant to benefit families so they can come in and quickly find the products they are searching for.
As for the numerous standards required for the products sold at OCFM, a sampling of those include:
Farmers - must maintain either an organic or naturally-grown farm; eggs must be either certified organic or certified naturally-grown feed must be used exclusively; and all meat products must be certified naturally-grown or organic.
Prepared food vendors - products or ingredients cannot contain hydrogenated oils, artificial dyes or preservatives; and products must state the geographical source.
Artists - all products must be handmade by the artist.
“The market staff visits member farms and kitchens to make sure its consumers are getting the highest quality produce and products. Vendors range from farmers, dairies, ranchers, chefs, food artisans and artists,” Pizzitola said. “We believe in a quality product that no one else is providing and we believe the community would benefit from it.”
For more information visit www.ourcommunityfarmersmarket.com