With the Cartersville Farmer’s Market kicking off May 2, the Cartersville Downtown Development Authority's staff currently is encouraging area vendors to take part in this seasonal staple.
"The purpose of the Cartersville Farmer’s Market is to bring fresh, locally grown produce, baked goods, flowers, etc. to Cartersville," said Hannah Surrett, marketing and promotions coordinator for the Cartersville DDA. "It allows farmers [to] remain in business and promotes healthy, fresh living in Cartersville. The market has continued to grow throughout the years, but besides that, not much has changed.
"… I encourage farmers and vendors to join the Cartersville Farmer’s Market because the more variety we have, the better the market is as a whole. Along with that, the more numbers we have at each market, the more people will be attracted to it. I think it’s going to be a fun and profitable season."
The Cartersville Farmer’s Market will operate Wednesdays, 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturdays, 7 a.m. to noon, from May 2 through Oct. 31 — except for the first and third Saturday in October — at Founder’s Oak parking lot on North Public Square.
Started in the early 1980s, the Cartersville Farmer’s Market was spearheaded by the late Bartow County Extension Agent Walter Culverhouse to help local farmers sell their excess produce. Through the years, the market has evolved in scope, now offering additional items for purchase.
According to the 2018 Cartersville Farmer's Market Guidelines and Rules, this year's vendors "may sell locally grown produce, fresh cut flowers, organic produce, baked goods, canned goods, jellies, herbs, flowers and craft items."
After purchasing a $30 permit, each vendor will secure parking at the market on a first come, first served basis. Along with their payment, vendors must turn in their permit application to the Cartersville DDA, One Friendship Plaza, at least two days before taking part in the market.
"We have about 20 vendors, but expect to have upwards of 60 by the beginning of the season," Surrett said. "The registered vendors are selling a healthy mix of produce, crafts, flowers, baked goods and more. … I expect vendor interest to increase substantially as the first market approaches.
"There are requirements to be a vendor. The market requires vendors to be in compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations regarding products sold, including the labeling of all nonregulated items. Licenses/certifications are required for the sale of regulated products, such as live plants, eggs, meat products, dairy products, products sold as 'organic' and low acid foods — canned vegetables, pickles, salsas, etc. For questions regarding licenses/certifications to sell regulated products in Georgia, contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture at 404-656-3627. Vendors who want to sell these regulated items are required to submit a copy of their licenses/certifications with the farmer’s market application. These products cannot be legally sold in the state of Georgia without the proper certifications."