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  • Writer's pictureCheré Dastugue Coen

Eat local, Y'all!

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Statesboro, Ga., Farmers Market breaks opening day records.

Years ago I had the pleasure of attending one of the finest farmers market in the South. Vendors lined downtown Statesboro, Ga., streets selling everything from fresh Georgia peaches and the state’s largest crop, peanuts, to craft coffees, local honey and flowers. I was catching a flight out of Atlanta later that week and it pained me to stare at such fabulous locally grown produce and food items and not be able to bring it home. Homespun items such as candles and jewelry were in abundance and you can bet those found a home in my suitcase.

In this era of fast food (some of which destroys natural habitats), and the mass consumption of processed foods, it’s encouraging to see small farmers and entrepreneurs successful. In early April, the Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market opened for their 15th season behind the Visitors Center on South Main Street to a record number of vendors, shoppers, and sales.

Nearly 2,400 people gathered that first Saturday morning, garnering the farmers market’s highest attendance numbers. According to a press release by Visit Statesboro, the attendance record surpassed 2022’s opening day by 800 and November’s Shopping by Lantern Light was eclipsed by more than 1,000 people. Opening day sales also surpassed any other day in the Market’s history. Vendors reported sales of $35,604.07 for Saturday which is up $10,000 from 2022.

It goes to show that Americans want real food that’s harvested in our own backyards.

“Record attendance and record sales show that the Farmers Market has a tremendous economic impact on Bulloch County,” said Visit Statesboro President Becky Sanders. “Saturday Markets are now a weekly tradition for friends and families who gather to enjoy shopping, entertainment, dining and educational exhibits while visitors also learn more about our community.”

“We were very pleased to be back at the Saturday Market,” said Jim Shannon of Poor Robin Gardens. “It was a great day for us, the Market and for the community and we are most grateful as we look forward to an awesome season.”

“For us, the opening day of the Market was a huge success,” said Curtis Kimbrell of Humble Bumble Bee Farm. “We brought more honey than we ever have before and we were completely sold out in two hours.”

Barbara Barr of Beads by Barbara

I visited in late June and met some incredible people, such as the owner of Beads of Barbara (shown right) who creates beautiful bracelets out of natural stones and beads — and yes, I got two. Or Lift as You Grow, an organization in Statesboro that helps women succeed. I purchased creamed honey (the chocolate creamed honey - oh my stars!) from H.L. Franklin's Healthy Honey and couldn't resist some flower earrings from Southern River Co., which sells handmade items at the farmer's market and on their website.

And yes, of course, there's all that wonderful fresh produce that I brought home with me.

The Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market is open from 9 a.m. to 12;30 p.m. every Saturday from April through November.

Stay local, y’all.

Weird, Wacky & Wild South is written by Cheré Dastugue Coen who loves a farm-grown Creole tomato and sweet Southern corn right off the cob. That's Cheré in her youth enjoying ripe Louisiana watermelon at New Orleans Jazz Fest.

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