Home Carrollton Visit Cotton Mill Farmers Market This Weekend!

Visit Cotton Mill Farmers Market This Weekend!

Steeped in tradition and community oriented, this establishment opened in 2002. Wendy Crager, one of the first vendors, explains, “The farmer’s market was the result of a bunch of citizens of the county coming together and realizing that if the whole county was paved over with suburbia that it would no longer have the character and the farming.”  This group felt the best way to connect people with food and to educate them about the importance of farmers and what they actually do was to open a market that would allow non-farmers to see inside the lives of those who toil on the land and raise food for consumption. The market would also allow non-farmers to explore products that would please even the most persnickety.

Wendy continues, “It came together pretty quickly. The Cotton Mill Farmers Market has always been located in a parking lot, but at times it was expedient to move as the market grew larger and our customer base and vendors outgrew the original location five years after we opened.” Now in its 23rd year of serving the community, the market has been at its present location at 609 Dixie Street, Carrollton, Georgia, for several years. 

What makes The Cotton Mill Farmers Market different from other markets is a few perks they offer that others may not. The market is open on Saturday, year-round, unless there is dangerous weather. The vendors are all from a fifty-mile radius of downtown Carrollton. The market promotes sustainable agricultural practices, empowers local farm families by giving them an outlet to sell directly to the public, and builds community by reconnecting local farmers to consumers. Looking for a way to connect to the goodness of home-grown products?  Look no further. The market also fosters land stewardship, good health, and community interaction by creating an outlet which allows local farmers and vendors to sell directly to consumers.

Someone who has never been to The Cotton Mill Farmers Market will be pleasantly surprised by the products they can find there instead of at the grocery store: there’s truly a smorgasbord of cheese, fresh produce, and meat, as well as breads, pastries, granola, juices, jams, jellies, honey, flowers, stuffed animals, yarn from Alpaca fur, and other crafts. Visitors can enjoy walking through the market, savoring the impressive aromas of baked goods, looking at artwork, and sniffing the fragrances of various soaps and scented candles. There is something for everyone who visits The Cotton Mill Farmers Market. 

Doing business directly with vendors is an excellent way to save on costs and at the same time support the farmers in our area. 

Wendy, who is a full-time farmer, started in the market when there were only three vendors back in 2002. She loved being able to see neighbors and friends and wanted to do more. She told her husband, “We have to till up more ground and do more.” Doing exactly that, they became full time farmers.

Summer season begins the first Saturday in April, and the hours are from 8:00 to 11:00 in the morning. “I know that 11:00 seems early, and a lot of people like to sleep in, but – believe me – when it comes to July and it’s 11:00 and it’s 90°, people just don’t want to be there. Closing at 11 works for us and it works for the crops and hopefully it works for the customers,” Wendy explained. Another win-win for consumers is the Cotton Mill Farmers’ Market is now taking EBT cards for SNAP which will be doubled through September. You read that right. If you swipe your EBT card for $10, you get $20 in tokens to spend at the market!

Customers should always ask questions of the vendors they are interested in, because not every vendor uses organic products, and it is up to the individual vendor on whether or not they use insecticides. The number of vendors has grown over the years, but the rules in place for the vendors have not changed. If interested in becoming a vendor, then check out the guidelines that need to be followed to become part of The Cotton Mill Farmers Market on their website. 

In closing Wendy would like to share some words with the customers who have been coming to the market over the years, “It’s really remarkable that there are people that have been coming to this market religiously for 23 years. Some of the same faces we saw then we’re still seeing now, and we’re so appreciative of those people that have made it a habit. But what’s so interesting to me is after 23 years and so many hundreds of people that have supported us through the years, every week we’ll get somebody coming to the market that says ‘I’ve never been here. I’ve lived here so long, I knew that there was a market somewhere, but this is the first time I’ve ever been here.’ And so, for those people, thank you. Keep coming and we, you know, by talking to you and working with The City Menus, hope that there’ll be a lot more people.”

The Cotton Mill Farmers Market is located at 609 Dixie Street Carrollton, Georgia, 30117, just north of Tanner Medical Center. Parking is in the rear of the market, behind Haney’s Drug Corner, and is  accessed from Ambulance Drive. To contact the market about products or about becoming a vendor visit their website https://www.cottonmillfarmersmarket.org/.

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Faith V. Smith is a born and raised Carrollton native. She comes from a long legacy of Grizzard’s’ who settled in this county over three centuries ago. She is a published singer and songwriter, has over ten published novels, and does freelance editing, as well as web design. She is the proud mother of Amanda and several furry children and grandchildren.