Wiregrass Farmers Market to open at Agrirama | Schools
TIFTON, GA - News release from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
Homegrown spring produce, fresh-baked bread, and hand-made crafts will occupy the spotlight when the brand new Wiregrass Farmers Market opens in Tifton on Saturday.
Located next to the Country Store at the main entrance of the Georgia Museum of Agriculture at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, the Market will be open every Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon through the fall.
Leeann Culbreath, a volunteer and bread vendor at the Market, said the grand opening represents an opportunity for people to meet local farmers and artisans.
“We provide an opportunity for visitors to talk to the people who grow the food, prepare the baked goods, and create the handicrafts so they can ask questions about how the items were grown and prepared,” Culbreath said. “We require that at least 75 percent of produce sold is grown by the vendor.
“We aim to be a producers’ market, to connect people directly with the people and farms that produce the food they enjoy and take home to their families.
But it’s more than just a place to buy food. We are creating a space to serve as a community hub to learn about healthy living and food traditions.”
As a vendor, Melba Wishum is enthusiastic about the location and partnership with the Museum of Agriculture.
"We are very pleased with this partnership,” said Wishum. “There has already been so much cooperation and work from everybody to get the Market off the ground.
We are happy with it and expect to have a lot of interest in this location with the locals and tourists.
The location is a boon in many ways. Being in an agricultural setting, the fit is perfect. Having space to put in small vegetable and flower garden plots is wonderful.”
Upcoming adult workshops will provide information on growing, preparing and preserving food including cheese making, drying fresh foods, and gardening and growing gourmet mushrooms. These workshops will be offered at least once a month.
A “canning basics” workshop will be the first workshop on May 5 from 10-11 a.m. Canning methods and tips will be offered for those who always wanted to try home canning but may have been intimidated by the process.
A weekly “canning club” will also meet one evening a week during the month of May in the Historic Village to offer hands-on canning experience. More information and a sign-up sheet will be available at the Market’s welcome table.
Children who visit the Market this season will help to plant and care for small-scale container, raised-bed and vertical garden spaces, including bean and gourd teepees and a pollinator garden.
They will also learn to grow a “pizza garden” in straw bales, make bird feeders, build a community compost bin, try their hand at shelling and cracking corn, and create works of art with natural items on different Saturdays.
These activities begin at 10 a.m. each Saturday. Providing special fun this Saturday will be a selection of baby animals, compliments of the Wagenhorst Farm. Children and adults can feed them treats.
The opening of the Market coincides with the annual Museum of Agriculture Folklife Festival, which runs from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Festival activities include action at the turpentine still, soap-making, blacksmith demonstrations, live traditional music, and quilting demonstrations. Live sacred harp and shape-note singing will take place in the Peanut Museum adjacent to the Market.
Another added attraction this Saturday will be free chair massages offered by licensed massage therapist Katie McGee of Hairitage Salon and Spa.
For more information about the Wiregrass Farmers Market or to receive a vendor application and guidelines, interested persons can contact Polly Huff, liaison for the Wiregrass Farmers Market at (229) 391-5222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.