(Photo of the Suwanee Community Garden, April 2012)
Hi No Excuses Family! Guest blogger Stephanie Kingery here! With summer right around the corner, it is also fresh food time and farmers market season. Now, trying to keep up with organic, grass fed, locally grown, free range can be daunting, expensive and hard to find, so while doing the research for our family I thought everyone else could enjoy the info as well.
May and June is when many of the local farmer’s markets pop up. There are several farmers markets very near the box, with one just down the street in the Suwanee Town Center Park. Most of the local farmers markets are consistent in providing you a good selection of fruits, vegetables, dairy, eggs and meats.
With many of us living a paleo or paleo-influenced lifestyle, these things are an important part of our lifestyle. You want to ensure you are getting what you want from the market and farmers. Ask questions and get to know the farmer to understand their approach to farming. Do not assume that all the farmers at the market are there with products that are organic, local, sustainable or humanely raised.
First, make sure you understand what you are looking at and what you are looking for. This link to GeorgiaOrganics explains the difference between “local” vs. “organic”, how to approach shopping at a local farmer’s market and benefits to local and organically grown foods (much more succinctly than I could). It also gives some perspective on why not all locally farmed food is officially organic, yet may be perfectly suitable to include in your diet. Second, know what to ask the farmer. Most farmers will enjoy going into detail on their sustainable and organic farming methods. Here is a very thorough list of questionsandacceptableanswers of what you should be asking the farmers while visiting the market.
Now for the good stuff. These are five farmers markets in close proximity to No Excuses.
Suwanee Farmers Market: Located in the Suwanee Town Center Park, this market features up to 25 vendors, twice a week, from 4 to 7 pm on Tuesdays and 8 am to noon on Saturdays beginning Tuesday, May 1. Based on my shopping attempts last year, you definitely need to get there early to get the choice picks of the fruits and veggies. www.suwanee.com
Duluth Farmers Market: Located in Duluth at the corner of Hill Street and Hwy 120, the Duluth market will be open starting Saturday, May 5 from 2 to 6 pm and run every Saturday through July 28.
Norcross Whistle Stop Farmers Market: Located in Downtown Historic Norcross in Thrasher Park just past the old Whistle Stop restaurant, this farmers market has won top honors as one of the best local farmers markets in Georgia. Open on Tuesdays from 4 to 8 pm and features between 35 and 40+ vendors weekly. I plan to hit this one on my way home from work!
Lawrenceville Farmers Market: Located in downtown Lawrenceville, at the old Police Station, this market will be open on Saturdays only, from 8 am to noon beginning June 4.
Alpharetta Farmers Market: Located in downtown Historic Alpharetta off of Main Street near City Hall, this market opened April 14 and runs through October 8 every Saturday from 8 am to 12:30 pm.
Two websites listing markets throughout the state:
This is the Suwanee Co-op that Coach Ben, Coach Chris Fischer and another NEA Member have been using: Nora at Whole Foods Suwanee Co-op.
Lastly, don’t forget to bring your reusable bags, containers, possibly a cooler, CASH and an open mind to try something new!
We here at No Excuses CrossFit hope that you find this information helpful and useful. Get out and eat clean and enjoy all the benefits of doing so!