When spring arrives, our weekly routine includes visiting local farmers’ markets. Each one (and there are many to choose from) has its own flavor, with distinct farms and local vendors. Due to its proximity, a shaded, laid-back setting, and a superb collection of vendors, the market with which My Little Foodies are most familiar is the Peachtree Road Farmers’ Market. Located in the wooded parking lot of the Cathedral of St. Philip in south Buckhead, the market is the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the state, meaning that everything has been grown, raised, or made by the seller, generally ensuring the freshest fare at the fairest prices.
Being a member of a CSA (community-supported agriculture), I am a big fan of supporting local farmers and eating/cooking with local ingredients. We pick up our share of locally grown fruits, veggies, and grains during the week, and attend weekend markets like this one to supplement with goodies such as fresh-baked breads, organic yogurts and cheeses, and anything else we might need for a special dinner that week. This is also a wonderful place to teach your children more about their food, as weekly demos by local chefs highlight products available that day from vendors, and provide mouthwatering samples. Parents can benefit from the creative ideas shared by some of the top chefs in the city, including Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene, Chris Hall of the Local Three, Anne Quatrano of Bacchanalia, and the list goes on. In addition, partnerships between the Market and The Captain Planet Foundation and The Southeastern Horticultural Society have made possible monthly hands on programming for children to learn about the earth, environment, and how food grows.
While many go to the farmers’ market to buy their meat, eggs, and produce for the week, we go primarily to eat. There has certainly been a recent boom for farm-to-table cooking, evidenced at this market where a wide array of vendors serve up delicious examples to eat right there. For Big A, the farmers’ market is synonymous with some local favorites such as King of Pops popsicles, H&F (Holman & Finch) Bread Co.’s fresh-baked breads and pastries, and Atlanta Fresh Artisan Creamery’s handmade Greek yogurt from local grass fed cows. We also stumbled upon a couple of lesser known vendors with delicious offerings that would satisfy anyone for breakfast or lunch.
S&J’s Woodfired Pizza serves homemade tasty “zas” using locally sourced ingredients, many of them available at neighboring booths. We indulged in a breakfast pizza topped with Pine Street Market’s handmade bacon (you can smell the bacon samples the second you get out of your car), egg, and a touch of sriracha. Yolk from the egg, cooked to a perfect over easy in S&J’s portable wood-fired grill, created a fantastic dipping sauce for the crispy, bubbly crust. We took the leftovers home, and Big A was devastated to learn that Mommy and Daddy finished it off as a snack while she napped.
We also tried some refreshing high protein, high fiber salads at Simply Fresh. Owner Dolores Svensson has a free standing market, as well as a carry-out café in Marietta. Her refreshing salads are unique combinations of low sodium, nutrient dense grains with fresh fruits and vegetables. We tried a number of samples (one of the many fun perks at the market) including the organic quinoa salad with asparagus and pine nuts and the roasted beets, apples, and goat cheese salad, but settled on the organic farro with strawberries, goat cheese, and pecans. This was a refreshing, protein-packed lunch for Little A, with leftovers to spare.
Stuffed and ready to head out to Big A’s t-ball game, we had to deal with her protest at being forced to leave without a visit to the fantastic playground adjacent to the parking lot. We’ll just have to carve out some time for that on the next Saturday, when Big A will bolt into our room at 7 a.m. ready to go back to the market. Mommy and Daddy will certainly not object.
King of Pops Popsicle-$2.50
H&F Bread Co. Savory Croissant-$3.00
Atlanta Fresh Artisan Creamery Yogurt-$2.25
S&J’s Woodfired Breakfast Pizza-$8.00
Simply Fresh Salad-$7.50