Georgia might be the Peach State, but did you know we could just as easily be known as the blueberry state, the peanut state, or the pecan state. Each of those crops far outnumber peach production here, but peaches are what puts us on the map.
Don’t get me wrong, the peaches are incredible! Starting in May through August, you can find buckets overflowing with the infamous sweet, fuzzy fruit at every roadside stand and produce aisle. The best place to get honest-to-goodness Georgia peaches, though, is at our local farmers’ markets.
Georgia’s climate gives us a bounty of produce year round, and the farmers’ markets deliver the goods and then some. The season starts with real strawberries (none of those tasteless grocery store strawberries to be found here), asparagus, spring onions, and baby lettuces in March, through summer’s surplus of blackberries, blueberries, plums, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, and yes, peaches, all the way to fall’s harvest of pears, pecans, Muscadine grapes, potatoes, and pumpkins. Even winter brings a worthy haul with collards, turnip greens, carrots, beets, and cabbage.
Our farmers’ markets offer up plenty of other locally produced goodies as well like organic beef and chicken, hydroponically raised tilapia, shrimp caught that morning, locally-made honey, specialty mushrooms, artisan breads, homemade cheeses, and, my favorite, farm fresh eggs.
Check out these five farmers’ markets on any Saturday morning. Some are even open during the week and year-round.
1. Forsyth Farmers’ Market – The mother of all farmers’ markets in the city, the Forsyth Farmers’ Market has it all. Every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm on the south side of Forsyth Park, vendors from around the region set up shop. Bootleg Farms sometimes brings goats and chickens to create a little petting zoo …just don’t think to hard about that chicken marsala you make later. Check out the fishmonger at Billy’s Botanicals and sign up for his email list so you know the catch of the day ahead of time. Canewater Farms is also worth a stop for not just wholly organic produce like obscure peppers and adorable baby eggplants, but also grits, cornmeal and polenta.
2. Islands Farmers’ Market – This market has more to offer than fresh produce. Stands at the market offered up t-shirts, craft goods, preserves and jams, and, believe it or not, Chic-fil-a. There is even an adorable teardrop camper serving up kombucha on tap and craft sodas. Don’t miss the honey stand – T’s Bees. The farmer works to set up honey farms in Costa Rica, providing access to jobs and livlihoods.
3. Savannah State Farmers’ Market – If you’re willing to go a bit off the beaten path, this farmer’s market is the real deal and comes in at an, honestly, much more affordable price point than its city-centered peers. Come with an empty stomach and stop by Babe’s BBQ after you pick up your weekly shopping list.
4. Davis Produce – This brick-and-mortar store is a more permanent option than your weekend farmer’s market, so you’re in luck if you’re in the mood for fresh fruit on a weekday. Locally known as the “Home of the Killer Tomato,” they have fresh flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables on offer year-round.
Between the community gardens on offer in the city if DIY is more your style and the many farmers’ markets listed here, there’s no lack of delicious fresh produce and so much more to be found in Savannah. Good eats and healthy treats to you!