Johns Creek residents, as well as people from neighboring towns, braved the on-again-off-again threat of rain for what many felt was a fair pay-off: good, flavorful, fresh produce from area farmers as well as wonderful baked goods and specialty items. It was all part of the second weekend of the Johns Creek Summer Farmers Market at Newtown Park.
Vendors like David Hampton of David’s Garden said he certainly has appreciated the great turnout, but admitted that he hasn’t been surprised at all by the response.
“The customers that come here have a real high standard,” said Hampton, as he shared samples of his various pickles with his patrons. “They recognize good quality. It’s that simple.”
One of his customers, private chef Jonathon Franks of Johns Creek, agreed.
“There’s so much more flavor in fresh, farm-to-table produce,” Franks said. “It’s not been processed down to mush.”
Though shy to talk about it, his 6-year-old daughter, Audrey Franks, put her stamp of approval – a cute little satisfied smile - specifically on the “Sweet & Crunchy Dill Pickle” from David’s Garden.
“I want to see this grow,” added Franks, who says he normally shops in Buford. “It’s great for this area.”
Franks shared the sentiments of a number of shoppers, many of whom have also been getting their fresh “farm-to-table” produce elsewhere.
Newtown Park appears to make a very good venue for the farmers market. It has easy access, ample parking and plenty of space. It also seems to attract a lot of walking, jogging and dog-lover traffic – people who didn’t know the market was even there until they virtually stumbled onto it.
“Dog friendly” and with plenty of refreshments, as well as games for the kids, there were soon small, casual groups of individuals gathered in clusters, roaming about, sampling, chatting and just having a good time – especially when they would see friends and neighbors.
In just two weeks the farmer's market has become what farmers market have always been - something of a social event, a gathering place for friends and neighbors. Officials say some 400 people turned out for the debut last weekend.
However, in the case of Michelle Ettenger and her friends - all from Johns Creek - they had already gotten together before they arrived. In fact, they had been shopping earlier in the morning at Roswell’s farmers market. Ettenger and her neighborhood friends, Connie Scruggs, Gabrielle Scott and Tammy Prosch-Allred, made it something of a “farmers market day.” But not without paying a small price.
“We just left the Roswell farmers market,” laughed Ettenger, “and got rained on. But this is a great little park – it’s fun and I think it’ll grow.”
“Yeah, it has potential,” remarked Scruggs.” “It’s just two miles from our house and very convenient.”
“I think it is just awesome,” said Prosch-Allred as she looked over the produce from Mountain Earth Farms of Habersham County. “I love it.”
The Johns Creek Summer Farmers Market is just that, a summertime event taking place each Saturday morning between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Newtown Park on Old Alabama Road. It will run until Sept. 10.