COVINGTON, Ga. — Products from locally grown vegetables and meat to homemade pet accessories are set to be available on opening day of the inaugural county Farmer’s Market Tuesday.
The weekly afternoon event is set to begin with 13 vendors Tuesday, May 11, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Denny Dobbs Park at 6252 Georgia Hwy. 212 North and run weekly on Tuesdays through Oct. 26.
Newton County Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring the weekly market to help showcase the area’s wide array of home businesses and locally produced products, said organizer Jillian Meert.
Opening day vendors are scheduled to include Little Springs Cattle, Double B Farm, Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice, Betsy’s Preserves, The Krafty Ladies, Meadowood Gift Boutique, MaddLulu Cafe, Issa Funnel, House of Glam Couture, Newton County Parks and Recreation, Bj’s Bob B Que, Southern Vet Sweets and Furberry’s, she said.
Meert, an administrative tech for the department, said she knows of two more vendors that will join the market’s lineup when their product is available later in the summer.
“I’m hoping to add more vendors each week,” she said.
Meert originated the idea after seeing Newton County had no organized weekly farmer's markets similar to those operating nearby in towns like Monroe and Conyers.
“After the pandemic, there are small local businesses trying to stay alive,” she said. “We want to bring the community back together.”
The county department will need to pay for staffing and utilities but vendor fees will allow it to become a self-sustaining event, Meert said.
She said she designed it to be a single-commodity market so that vendors will not be competing against others at the same market. For example, only one vegetable vendor will be present, she said.
Tamara Greene of Little Springs Cattle Co. will offer products from the company’s farm store she operates on her family’s ranch on Moore’s Farm Road in Covington.
Greene said she believes the market can be a success.
“This is an extremely community-driven county,” Greene said. “I think people would genuinely love local products. I think they will be genuinely excited about buying local.”
She said being a vendor could help publicize her farm store’s products in a better way than the roadside signs she now uses.
Greene’s farm store opened two weeks before the pandemic hit in March 2020 and many local residents may not know it is open, Greene said.
“My biggest weakness is marketing,” she said. “It’s a good way for people to learn about what we offer.”
The store sells such items as cuts of meat from Little Springs Cattle Co., as well as locally produced honey and other products.