Between the Rivers Farmers’ Market:  Meet the Family Farm-and-Product-Producers All Summer.

Between the Rivers Farmers’ Market: Meet the Family Farm-and-Product-Producers All Summer.

Jason Beall and Mitch Cooper singing acoustic Americana at the Between the Rivers’ Farmers Market. Photo/Leanne Cook

By Leanne Cook
Hometown Headlines

Today was the second edition of the 2021 Between the Rivers Farmers’ Market, and amidst the crafting kids, the bee-balm browsers, and the lilt of acoustic Americana, we learned that when you buy at this market, you are often handing your payment directly to the owner who grew, harvested, and processed your purchase.

Under New Management, Selling New Products:

Christina Dew is the new market manager. “It is a lot of work but so worth it to support local business, and the opportunity to bring Rome a farm-to-table experience.”  Dew, along with her daughters Lilith and Delilah, greeted attendees. “We love talking with people and seeing families — their kids and dogs in tow — having fun and buying local.”

Asked what is different at the market in 2021, Dew said, “We have core vendors, but each market new products will be available so you can have a fresh experience along with your fresh produce.”  Up next:  peaches and flowers.

Elisabeth Lawson of Rise‘n Shine organic farm (We were happy to bag rare-ish white sweet potatoes from her today), is one of the founders of the market. “Be ready for a whole experience – organic or certified-natural produce, meats, eggs, and cheese, along with breakfast, coffee, unusual plants for your yard, water for your dog, and the occasional treat like today’s live concert from Jason Beall and Mitch Cooper.”

Local Farms Represented by Local Families:

Brad Swancy of Riverview Farms in Ranger was selling a variety of homegrown products including clear, golden honey, CBD tinctures, and popcorn, among others. Queried about how the market was going, Swancy said, “Good. People like our variety. We don’t say a lot. But we grow a lot and sell a lot. Happy to meet everyone at the market.”

Next to Riverview Farm’s booth was Carlton Farms of Rockmart, family owned and operated since 1919. “My son was so excited,” said co-owner Chad Carlton. “He stamped all the bags with our logo last night, and he was up, dressed and ready to come this morning – even before I was.”  Asked if he planned to follow in the family farming tradition, son Atticus smiled shyly and gave an emphatic, “Yes!” Carlton Farms sells raw milk for pets (look it up), and fresh meat, along with a large variety of other products.

Paper Bag Pantry offered locally grown-and-processed jams, salts and vinegars but had been cleaned out of several categories by 11 am.  “Jellies and jams were popular today,” noted owner Lynne Womack when we bought her last jar of apple jelly.  Asked about the name of the Summerville-based business, Womack said, “My mom helped me come up with it.  Paper Bag Pantry.  Useful things that you need to have waiting on the shelf when you want to cook or eat.”

The market continues every other weekend through September from 8:30-11:30 AM at Bridgepoint Plaza in Rome.

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