Want to buy farm-fresh eggs and produce at Brook Run Park on the weekend? Dunwoody residents may be able to do so next spring, if a plan can be hatched between a group of volunteers and the Dunwoody Homeowners Association.
Lynn Deutsch, a city councilmember who said she was acting only as a proponent of establishing a farmers market in the city, along with Elizabeth Cowan, a junior at Dunwoody High School, pitched the idea to DHA members at the group’s Nov. 5 board meeting.
The idea would be to use DHA’s already established nonprofit status and committee structure to get the farmers market off the ground. A group of about a dozen residents have formed a committee to seek sites and find farmers willing to participate, said Cowan, who is a member of the committee. The group also is working with the city’s Sustainability Committee, she said.
The major force behind trying to establish a farmers market in Dunwoody is Marian Avise. Avise, who could not make the November DHA meeting, has lived in Dunwoody for six years and said she plans to make a formal proposal to the DHA in December.
“A farmers market is something I’m personally passionate about and I think it would be great for us to have one,” she said in an interview. “It’s time to take steps to get a farmers market back.”
The city once had a farmers market, but it closed several years ago after backers couldn’t find a permanent home.
“We had a Wednesday morning farmers market and they struggled to find a permanent home for a lot of reasons,” Deutsch said at the meeting.
Those reasons, she said, included the market being for-profit and owned by one farmer who also wanted to control what competing farmers could sell. The proposed farmers market will be a nonprofit.
Avise said she believes Brook Run Park, where DHA holds its popular Food Truck Thursdays events in the summer, is the best site for a new farmers market. Another site being looked at is an overflow parking lot at the Dunwoody-Perimeter College campus of Georgia State University.
Plans are to have it held on Saturdays, she said.
A question was raised at the DHA meeting about excluding Jewish people who attend synagogue on Saturdays. Avise said she understands the concern, but Saturday is the most well received day by committee members and the farmers they have contacted to participate.
“If it becomes as popular as we want it to be, we will also hold it on other days,” she said.
So far, about 20 farmers, as well as market representatives, have been contacted about forming a farmers market in Dunwoody, Avise said. “The response has been very positive,” she said.
If the DHA agrees to team up to create the farmers market, the next step will be coming up with guidelines of what will be offered in order to ensure a good mix of goods and food, Avise said.
“This will not be a flea market. It will not be an art festival. It will be a farmers market,” she said.
Avise regularly shops at area farmers markets, such as those in Sandy Springs and Alpharetta. She said the committee is made up of health-conscious Dunwoody residents who don’t want to drive out of town for fresh food.
“It’s too bad when we have to drive elsewhere to do something we can do here,” she said.