Hall County Farmers Market and New County Agent

The Hall County Farmer’s Curb Market was organized by the Hall County Extension Service for local farmers to sell directly to the public in the early 1970’s. The Farmer’s Market was reorganized in the early 80’s, and the selling point was in the parking lot of Lakeshore Mall. The grand opening of the current market at Jesse Jewell Parkway and East Crescent Drive (Exit 24 off of I-985) was held in 1992 and built by Hall County with financing provided by a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).

The current site has 56 covered spaces for market sellers and is open on Tuesday and Friday mornings, May through October. Farmers arrive at 6:00 a.m. and depart when they sell out of goods, usually around 10:00 a.m. All products sold at the market must be grown in Hall County or a surrounding county and must be sold by the person who grew them. Assigned spaces are available to members who pay a $50 advance fee. Individuals wanting to sell only three or four times a year can pay a $1 fee for a space, if space is available.

Prices charged at the market are generally lower than in local food stores and, of course, the buyer can be assured of a fresh product. Some of the market items for sale include: local honey, fresh cut-flowers and container plants, tomatoes, corn, cantaloupes, watermelons, peaches, beans, peas, cabbage, herbs, preserves and salsa. This year, Tim Roberts, owner of Two Dog Cafe, held demonstrations on different ways to use locally grown produce and prepared fun, delicious, easy-to-prepare dishes.

The exciting 3rd Annual Large Vegetable Contest was held in August with fun for the entire family. Contest entries included pumpkins weighing some 550 pounds! Large pumpkin and watermelon winners received $100 each, and every other winner received a ribbon.

For more information on the Hall County Farmers Market, contact Hall County Extension Agent Shay Bomberger, 770-535-8293 or e-mail: shayb@arches.uga.edu.

Oconee County native Billy Skaggs is the new Hall County Extension Coordinator. Skaggs most recently served as Haralson County Extension Coordinator and has previous experience in the wholesale and retail nursery industry. He has a degree in Agriculture from the University of Georgia and currently services as member of the Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents, the Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents and is a member of the Gainesville Rotary Club.

Billy Skaggs and his wife Betsy have one son, Benjamin (18 months). Hall County Extension Service, 734 E. Crescent Drive, Suite 300, in Gainesville. 770-535-8293.