Cotton Mill Farmer's Market - Linking the Community to the Farm
There is an increasing disconnect between farm and non-farm communities. This disconnect is recognized by the Carroll County Farmland and Rural Preservation Partnership and is a priority of theirs that is addressed in this project. Many residents, both new and old, in this region near Atlanta, Georgia are using their small acreage tracts to earn extra income and to diversify their food source. These small-acreage farmers offer a tremendous opportunity to spread the word about non-traditional crops, value-added products and small farm management. Through marketing, they can help to link urban residents to the farming community.
A farmers’ market will not only provide producers with an opportunity to market locally and encourage the development of value-added products, but will help connect farm and non-farm communities. This market will serve people in Carroll county and adjacent counties. A market steering committee has begun the planning process and its first objective is to develop a board of directors that is led by farmers and representatives from local businesses, master gardeners, the Carrollton, GA Main Street program and the State University of West Georgia.
Market participation by producers and consumers will be monitored through surveys conducted by the market manager. The surveys will include information on sales figures and repeat customers. Furthermore, farmers will be surveyed about new crops or products they have initiated as a result of the local marketing opportunity and what crops and products are desired by consumers at the market.