Farmers’ Market seeks to ‘bring Bainbridge back to the table’

Published 9:47 pm Friday, October 3, 2014

Local farmer Mack Lane sits in The Bean Café on the Bainbridge Square almost every morning to enjoy coffee with friends. He looks out the window at West and Water streets and envisions a bustling crowd of hundreds gathered together. They aren’t protesting or holding a ceremony. 

They’re coming together over food—locally grown and raised. That’s when Lane’s idea for the Bainbridge Farmers’ Market was born.

“I approached a group of people, and we had lunch and it kind of snowballed from there,” Lane said. “(I was) asking people if they were interested, asking if they wanted to be a part of it. And then a couple months ago we wound up with a board and things started happening.”

Next Saturday, Oct. 11, eight vendors will be on the square from 8 a.m. to noon for the inaugural Bainbridge Farmer’s Market under the new committee. Sellers include Harvest Moon, local produce grower David Hopkins and KBH of Moultrie selling grass-fed beef and pecans. Lane will also have a booth.

The market’s aim is to encourage the community to come out on Saturday mornings and enjoy being downtown together. Eating healthy foods that are in season is an important factor, too.

“It’s healthier and better all around when you’re eating what’s locally in season in your area as opposed to buying peaches from Mexico in September,” board member Mills Brock said. “It’s better that way and it’s more sustainable that way.”

Board member Jessica Allen said she thought Bainbridge was ready to become even more community-oriented, especially on the downtown scene. The Farmer’s Market is an attempt to create momentum for that movement.

“Within five months, we met, got our nonprofit, got a board and now we’re starting our farmer’s market,” Allen said. “To me, that just goes to show when it needs to be done, it can be done. It doesn’t have to complicated. There’s a momentum, and people will ride it.”

Next Saturday won’t be all about the food, though. Sponsors will hold raffles and give away gifts. Activities and games for kids will be available,and the annual St. John Episcopal Church’s “Blessing of the Animals” ceremony will take place from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Future plans include live music, recipe samples and clothing showcases.

“We’re trying to make Saturday mornings a downtown Bainbridge thing,” Allen said. “From 8 a.m. to noon, we’re promoting local business and everything, not just (The Farmers’ Market).”

The Bainbridge Farmer’s Market board is excited to get its fall plans underway. They will take a break in December, then start back again in the spring.

“I just hope to see this place barricaded off with a hundred people out there,” Lane said.