Thursdays just got hotter with the addition of a number of activities at the Evans Towne Farmers Market.
“Summer is such a great time of year for local foods, so we’re hoping folks will brave the heat to support their farmers,” said Kim Hines, organizer of Augusta Locally Grown, which operates the Evans Towne Farmers Market. “We’re already starting to see a much wider range of fresh produce available, including those tomatoes, peaches, melons and onions that folks have been asking about. Beans and squash are plentiful right now too. And don’t forget the milk, meat, cheese and eggs.”
There will also be monthly cooking contests this summer.
“We’re calling it Market Stadium. The first one will be for kids ages 9-16. It’s called the Cooler than a Cucumber Salad contest, in which eight youths will compete to make the best cucumber salad on June 19,” explained Hines. “Next month, on July 17, we’ll be inviting eight local chefs and other serious home cooks to compete in our Great Summer Tomato Sandwich contest.
“We’re even ordering trophies and recruiting some pretty fun judges, just to make it fun for everyone involved,” she added. “Not sure what theme we’ll choose for August yet, but we plan to continue the cooking contests through October.”
The weekly kids program at the market continues to offer fun for the younger crowd.
“Our free, hands-on kids program allows youth to explore a different local food each week. There’s always a tasting component, and there’s always a little something fun, too,” said Hines. “Nothing says summer like a watermelon seed flicking contest!”
Local musicians continue to liven up the atmosphere at the weekly market, which is held each Thursday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the park behind the Columbia County Library.
“We’ve enjoyed a fantastic lineup of volunteer musicians this year at the market, and can’t believe our luck as they continue to sign up,” said Hines. “Of course, we are always looking for more local talent. It makes such a difference for our venue every Thursday afternoon.”
The Evans Towne Farmers Market continues to grow and flourish with each passing week. Organizers anticipate only great things in months to come as the second year of the market continues.
“I think the most important thing for us to all remember is that summer in Georgia is exhausting for farmers,” said Hines.
“Seeing their customers come to the market every week, getting feedback and kudos about their wonderful fresh foods, and watching folks enjoying the flavors of the season; that’s what keeps the farmers going.”