Mulberry Market: fresh, local produce for all budgets

Macon is blessed with many local markets for Maconites to buy and sample products from small local farmers, craftsmen, artists, and artisans. One such market is the Mulberry Market, which is held virtually every Wednesday year-round at Tattnall Square Park near the Tennis Center from 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM.

The market is a program of Community Health Works, a non-profit group that promotes the health of the whole person. It is managed by Lacey Resch, who not only processes vendor applications but also publishes the market newsletter, processes credit and EBT transactions, and handles all customer and vendor issues.

Macon Mulberry Market Fruits and Vegetables
Organic, locally-raised vegetables, grown outside of Milledgeville, for sale at Mulberry Market. Photo by Lauren Deal.

Some of the local goods that have been available at the market in recent weeks include fresh blackberries by the bundle, peaches, French-style macarons (not to be confused with coconut macaroons), freshly squeezed lemonade and baked items. Many things are picked fresh off local and regional farms and therefore are only available during a short peak season. One such item, the blackberries mentioned above, were gone by the beginning of July.

Other locally-sourced items offered for sale include flowering plants, herbs, hand-crafted soaps and goat’s milk soaps, and jewelry. At times, there are vendors selling locally-raised beef and honey products. Prepared food items, perfect for a Wednesday night dinner, are sold ready-to-eat from a local food truck vendor, and in warmer months, there has been a snow cone trucks on occasion to help shoppers cool off.

Although the market is considered year-round, there are a few exceptions. “A couple of the days we are closed every year are the day before Thanksgiving and the week between Christmas and New Year’s,” said Resch. Occasionally, she said, they would also close for bad weather. “A little rain doesn’t deter our shoppers but lightning or the threat of tornadoes will likely mean I cancel the market.”

Anyone interested in selling at the market can visit their website at www.mulberrymarket.org to fill out an application. Unlike a retail market, there are some restrictions. “We are a producer-only market, which means that the vendor must raise, grow, or create the items they wish to sell,” explained Resch. If approved, the weekly vendor fee is $15.00.

Macon Mulberry Market - Flower bouquets
Vendors display fresh, fragrant bouquets of flowers at great prices. Photo by Lauren Deal.

For those enrolled in SNAP, the market is a participant in the Georgia Fresh 4 Less program. Mulberry Market, in partnership with Wholesome Wave Georgia, combine their efforts to offer matching value to those who use their cards. According to the Resch, the market was able to provide $16,000 in matching benefits to lower-income shoppers.

Mulberry Market is an excellent opportunity for shoppers to find locally crafted goods and locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as an excellent place for those producers to bring them to market. The Mulberry Market is open from 3:30-6:00 on most Wednesday afternoons at Tattnall Square Park, which is located at 1155 College Street in Macon, near Mercer University’s main campus.

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