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Fresh veggies sold in the downtown shade
Market on the Square features cooking demonstrations each summer Friday
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Jennifer Phillips, left, of Jefferson, hands a mixed bouquet of flowers Friday to customer Jordan Cunnings at the Market on the Square in downtown Gainesville. She and her husband, Nathan, have a booth called The Yellow Petal at the market.

Every Friday this summer, local farmers will be selling their produce under the shade of trees on the square in downtown Gainesville.

The Downtown Gainesville Market on the Square is a way to help Gainesville residents find healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables and to help local farmers sell their extra produce.

With the summer heat rolling in, the new location couldn't be more welcome.

"Finally on the square, under the trees so you can get some relief," said Michael Wheeler, Extension Agent for Hall County.

"Farmers need to sell produce, there are markets everywhere," Steven Thomas, Market Manager of Downtown Market on the Square, said. "We would rather have them sell in Hall County than anywhere."

There are a variety of vendors in the market selling anything from honey to squash. Every Friday around 4 p.m. there will be a cooking demonstration to give quick and easy dinner ideas with the fresh vegetables from the market.

Bob Bradberry, 79, of Flowery Branch sells honey he collects from his beehives. He provides a list of recipes and baking ideas to his customers, including his own of honey, apple cider vinegar and cinnamon, which he says will cure allergies.

"Everybody does such creative things," Scott Dixon from the Board of Main Street, said. "It's a community farmer's market."

The market is expected to grow every week with new vendors, cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts and cooking competitions.

In July the "Cast-Iron Chef Gainesville" cooking competition will begin. Participants are given a mystery box of fruits and vegetables and asked to prepare a meal.

Around the third or fourth week in June there will be a salsa festival.

"Tomatoes and peppers come in at the same time. What else do you do? Salsa festival," Thomas said.

The salsa festival will have a salsa-making competition, a calypso band and fresh tomatoes and peppers.

"This will only get bigger," Dixon said. "We'll have the whole market wrapped around the square."

 

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