Castleberry Market Re-Opens With A Commitment To Solving The Food Desert Issue

Castleberry Market will reopen on August 1st, 2022. The public is invited to celebrate the occasion and experience the return of the only weekly Farmers Market on the Southwest side of Atlanta. 

Under the direction of Ali Washington, the Castleberry Market is renewing their commitment to the local community. The market will now be open from 5-8 PM. There is also a commitment to seeing the return of vendors who offer: artisanal baked goods, fresh produce, fresh flowers, dairy products, whole grains, and more. 

“We want to bring the farmers back to the farmer’s market,” said Ms. Washington. “There are limited healthy and sustainable food options on Atlanta’s Southwest and West sides. The community also needs more farmers who look like them.” 

Castleberry Market, formerly known as Castleberry Farmers Market, was founded by Diana Ries to bring locally produced, organic foods to a neighborhood facing a food desert. Ries and Washington’s shared desire to make healthier options available for the neighborhood and help preserve the historic black farming community is why Ries chose Ms. Washington to take over as the new director. 

Food deserts are a problem in predominantly Black and Brown communities across the country. For example, Atlanta’s population is 49.7% black. But, according to city-data.com, in 2019, Castleberry Hill’s population was 79.4% Black. Which is why Ms. Washington is determined to make use of Castleberry Hill’s reputation for being home to the largest concentration of Black-owned businesses in the nation. “I’d like to see more of the local Black farmers and chefs participating in the market,” said Washington about her hopes for the coming months. “We have to start working together to solve the food insecurity taking place on the Southwest and West sides of Atlanta.” 

Castleberry Market is a part of the non-profit organization Rocky Mountain Arts. The market is also sponsored by Carl M. Williams, Funeral Directors, Inc. 

If you are interested in interviewing Ms. Washington or providing coverage of the grand re-opening of Castleberry Market, please email hello@imageprboutique.com. 

Community Support is Imperative!

We started this farmers market three years ago to fill a void in our community and at the same time support the local farmers, bakers, and other local purveyors of specialty items like beverages, personal care, etc. You get the picture…right?

But, we CANNOT sustain this farmers market without COMMUNITY support.

If you like what this farmers market represents, please tell ALL your friends and ask your friends to tell their friends. We need more support— that means more people from the hood need to come and buy from these vendors… otherwise, they will STOP coming. This is how they make a living, ya’ know.

Our market offers fresh grown produce EVERY Monday…it lasts way longer than ANYTHING you can buy in a local grocery store. And, we have a variety of vendors offering unique organic, items such as drink mixers, body products, CBD items and more.

Okay, Mondays suck for market day. We agree completely! Show the vendors some LOVE. Let them know you care! Come out and buy some stuff! Then, they will wanna’ move WITH us to a more equitable day for the COMMUNITY.

We LOVE this community SO much.

We know WE can do this TOGETHER… with YOUR SUPPORT. The market will go away without bigger crowds from the community every Monday. That is the simple truth.

We know you want more diversity in products, a lot more produce as well. We want that too!

Come support the market to help it grow. Then, we will attract the diversity you crave.

Let’s do this!

 

Finding peace, one piece at a time…

Meet the talented Potter, Dinah.

Dinah, Centered Peace Ceramics, uses pottery to help with her compound PTSD. That’s why the back of her business cards say “finding peace one piece at a time”. Says Dinah, “Pottery is something I can only do when I am in a good place. Every piece is made with a purposeful sense of peace and joy.”

Explains Dinah, “I also like to use crystals and gold because they have positive energy. Nature is beautiful all on its own and I’ve been fortunate enough to learn an ancient craft of working with clay and making art that can be functional or just decorative that could last for thousands of years. The world is a place filled with pain and angry people. I try to bring a little more love and peace into through my pottery.”

Dinah first discovered the world of pottery 21 years ago. She studied for about 4-5 months, and, then wasn’t able to do it again for 17 years. After some big life changes Dinah returned to the potters wheel practicing for many hours every day. Fast forward about 3 and 1/2 years and she has learned so much.

There’s always more to learn but, says Dinah, “I put a lot of love into my art. Each piece is unique because I refuse to be a machine and I allow the clay to become what it wants to be many times.”

We are thrilled to have her back at the market July 11. Come see Dinah’s amazing artistry.

Why I started the Castleberry Farmers Market

I moved to Castleberry Hill in 2017 and one of the first things I noticed was that “good for you food” was really, really hard to come by in the neighborhood. Our neighborhood is actually considered a food desert… meaning people have limited access to affordable, healthy food. This just shouldn’t be.

I created the Castleberry Farmers Market to make a positive impact on my community.

Fast forward…this is my third year supporting the community with fresh, locally produced and affordable food.
This seasonal market also supports the local farmers, bakers, and other purveyors of homemade goods.

I would love for you to become a 2022 Castleberry Farmers Market Vendor! The weekly market resumes April 11 and is every Monday. Click this link to download the application and apply today! I want to support you!

You can choose between weekly, monthly or bi-monthly vending. And, farmers vend for free!

Please email your application to me, Diana, at info@castlerryfarmersmarket.org

 

We Need YOU!

In a little more than two months, it will be spring time here.

What does that mean to you?

The Farmers Market will start up again. Yahoo!

To create the best experience for our vendors and customers, we will hire a Farmers Market Assistant.

The most important part is this:

It’s a fun part-time job for every Monday from 3:30-7:30 and it begins on April 11. The pay is $500 per month. That’s pretty good for just four days in one month. A vehicle is required. So… if you are a friendly, energetic person who enjoys people and finds helping others rewarding and challenging…this job is for you!

You would be the primary contact as our Monday on-site staff person during the Market doing the following:

  • Initial Set up
  • Staffing the entrance booth
  • Managing EBT (it’s easy, I promise)
  • Fielding vendor questions for set up
  • Managing breakdown

For additional details, email Diana at info@castleberryfarmersmarket.org.

I love this community!

Giving Back

You probably have been asked to volunteer in the past for some good cause and thought, “that will be too big of a commitment” and didn’t do it. I get it. Sometimes it is too much.

But, if you think in different terms…like, I can give as much time as I want or I can quit whenever I want or…I want to give just a little back to my community…doesn’t that make it more palatable?

We would love to have you come and support the neighborhood and local farmers to help once in a while. It’s rewarding and feels good. Ya know what I mean?

Maybe it’s just one Monday all season. Or, maybe an hour here or there. We’d be so grateful and so would the local vendors.

Think about it.

The first Farmers Market is April 11. Email me…please: info@castleberryfarmersmarket.org