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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!

 

Who knew cucumbers could have so many uses?!

Here are some amazing cucumber facts that are definitely inspiring me to grab a few cukes July 18 at the market:

  1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
  2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and carbs that can provide a quick pick-me-up.
  3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
  4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your garden? Place a few cute slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
  5. Want a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going to the pool? Rub a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!
  6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!
  7. Do you have an important meeting but no time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
  8. Want to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
  9. Feeling stressed? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
  10. Out of breath mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
  11. Need a ‘green’ way to clean your taps, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
  12. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!

Just Wow!

I had an amazing experience at the farmers market yesterday. Honestly, I’m really not sure if I can explain this well.

“Cause ya’ just had to be there. So, let me start by saying how amazingly fabulous our market vendors are. And then, I want to share how beautiful our community supporters and participants truly are also.

We had another iffy Monday with torrential rain, and lightening for about an hour or so, maybe nearly 2 hours. But, who’s counting? I can’t lie, some of the vendors bailed. Can’t say I blame them. But, enough stayed to actually have a decent market. We had fun. I swear!

Low and behold, the umbrellas came out, people were texting me, “should I come?”, and,  “are you open?” messages were coming in from NextDoor, people were pulling up and just waiting, or driving in rolling down their windows to ask for what they wanted and backing out.

It was so heartwarming.

Believe it or not, the vendors did well.

People were happy.

And, today, one of our customers emailed me to say this, “The peaches and tomatoes are way better than what I can get at the grocery store.”

Touché.

 

 

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!