Patchy overcast skies coupled with the relative cool of the morning and the tree-lined street near the Berry Ford complex made for a pleasant Saturday shopping experience.
Bruce Watterson said he needed blinders to keep him from stopping with his wife Renva Watterson at each of the more than two dozen vendors who were selling everything from fresh corn and peppers to Adirondack chairs and jewelry.
“I could stop at every one, without fail,” Bruce Watterson said. “I could buy something at every booth all the way down.”
Renva Watterson showed off fresh beef, squash, cucumbers, and a Sugar Baby watermelon, and the couple still had plenty of vendors to visit.
Armuchee High basketball coach Ray Tucker was helping mind his son Craig Tucker’s fresh produce business.
“All the lettuces are grown hydroponically in the water. We don’t use any herbicides or pesticides,” Tucker said. “He also grows tomatoes, bell peppers, those are all grown organically. He’s got a couple of restaurants in the Marietta area that are his biggest customers. We’re at five different (farmers markets) this morning.”
Many of the vendors were Berry students, representing various student-managed enterprises.
Senior Karla Gann from Ringgold is managing Martha’s Herbs and Season’s Harvest this year. She said marketing is the biggest challenge to the student business.
“We have a variety of herbs this year; lemon verbena, orange zesty mint, chocolate mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary and sage,” Gann said. “I don’t really know what appeals to most people. I would like to catch their eye. We have tags with recipes on the back and that helps a little bit.”
Spencer Miller, a Berry student from Jacksonville, Fla., working with the Viking Furniture business was helping hawk cypress Adirondack chairs.
“I needed a job for the summer and I double as a carpenter,” Miller said. “The cypress comes from a wholesaler in Calhoun. The chairs are assembled with stainless steel bolts and screws so they won’t rust, and the student who made it signs each chair.
Saturday’s event was the largest of the event for the summer at Berry, however the college is hosting a Farmers Market each Tuesday morning in the area near The Cage Center.