A steady stream of shoppers from Dunwoody and nearby communities braved a brief return of chilly temperatures last Wednesday to welcome vendors back to the Dunwoody Green Market on the opening day of the this year's season.
The market is located in the Dunwoody Village parking lot next to the Dunwoody Village post office. It will be open rain or shine (but not in lightning!) every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon until November 21.
“This is a great turnout for a cold morning,” said Michele Greene, the market’s manager, as people walked from one vendor tent to another throughout the morning.
“Zowie! Fantastic!” she exclaimed about the opening day enthusiasm in an email. “There were old friends, new friends, hugging and kissing and waving and shouting. Great music, wonderful food, new vendors … it exceeded my expectations in every way,” she continued.
One should put Wednesdays 8-12 on the calendar and plan on being there every week until Thanksgiving.”
If you do, you’ll see the market’s unabashed ambassador greeting shoppers as they make their way from stall to stall purchasing greens, garlic, ornamental and edible garden plants, cheeses, breads, jellies, honey, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soaps, pizzas and more.
One of those shoppers on opening day was Jill Pohl, who said she’s been coming to the market every year since it was at the Spruill Gallery. “This day has been on my calendar for a while!” she said, holding several heuchera plants destined for her flower beds.
Among the highlights of opening day was a chef demonstration by Megan McCarthy of Healthy Eating 101. McCarthy, a healthy lifestyle consultant as well as a chef, demonstrated how to make salads using beets, greens and other produce for sale by the farm vendors.
McCarthy will be back next week cooking breakfast at 9 a.m. Greene said in an email that McCarthy hasn’t decided what she will be cooking, but on the menu: poached eggs in a sautéed kale nest, huevos Americanos, scrambled eggs with asparagus and goat cheese, French breakfast radishes with butter and salt, yummy yogurt and granola, croissants with cheese, blueberry tarts, homemade bread with jam or cotton honey!
Other special market days to put on your calendar are:
- May 23, barbecue demonstration
- June 20, pancake breakfast
- July 11, tomato fest
- August 1, watermelon spit
- September 12, cooking on a budget demonstration
- October 31, soup day
- November 21, last day market breakfast
The Dunwoody Sustainability Commission also set up a booth as part of the commission’s efforts to make people in Dunwoody aware of all of the green and sustainable resources that are available to them. Becca Timms, Diana Trettin and Connie Morelle, who staffed the booth, said those resources include, among other things, the Nature Center, the Community Garden and the commission itself, which holds open meetings on the second Thursday of every month from 7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m. at City Hall.
To learn more about those resources, including a "Living and Learning" schedule for classes about healthy and sustainable lifestyles, visit the commission’s website.
An upcoming event that Timms, Trettin and Morelle said promises to be a lot of fun and help Dunwoody residents in their sustainability efforts is a rain barrel design contest and silent auction. The contest will be part of the May 12-13 Dunwoody Art Festival and will include 10-15 artistically designed rain barrels plus a live rain barrel painting demonstration.
When visiting the market in the next few weeks, be sure to enter the contest to win a $200 market gift card. The winner will be chosen in a drawing on May 3. You don’t have to be present to win, but you’ll miss a good time and lots of good food and fresh produce if you aren’t.
If you missed the Dunwoody Community Garden plant sale this past weekend, there’s still time to take advantage of the many wonderful vegetable and ornamental plants the volunteers have grown from seed or potted up.
The sale continues this weekend in Brook Run Park during the annual Lemonade Days festival. The sale is located in the greenhouse area, which is beside the skate park. Sale hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The sale opened to members last Thursday evening.
Among the early bird shoppers Friday morning was Rosemary Catanesi who won the raffle for the decorative pot at last year’s sale. There isn’t a raffle this year, but there are many wonderful plants to choose from.
“Sales have been fantastic,” said Diana Wood, community garden greenhouse manager and the organizer for the sale. “In fact,” she said Sunday, “we’ve already surpassed sales for last year.”
Tomatoes have been a big seller, with two of nine varieties sold out and several other types getting low on Sunday. Other plants that were sold out on Sunday were jalapeno peppers, eggplants, basil and lemon queen sunflowers.
Wood is encouraging shoppers this weekend to bring their own boxes to take plants home in. She said on Sunday that they only had a few boxes left.
"It’s amazing about how the sale is going quite well,” she said.
“We’ve had people come from Brookhaven and Tucker! The word has really gotten out.”
Proceeds from the sale will be used to help fund the charities and projects the community garden supports. The garden donates 20 percent of its growing space to charity.
Dunwoody Community Garden volunteers have also started accepting recycle plastic plant pots and the type of gardening trays that the nurseries sometimes send the plants home in. These plastic items, which county recycling centers typically reject, can be dropped off for recycle any Saturday at the Brook Run greenhouse from 9 a.m. to noon.
Reminder: Voting starts today to support the Community Garden’s effort to win an orchard.
The Community Garden is one of the finalists in the 2012 Edy's Fruit Bars Communities Take Root! contest to win a fruit tree orchard. This is the third year of the annual competition in which community volunteers, such as the members of the Community Garden, compete against each other to win an orchard.
There will be 17 winners nationwide who will be selected based on votes by the public. That’s you!
Voting will take place online only at www.CommunitiesTakeRoot.com. It continues until August 30. Information about the program is also available at the same website.
The first five winners will be announced on May 30. Four additional winners will be chosen on each of three other days -- July 2, July 31 and August 30. The rules allow one vote a day per person every day of the contest. So, remember, you can make a big difference by casting a daily vote!
All 17 winners will receive a fruit tree orchard, irrigation system, a groundbreaking party and plenty of Edy’s Fruit Bars to celebrate their new orchard.
One of the great plant explorers of our generation, Daniel J. Hinkley, shared stories and photos from his worldwide collecting trips at Trees Atlanta last week.
Among the many interesting images Hinkley showed was the pith of Edgeworthia gardneri being turned into paper by local villagers in a remote area of the Himalaya. Edgeworthia chrysantha, the most common form of Edgeworthia sold in Atlanta nurseries, is known as the “rice paper plant.”
Hinkley, founder of the famous Heronswood Nursery and Display Garden in Kingston, Wash., which he sold to W. Atlee Burpee & Co. in 2000, actually collects seed rather than plants. The seeds are carefully cleaned, dried, labeled and packaged in the field, often at remote locations. The goal is to prepare the seeds so they will clear customs inspections in originating countries and on arrival in the United States.
Hinkley grows the seeds at his private garden, Windcliff, above Puget Sound on Washington’s Kitsap Peninsula. The garden includes plants grown from seeds collected during 20 years of trips to countries such as Turkey, India, Nepal, China and Taiwan. Among his prizes are rare specimens of common varieties of plants seen in Dunwoody gardens, including Schefflera, Daphniphyllum, Mahonia, Maples, Hydrangeas and other types.
Scott McMahan, owner of GardenHood has been on a number of collecting trips with Hinkley.
Some of the plants they collected back in the early 2000s have been available for sale at the intown nursery. More eventually will make their way to the sales tables.
Before that can happen, says GardenHood Store Manager Kacey Cloues, plants have to be researched and go through various trials to be deemed worthy for release to the retail market. That trial and development period can take as long as 7-10 years, she said.