For those of us who like to take a stroll through Forsyth Park on Saturday mornings to browse the Forsyth Farmers’ Market, it would be unlikely that anyone would guess the market has been there as long as it has.
Suddenly, one day, it has been a decade. For 10 solid years, regional farmers have been setting up shop in Forsyth Park, near the intersection of Bull Street and Park Avenue, offering the fruits and vegetables of their labor to locals and tourists alike.
Beyond that, I am guessing you probably didn't know the Forsyth Farmers’ Market applied for and was awarded a grant that allowed them to purchase a food truck. That food truck doesn't park downtown on weekend nights slinging burritos, though. Farm Truck 912 is tasked with taking healthy foods into previously determined “food deserts” in our community. Areas where residents just plain and simply do not have access to, for example, fresh-grown produce or grass-fed beef. They've been doing that for close to five years.
Full disclosure: I am a member of the board of directors at the market and have been for just over a year. Clearly, I've had something of a front-row seat. From there, I've watched the effort, passion and dedication that goes into making the market the success that it is.
There are rules, you know. You can't just pull up in a truck one day and start selling rutabagas. There's a rather meticulous selection process that balances the numbers of vendors and the items they offer for sale. Farmers’ market bylaws state that any vendor must produce at least 75 percent of what they are selling. It's why you will never see the market turn into a weekly arts and crafts fair. The Forsyth market was created for the farmers. It has been for the last decade and will continue to be for the next.
You also probably don't know that there is a major fundraising campaign going on right now. As you read this. The market's annual "Friendsgiving" campaign is one of the largest efforts of the year. How do we execute that? Very simply, actually. We throw a bunch of parties.
Over the next two to three weeks, there are gatherings going on at private homes all over town, fundraising parties where a host opens their home to a group of guests. The host provides food, drink and good cheer and the guests offer a donation — 100 percent of which goes toward the Forsyth Farmers' Market annual fund.
In the last few years, it has been incredibly successful, with each party raising a minimum of $1,000. Do that 10-12 times, and you are talking some serious fundraising, all while having a good time. This year we are adding to that list of parties by having a very big one and inviting you as well as anyone you know.
On Thursday, Nov. 29, Eat It and Like It is throwing a holiday party — a rather big holiday party for our eighth year of existence. We've called on our friends at Ghost Coast Distillery to offers beverages, and we've asked our friends at Cuoco Pazzo Cucina Italiana, 606 Abercorn St., to provide the space and the food.
You will need a ticket. We are asking for an $8 donation per person. That price will include all of the food and drink you care to enjoy, with 100 percent of the money we collect going to the Forsyth Farmers’ Market. We are hoping to raise $1,500.
More info at eatitandlikeit.com. We'll see you there.
See you on TV,