The Morningside Farmers Market has its roots in a former farm cooperative that started with Cynthia Hizer’s herb garden at the old Atlanta Waterworks in the late 1980’s:
History as told by Ann Brewer:
“Georgia Grown Cooperative was a few years old, and Gunter Seeger, the most prominent chef in Atlanta at that time, and our major purchaser, kept insisting that we develop a farmers’ market. Cynthia Hizer was with the AJC at the time, and she visited several farmers markets in California, Arizona and elsewhere, and got some really super information, and learned that there was only one totally certified organic market in the country at the time. We decided this was a model we wanted to emulate.
Indigo Coastal Grill was a hot restaurant at the time, and the owner encouraged us to use his parking lot, since at that time he owned the entire strip. He really encouraged us, and supported us all the way. After being pushed by Gunter too, we talked to several of the Georgia Grown growers, and when they made their weekly delivery to Covington, we convinced them to bring a bunch of stuff for the Market.
I had an old station wagon at the time, and Cynthia, Margaret Putnam, and I, along with Kathy Radford (she was a Georgia Tech graduate who really knew how to make change) drove to the parking lot, and we parked right where Nicolas (Crystal Organic Farms) holds court today, and with very little publicity we sold out in about an hour and a half. The second week we got more stuff from the growers and sold out in two hours — the third week, the growers thought ‘oh shoot’, and Nicolas, Pete, Walter Williams, Andrew Goldstein, Jim Klicka, Bill Moorehead, Carol Nufer, Andrew Stocklinski, Sorren, and others joined in.
We thought we could draw more attention by having chef demos, so we invited Gunter, and lots of folks turned out to see him. We then invited Scott Peacock from Horseradish Grill, and he too was a crowd pleaser, as was Michael Tuohy. The second season we realized we had a better turn out with the demos so started them on a weekly basis, and from there we are where we are today with weekly chef demos, and such a fine established market.”
Now, more than twenty years later, some of the same farmers and partners are still with us, along with a new forged group of farmers and artisans, all proud to be serving the community with the highest quality in fresh, local and organic produce.