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Annual Lawrenceville Farmers' Market starts Saturday

LAWRENCEVILLE - Call it a produce-a-palooza.

Beginning Saturday, downtown Lawrenceville will be ground zero for proponents of the "locally grown" food craze.

A summer staple for four years, the Lawrenceville Farmers' Market kicks off at

8 a.m. in a space behind the Crogan Street fountain.

"We'll have produce, flowers, jams, homemade doggie treats," said Rebekah Cline, membership and marketing director for the Lawrenceville Tourism and Trade Association. "We certainly are excited."

The five-hour market continues each Saturday until Sept. 27. Its purpose, organizers said, is to help local farmers branch out to consumers hungry for straight-from-the-land freshness in quickly urbanizing Gwinnett.

"It's been a real challenge given the growth of Gwinnett County to find locally grown wares," founder Brennan Washington said last year.

Last year's market saw a typical 400 patrons shuffle through the aisles weekly. About 10 to 12 vendors sold each Saturday, joined by five other vendors who sold when products were ready.

In 2006, the market had just six regular vendors, and four the year prior, organizers said.