Lilburn church keeps farmer's market open for the holidays

LILBURN -- As the colder weather and holiday season approach, most Gwinnett County farmer's markets are closing up shop until the spring, but not at the Berkmar United Methodist Church in Lilburn. David's WOW Garden Farmer's Market is one of the only markets open through the winter selling fresh food and holiday wares.

"We've got people who need to find markets open through the holidays," event organizer David Hampton said. "Most of the city markets are closed, so we fill in a niche in need."

Hampton hosts about 12 vendors per week selling the usual fresh produce, but there are other vendors that have goods that make for great holiday gifts.

"Moonshine jelly is very popular," Hampton said. "It comes from the mountains and is very unique to the South. It's a traditional recipe that is shared by many (across the region). People ship the jars all over the world as gifts."

Other seasonal splendors consist of jewelry, homemade crafts and pickled items, including cinnamon and moonshine pickles.

"I know it sounds strange, but the moonshine pickles are made from a typical pickling recipe with cucumbers," he said. "We just add some moonshine to give it some flavor."

Food vendors set up carts at the market selling homemade tamales and smoked barbecue.

"Smoke from the smoker pours out everywhere," Hampton said. "Some people drive by, see the smoke and stop to get some food, then they walk through the rest of the market."

Shoppers will find a variety of things to buy, such as tangy jars of chow-chow, baked goods, local honey, salsa, artisan soaps, diabetic treats and more.

"We have a good time out here," he said. "There are things here that you can't get at the supermarket, especially since things are Georgia-grown -- that's what we shoot for."

The market is open every Tuesday and Friday until the end of December.