Farmers market set to close for season

SUWANEE -- If you're one of those customers who enjoys fresh, local produce, and are in the market to stock up, this week is your last chance at the Suwanee Farmers Market.

This is the final week of the season for the Saturday Suwanee Farmers Market where about 25 vendors sell fresh, in-season produce, salsa, honey, jellies, sauces, bread, eggs, meat, baked goods and other natural products. A year after the city extended the market two weeks because of the summer weather pattern, this year the final day will be on Saturday.

"This time of year we start to get vendors who are done for the season, so the market starts to thin out," Suwanee events coordinator Amy Doherty said.

This was the first year the city required vendors at the market, in its ninth year, to cook homemade items in a commercial kitchen that's inspected by the health department.

Vendors like Flowery Branch resident Bob Bradbury, who sells honey he harvests at his home, said overall sales are ahead of last year's record numbers. Bradbury sells several types of honey, and said the sourwood variety yield dropped this year because of the extreme temperatures in the middle of the summer.

"They are not as eager to get out in the field and work," Bradbury said of the bees. "You see them plastered to the front of the hives when that's happened. We had our sourwood honey hit kind of a lower point in contrast to last year because we had a late frost."

Sales of Bradbury's wildflower honey were up this year because he said more people are conscious of how honey can help with allergy problems.

As the season winds down, Bradbury said sales of larger quantities, like quarts and gallons, are "huge" because customers are stocking up for the winter before next year's market opens in May.

The Suwanee Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to noon.