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Nationally ranked Market in Statesboro
Statesboros Mainstreet Market moves up one list, has appeared on others
BIZ- Smile Web
Linda Jacobs, left, smiles Saturday while customers look over fresh produce, including blueberries and sweet corn, in the Jacobs Produce stand at the Mainstreet Farmers Market. - photo by AL HACKLE/Staff

           Statesboro's Mainstreet Farmers Market shows up in some "best of" lists, and recently moved up in the "101 Best Farmers Markets in America" published by the food and drink website The Daily Meal.
         In The Daily Meal's June 18 article by Abbey Crain, Statesboro's market was listed Number 62 for 2015. Among Georgia farmers markets, only the Atlanta State Farmers Market and the Peachtree Road Farmers Market, also in Atlanta, were ranked higher.
        The whole list and article are at http://edit2.thedailymeal.com/101-best-farmers-markets-in-america. The list includes some very large markets, with New York City's Union Square Greenmarket ranked Number 1.
        "You realize they're looking at markets all over the country, and that just makes me very proud for our vendors because the competition is San Francisco and New York City, you know, the big dogs," said Debra Chester, the volunteer who chairs Statesboro's Mainstreet Market.
        In the 2013 list, still available at thedailymeal.com, Statesboro's market was Number 73. No 2014 list is currently shown.

A regional selection
        In an April 2014 article, Deep South Magazine placed the Statesboro Market among "10 of the South's Best Farmers Markets." This can be found archived at http://deepsouthmag.com/2014/04.
Chester said she does not know the criteria for these rankings, but thinks that those who rate the markets are "looking at really local, farmer-produced and farmer-sold markets" and that this narrows the choices.
        The Mainstreet Market operates in the Sea Island Bank parking area on Saturdays from April through October, and also holds some seasonal markets on the Georgia Southern University campus.
        But the Market2Go service, through which shoppers order fresh produce and locally made food items online and pick up at pre-arranged locations, operates year-round. See http://statesboromarket2go.locallygrown.net.
        The Daily Meal mentioned Market2Go in its brief description of Statesboro's market.
        An email last week to The Daily Meal's editorial address, seeking information on how markets are nominated or come to the site's attention, did not result in a reply by Monday afternoon.
        The Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau "works with travel writers to visit and to provide information to showcase our fabulous Farmers Market and all the other wonderful events and attractions in our community," said SCVB Executive Director Heidi Jeffers.
          The Mainstreet Farmers Market has been selected repeatedly for the Wholesome Wave Georgia grant program, which doubles the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or "food stamp" dollars spent on fresh produce at farmers markets. Statesboro's market was a top market three years running in the "Discover You Can" program encouraging home canning and has received other awards for nutrition education efforts.
Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.

 

 

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