Community market prepares for final weekend of the year - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Community market prepares for final weekend of the year

Friends of Tift Park brought the community market to the park in 2014. (Source: WALB File) Friends of Tift Park brought the community market to the park in 2014. (Source: WALB File)
Marview Farms is one of the vendors at the market. (Source: WALB) Marview Farms is one of the vendors at the market. (Source: WALB)
The farm sells grass-fed meats. (Source: WALB) The farm sells grass-fed meats. (Source: WALB)
Marview Farms also raises goats. (Source: WALB) Marview Farms also raises goats. (Source: WALB)
Fernando Mendez (Source: WALB) Fernando Mendez (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

As the weather starts to cool down, a community market in Albany is preparing for its final weekend of the year.

Saturday will be the last day for this year's Tift Park Community Market.

The market is part of a revitalization effort by an Albany organization called Friends of Tift Park. It moved from a downtown parking garage to the park, which is Albany's oldest park, in August of 2014. 

Organizers say this year was very successful.

Friends of Tift Park chairman Stephen Brimberry says the market drew around 300 people each Saturday who shopped from an average of 40 different vendors. That's an increase from the 25 vendors they had in the past. There's also live entertainment and food trucks.

Marview Farms is one of the vendors who started selling this year at the community market. Fernando Mendez has been running the farm for more than 6 years. It's a 900-acre organic farm in Arabi that raises and sells grass-fed beef, goat, lamb and pork. His animals are born and raised on the farm. 

Mendez says this was his first year selling at Tift Park and enjoyed his experience. He got a positive response from customers and says he's glad to be able to bring a product to the community that they wouldn't be able to find anywhere else.

"They're going to get products that are grown locally by farmers that have good farming ethics and you can't get those products in the store," Mendez said.

Mendez says the market is just one way he sells his products, in addition to his online website.

The community market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The final weekend will feature a pet costume contest sponsored by the Albany Humane Society at noon.

The market will start again for next year's season on March 4, 2017. 

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