Monroe’s new Farmers Market manager is committed to helping the market grow.
Audrey Fuller was hired in early May to keep the weekly Saturday market running smoothly and broaden its offerings.
“I was hired that Wednesday and started that Saturday (May 8),” Fuller said.
“We are very excited to have Audrey take on the role of market manager,” Sadie Krawczyk, Monroe economic development director, said. “She has extensive experience working with locally grown food and partnering with Monroe Farmers Market. We look forward to the years to come with her at the helm.”
Fuller said her goal is to expand the number of vendors at the market. Currently there are about 46 vendors who typically show each Saturday, according to Fuller.
The Monroe Farmers Market is held from 8:30 a.m. to noon every Saturday now through Oct. 30 on Court Street in downtown Monroe. The market will close in the case of rain, according to monroedowntown.com.
Fuller said her job entails a lot of pre-planning. She schedules vendors and area entertainers, and makes sure market day is pulled off without a hitch.
“I love our little community,” Fuller said. “They’ll come out to the market, grab a cup of coffee and listen to some music. They’ll bring their dogs too. It’s a dog-friendly community.”
The market offers fresh produce, and as such follows the growing season.
“A lot of them (vendors’ produce) are not in yet,” Fuller said. “A lot of vegetables are not ripe.”
However, some seasonal fruits, like Pearson Farm peaches, based in Fort Valley, can be found at the market already, she said.
“They’re so good,” Fuller said. “I already bought two cases.”
She said Malcolm Nursery based in Walton County “does it all.” The nursery sells fruits and vegetables, plants, jams and jellies and baked goods.
Justin Smith of Bethlehem, another area vendor, offers microgreens through his Itty Bitty Farms operation, according to Fuller.
She explained that microgreens are green vegetables, like broccoli, that are kept to several inches in height and are harvested early. Fuller said microgreens have a concentrated nutritional value.
Food trucks can also be seen at the Farmers Market.
“We have the Wine Wagon that comes,” Fuller said. “And we have Wrapped Wright.”
As for the market’s musical entertainers, Fuller said most are well known to residents as they’ve “been doing the market for a long time.”
Fuller is a country girl at heart who left densely populated Dunwoody after 20 years. She and her family moved to Monroe in August 2017.
“We were ready for a change,” Fuller said. “I volunteered for a horse rescue and I wanted land.”
Fuller now has a barnyard sanctuary on her property. Her specialty is giving special needs horses that are hard to place a home to live out their golden years.
She also gives her time to a senior dog hospice in Winder. Fuller also raises chickens and has a candling permit to check her eggs.
In addition to nurturing animals, Fuller has a green thumb.
“I started a Master Gardener program last year,” she said.
Fuller was a vendor at the Farmers Market. She grew micrograins and has a Cottage Food license.
For more information on the Farmers Market, visit monroe