Jeff Pullium usually has a specific shopping list when visiting the Augusta Market at the River.
“I come at least two times a month, maybe three, and I come primarily for the produce. I pick up tomatoes and cucumbers,” said Pullium, who lives in downtown Augusta.
On Saturday, Pullium visited the market with several friends who were on the same quest.
“I need vegetables for tomorrow. We are having our regular Sunday night gathering,” said Kyle West, another frequent market visitor.
Pullium and West had several vendors they could choose produce from. There were other fresh items such as watermelon, corn and peaches.
About 50 vendors set up shop from Reynolds Street along the plaza. In addition to fresh produce, there was an array of other items for sale including jewelry, fashion accessories, coffee and folk art.
Lauren Stead and Shaelyn Frecon had different roles at the July 20 market. While the women have visited the market as customers, they switched places and set up shop together for the first time.
Stead said they wanted to see if they could make some money from their hobbies. Stead creates dog collars for all sizes and breeds of dogs while Frecon makes organic dog treats using a variety of ingredients such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes and cinnamon.
“These are all natural and all safe for dogs. There’s nothing in them you cannot pronounce, and you don’t feel guilty for giving them to your pets,” said Frecon, who provided samples. Many market patrons bring their pets along with them.
Tangila Roberson has been a regular vendor this season. She owns Style Me Pretty in Millen, Ga. The store offers clothing, jewelry and shoes. She brings a sampling of her inventory to the market, usually scarves and jewelry.
“I was looking at expanding beyond Millen,” she said. “It’s been good.”
Since she doesn’t bring a lot of items, she promotes her Web site to customers. There, they can see other items she has in stock in Millen. Often, shoppers will see something they like on the Web site and ask her to bring it to the market.
Even with all of the recent wet weather, the market has fared well, according to Brooke Buxton, the president of Broad Street Augusta, the nonprofit organization that supports the market.
“We’ve been fortunate because most of the rains have started in the afternoon. We did have one gusher, but even with that, people came with their umbrellas. It’s really been good for us because of all of the cooler, breezy temperatures,” she said.
The only weather-related drawback has been the closure of part of the venue closer to the Savannah River.
“I had reached my goal of continuous vendors from Reynolds all the way to the river,” she said. “There were people from Artists’ Row. There were a lot of visual artists around the stage.”
The Augusta Market is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 23. For more details, visit theaugustamarket.com.
Several other markets are open this time of year.
• Find produce and flowers at the Augusta State Farmers Market. At 1150 Fifth St., the market is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Call (706) 721-3004.
• The Evans Towne Farmers Market is held on the grounds of the Columbia County Library from 4:30-7 p.m. Thursdays through October. Each week, aside from fresh produce, expect to find entertainment, a children’s activity and a cooking demonstration. Learn more at evanstownefarmersmarket.com or call Kim Hines, of Augusta Locally Grown, at (706) 288-7895. The nonprofit Augusta Locally Grown organizes the market.
• Vendors sell fruits and vegetables at The Aiken Farmers Market at 897 Richland Ave. East. Hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; and 4-7 p.m. Thursdays through September. From October to December, the Aiken market is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Call (803) 642-7761 to learn more about selling your own produce.
• A Farmers’ and Artists’ Market is open from 4-6:30 p.m. Thursdays on Calhoun Street in Johnston, S.C. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are for sale. Call (803) 275-4097 for details.
• The Edgefield Farmers Market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Sept. 21. Vendors sell fruits, vegetables, meats, arts and crafts and more. Find more details on the market by searching Edgefield Farmers Market on Facebook.