SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Years ago, if you would have asked Rita Davis what she wanted to be when she grew up she would have answered, a ballerina.

Although she never practiced the art of classical ballet professionally, one of her most noteworthy features is her work at the Savannah State Farmers Market.

Davis has been the market manager at the Savannah State Farmers Market for 11 years. “I’ve always loved agriculture and when the job came available and I got it.” 

Raised in an agricultural family on a farm in Dodge County, Davis developed a working knowledge of her environment in a way that some never will.

Rita Davis, market manager at Savannah State Farmers Market

“I remember getting up and walking through the woods. My mother would already be in the butterbean field and the cornfield. So, I would get up and walk through the woods and sit on a blanket and drink Kool-Aid while she picked butter beans. When I got bigger, I would help. We grew everything, corn, butter beans, peas, we slaughtered hogs, our beef, we made our syrup with cane.”

Teresa Blake, who works for Local Farmbag, located at the Savannah State Farmers Market, was not raised on a farm, but still had access to fresh local produce.

“I grew up in the country, but not on a farm. I was about 45 minutes from town. It was nice, peaceful and quiet. We had a garden that had green peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, watermelon, and  cantaloupe.”

Davis and Blake are passionate about people enjoying eating fresh, in-season and locally grown produce like they did growing up.

“You’re helping out your local businessmen whether it be because they are on a farm or whatever. Also, it’s just the sense of knowing hey, what I have is what’s in season now. The produce we get is local, fresh produce. The list changes every week. We have local farms that we work with to get beef, chicken, eggs and stuff like that. So, not only do you get produce you get your meats as well. We also have jellies and jams and all kinds of things from local people,” Blake said.

The Savannah State Farmers Market is open year-round and some in-season produce that can be purchased this month include: Vidalia onions, sweet potatoes, collard greens, carrots, cabbage, summer squash, zucchini, strawberries, and blueberries.

If you can’t make it to the market, consider ordering these items and more online and having Local Farmbag deliver them to you. They harvest a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables from local farms and deliver them to homes or offices. Every week they have produce from at least three different farms and deliver approximately 175 to 250 bags of locally grown produce to homes per day.

Other businesses at the farmers market include Babes Smokehouse, Kc Signs, Farmers Market Florist, Nlaws Produce Inc. and Stokes Produce. The market also has a scale that can be used for weighing trucks, cars and other items.

Those looking to be a vendor at the Savannah State Farmers Market must visit their office to get an application. Or, request an application to be emailed. The cost for vendors is $4 per day.

For more information on the Savannah State Farmers Market visit Savannah Farmers Market – Ga Dept of Agriculture (georgia.gov).

For more information about Local Farmbag visit their website.