MCDONOUGH — A dash of salt on a beautifully ripened tomato slice cut just the right thickness and your mouth is already watering. Pair it with your favorite piece of white bread slathered with the same mayo your family has always used, and you’ve got the perfect Southern summer treat.

Those kinds of tomatoes, the perfect kind for a tomato sandwich, are just one of the many homegrown fruits and vegetables for sale at the Farmer’s Market in McDonough.

Every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Jason T. Harper Center in Heritage Park, local farmers, crafters and cooks gather to offer their goods. From fresh eggs and handmade soaps to carrots and handmade wind chimes, there’s lots to see.

Frank Hancock, Henry County UGA Extension Office agent, said one of the best reasons for shopping at your local farmer’s market is knowledge.

“Here it lets the consumer know who they’re buying their produce from and where it came from,” he said.

About 12 to 14 vendors are part of the weekly market. Hancock said over time, shoppers get to know the farmers and will often head to their farms to purchase food right from the vine or eggs right from the chickens.

Getting to know the crafters is another benefit. Hearing their stories of how they came to create items like glass wind chimes, yard art and soaps is another aspect to shopping locally.

“I’ll be 81 next week. At my age if I can learn how to make soap and lotion, anyone can,” Pat Palmer said. Three years ago, she started her own business, Ava Lee, named after her mother.

Alice McKoy, owner of Garden Bling, loves glass dishes and decor. She can’t bear to see them languish on thrift store shelves.

“I believe in recycling and what better way to do it with pretty dishes,” she said. Several years ago she started making yard art.

Then there’s The Crafty Ladies. Together the three retired friends used their love of sewing to start a business. They make everything from pot holders and matching kitchen towels to book covers, purses and dog beds.

There are many more, both crafters and farmers, each with a story. Get to know them every Thursday through August at Heritage Park, 99 Lake Dow Road in McDonough.

For more information about the market or about the UGA Henry County Cooperative Extension Office, visit www.extension.uga.edu/county-offices/henry.html.

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