May 5 was a beautiful, warm Saturday and perfect for the opening day of Dunwoody Farmer’s Market at Brook Run. Visiting the market reminded me that this area was once a farm community and some of those farmers sold their produce along the side of the road, while others found ways to deliver what they grew.
Carolyn Anderson Parker remembers that Starling Manning sometimes sold corn at his property on Mount Vernon Road near Tilly Mill Road in the 1930s and 1940s. He had a garden, as did most everybody in Dunwoody at the time.
A few decades later, in the 1970’s, Starling Manning’s nephew sold produce from his eleven-acre farm along Roberts Drive. John Henry Manning’s farm is now the location of the Manning Farms subdivision. He had a duck that followed him around in the way that you might expect from a dog.
Memories of Mr. Manning were told by Ann Schoenberg in “The Story of Dunwoody: 1821 to 2001.” When she stopped by for corn one day, John Manning invited her into the field while they “pulled some corn.” This was a rare and special invitation. A few years later John Manning sold his land as property taxes escalated, complaining “Those fools down there at the courthouse think I’m growing fancy Dunwoody houses instead of vegetables.”
Another produce stand remembered from the 1970’s was along Chamblee Dunwoody Road near Vermack Place. Children who walked from Village Mill to Shallowford Elementary would pass through a cornfield on the northeast corner of Peeler Road and Chamblee Dunwoody Road. The produce stand was nearby and may have belonged to the Adams, who lived in the area at the time.
Clint Daniel grew up in Chamblee in the 1950s on his family’s five-acre farm. He remembers delivering produce by foot and later, on his bicycle. People would place orders for the produce they wanted and expect delivery from Clint.
There were many offerings at the Dunwoody Farmer’s Market and such a huge crowd that some vendors ran out of their goods, promising to bring more next time. More than 40 vendors have signed up to participate in the Dunwoody Farmer’s Market. The market will continue every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October. Visit dunwoodyfarmersmkt.com or their Facebook page for more details and a list of vendors.
If you have memories of buying produce from a local farmer, perhaps at a roadside stand, contact Valerie at pasttensega@gmail. com.