My mother and I are once again on the road stopping at farm markets, both large and small to purchase local produce, as well as jams and jellies and honey, and get a stamp in our passport from the Georgia Farm Bureau.

The Georgia Farm Bureau is offering its Certified Farm Market passport program for the second year and some of our favorites, as well as a few new farms are listed. We had so much fun last year with shopping for strawberries and peaches in the spring, fresh vegetables in the summer, apples in the fall and Christmas trees at the end of the year. You get the farms listed in the passport booklet stamped as you visit and you receive prizes if visit 5, 10, 15 or 20. Mom and I visited 20 farms last year and got all of the prizes: a T-shirt, coffee tumbler, $15 gift card and ticket for a farm dinner and tour.

We enjoyed visiting the farms more than the prizes themselves. It was fun to meet all of the wonderful people and learn about their farms and taste some of the wonderful produce and products from their hard work.

We got a late start this year but we have already visited nine farms, including a new addition to the program this year that is very close to home for us, O5 farms in Jefferson. At O5 Farms, we picked blueberries, enjoyed a shaved ice treat and purchased some lovely flowers to brighten our kitchen.

Both the Alto and Banks Crossing locations of Jaemor Farms are also once again on the passport so that makes it easy to get two stamps on the passport, while also supporting a local business.

We’re fortunate that we live so close to Ellijay, which has some great apple barns. This year, eight apple barns in Ellijay are listed on the passport. It really is easy to get your 20 farms marked off on the passport living where we do in North Georgia where there are so many wonderful farms.

Passport holders will discover where their food comes from, meet the people who grow it and see our state’s agricultural diversity firsthand!

The Georgia Farm Passport is available at county Farm Bureau offices and at the 78 farms participating in the GFB Certified Farm Markets (CFM) program. To find participating farms, visit www.gfb.ag/farmpassport. The deadline to submit your passport for prizes is Jan. 8, 2021.

As you visit, share your journey on social media with #farmpassport #gafarmbureau. While no purchase is required to participate, please be kind and make one since these farms are their owners’ livelihoods.

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