Lifestyles

Story published: 04-30-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Farmers Markets opens May 4 in downtown

The Jonesborough Farmers Market will open Saturday, May 4, on Courthouse Square in downtown.

The market, now in its sixth season, has become a much-loved weekly feature, drawing 30-35 vendors each week and hundreds of customers.

This year’s market will once again feature live music and a weekly drawing for $25 gift certificates to spend at the market. Debit, Credit and EBT cards can be used for market purchases, also.

The Jonesborough market is one of the region’s few producer-only markets. This means everything at the market is sold directly by the producers who have raised the produce, meat, eggs and cheese themselves.

“People are starting to really be interested in eating locally,” says Karen Childress, market director. “But because we are used to getting almost any food at any time at the grocery store, we have to re-learn produce seasons.”

For this reason, Childress says, the market is distributing produce calendars to help shoppers know when to expect produce locally.

“We won’t have corn, beans and vine-ripened tomatoes in June. But when they do come in, they will be the freshest around,” she says.

A producer-only market also means customers have the opportunity to learn about each farmer’s growing practices.

“Each grower is different,” says Heidi Ehle, market manager. “We have two that are USDA Certified Organic, one that is animal welfare approved, many that minimize the use of artificial inputs, and some that describe themselves as traditional farmers.”

Because the vendors are selling what they grow, customers have the opportunity to ask questions and be completely informed about the food they are purchasing. And, Ehle adds, “you may make a friend in the process.”

This season, to help you get to know the farmers, the Herald & Tribune will feature a different farmer or vendor each week. Check out the first one below.