By LISA WHALEY
Jonesborough’s Farmers Market is getting ready to celebrate its 10th season this year, but organizers are determined to invite a few more farmers to the party.
That’s why they’re getting the word out early that Farmers Market 2017 would love to welcome in some new vendors before this weekly downtown event opens on May 6.
“We really, really do want to continue to serve the farmer and to let people develop a relationship with that farmer,” explained Karen Childress, executive director of Jonesborough Locally Grown, the nonprofit umbrella over the market. “We also did a customer survey in February, and customers want more variety, but they mostly want more produce.”
So the call is going out.
Whatever the response from new farmers, Childress promises that this year’s market will once again offer the region’s finest, farm-direct, 100-percent locally grown produce, plants, meat, goat cheese, breads, eggs, honey, and much more — and it will continue to offer favorite features like live music, activities for children and families, and breakfast at the market.
The market’s main criteria — held to firmly since its founding in 2008 — is that vendors are only permitted to sell items which they themselves produce. No reselling is allowed, Childress said.
“It really is about having a relationship with your food supply,” she explained.
Why is this important? When you buy directly from the farmer, Childress said, you know you are getting the freshest produce and that farmer is getting the maximum return on his or her product.
Now, after a decade of service, the market is hoping to bring some more growers into the fold.
“New people are starting to farm all the time,” she said. And spaces often open up naturally as producers move on.
This year the market has space for several additional food vendors, and is currently accepting applications.
Producers may apply to sell on a daily basis for $10 per day, or for the full 24-week season a special $100 rate is available.
The priority for the market is to add variety. Organic or chemical-free produce, early and late-season produce is especially in demand, but all products will be considered.
Farm visits are required for all vendors offered a space at the market.
Applications and more information are available at jlgvendorinfo.blogspot.com Applications for season vendor spots will be taken through the month of March and decisions will be made at the end of the month. Applications for weekly vendors may be filled out at any time and will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
For more information contact Erin Geibner at 423-753-4722 or a jbofarmers [email protected]