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Jonesborough Farmers Market begins Saturday, May 15

The Jonesborough Farmers Market is gearing up for its third season, one that will bring a few changes and some major growth to the local-only market.
The market kicks off Saturday, May 15, from 8 a.m. to noon, in its new location on the east side of the old Jonesborough courthouse, along Dogwood Lane, said Curtis Buchanan.
Opening day will feature the Jonesborough Novelty Band at 9 a.m., and coincides with the town-wide yard sale.
“We’re moving to the courthouse lot this year, and it’s a big deal,” Buchanan said. “It will hopefully be good for the town and good for the market.”
This year will feature four or five new permanent produce vendors, something market organizers are very excited about, Buchanan said. In addition, there will be two new meat vendors, one offering beef and another offering animal welfare certified lamb. Virtually all the vendors are from Washington County.
“The new vendor response has been really good this year,” Buchanan said. “We’ve already got close to 30 vendors who are committed full-time, which is quite a bit more than last year.”
Last year, the market had 70 vendors total throughout the whole year, with 30 the most vendors at a single market.
“This year, we’re starting out quite a bit ahead of that,” he said.
Buchanan reminded consumers that the mission of the market is to connect local consumers with local growers and seasonal produce, so buyers shouldn’t expect out-of-season produce to be brought in.
“Since we do limit everything at the market to locally-grown, we’re kind of slow as far as what’s available,” he said. “Don’t expect tomatoes in May or June. Letting in outside produce runs counter to that mission. Lots of people don’t understand that.”
The number of vendors at the market fluctuates with the season, with the biggest markets happening in July and August. Farm-fresh produce, eggs, honey, goat cheese, breads and baked goods can always be found, along with unique local products like alpaca fleeces and hand-made cutting boards. Live acoustic music is provided by local and regional musicians each week, and the market features a cafe area with patio tables and chairs where customers can gather to enjoy the music, sip a cup of coffee, and visit with friends.
Starting in June, the market will host cooking demonstrations featuring local chefs who will shop and cook from market ingredients on the last Saturday of each month. That program is funded through a grant.
The UT Extension Service will also be out with demonstrations at four Saturdays during the market’s season.
In addition to the Saturday markets, the Jonesborough Farmers Market also offers a weekday market with an online ordering system. The online market ran last August through December and has already resumed for the spring. Ordering takes place each Sunday through Tuesday on the website, with pick-up on Wednesday afternoons.
For more information about the market, please visit www.jonesborough.locallygrown.net or call Curtis Buchanan at 753-5160.