East Tennessee farmers market prepares for opening season

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – East Tennessee Farmers Association for Retail Marketing, a nonprofit organization, announces the opening of its 39th season of farmers’ markets in East Tennessee.

The farmers market can be found in three in Knoxville and Oak Ridge.

FARM is Tennessee’s longest continuously operating farmers’ market organization.

Vendors will offer a wide variety of spring bedding plants, fresh produce, grass-fed and pasture-raised meats, artisan bread and cheese, local honey and fresh eggs.

As the season goes on, they offer the produce, including just-picked strawberries, peaches, sweet corn and heirloom tomatoes.

According to American Farmland Trust, farmers only receive about $1.58 per $10 spent by consumers at a grocery store. But at a farmers’ market, farmers receive closer to $8-9 per $10 spent. For every $10 spent at a farmers’ market, studies show that $7.80 is re-spent in the local community.

Opening Day at each FARM market will feature a drawing for 20 Market Dollars.

Locations are as follows:
Ebenezer Road Farmers’ Market, opens every Tuesday, 3-6 p.m, beginning
Apr. 14, at 1001 Ebenezer Road (Ebenezer United Methodist Church).
Drawing is at 5:30 p.m.

Lakeshore Park Farmers’ Market opens every Friday, 3-6 p.m., beginning
Apr. 17, at 5908 Lyons View Pike, Knoxville, near the Knox Youth Sports Building and a new handicapped accessible playground opening this spring. Drawing is at 5:30 p.m.

Oak Ridge Farmers’ Market opens every Saturday, 8 a.m. – noon,
beginning April 18, in Historic Jackson Square, 281 Broadway Ave., with the drawing at 11:30 a.m. The Oak Ridge market is also open Wednesdays
3-6 p.m., beginning May 6. Seniors over 60 get 5% off every Wednesday at the Oak Ridge Market.

East Tennessee FARM performs periodic inspections of its vendors to ensure they are growing the products they sell.

Several FARM vendors are designated Certified Naturally Grown, which is a similar standard to USDA Organic, but less expensive for smaller growers.

Other FARM growers use as few pesticides and chemical fertilizers as possible.

FARM’s weekend markets at Lakeshore Park and in Oak Ridge will feature live music, children’s events, and workshops and lectures on topics such as herb gardening and composting.
FARM also offers weekly email reminders to customers, and a free FARM Fan Club text reminder and shopping rewards program. Sign up for both at its website.

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