Knoxville-area farmers markets spring into business

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  • Knoxville farmers markets

There will come a day when the phrase “It’s Market Time in Tennessee,” will be as enthusiastically received as the long-standing football slogan, “It’s Football Time in Tennessee.”

Until that day those that already embrace East Tennessee’s regional markets for their fresh produce, baked goods, meats and eggs are happy to enjoy the shopping scene without more than 100,000 others elbowing their way toward the turnip greens.

Local markets that have opened for the season include New Harvest Park Farmers Market, Lakeshore Park Farmers Market, Ebenezer Church Farmers Market and Oak Ridge Farmers Market. Locations, days and hours of operation are listed in the attached list. One that won’t be available this year is the University of Tennessee Farmers Market. After seven years of operation the University has decided to reestablish its UT Organic Internship program with Brian Witmer as the internship coordinator. The program will offer its own version of a community supported agriculture program (CSA) called Volunteer Supported Agriculture — or VSA for short.

The program will begin the third week of May and last for 20 weeks. Items in the VSA box will change weekly as the seasonal vegetables change. Cost is $600 a share with the option of staggered payments. The funds will be used to support the mission of the UT Organic and Sustainable Crop Production Program. Only 50 shares will be offered. Register online at http://tiny.utk.edu/vsa There’s also a Vol Starter campaign that’s available for $250. Register for it at http://volstarter.utk.edu For additional information on the university programs email http://vsa.utk@edu. For a list of other local and regional community supported agriculture programs visit http://www.nourishknoxville.org .

New Harvest Park and Market Square Farmers Markets will continue to offer the Fre$h Savings incentive to EBT card holders which provides an equal match for every $20 of EBT credit spent at the market.

“EBT card holders should come to the market’s information booth and trade their money for market tokens and we will give you a matching amount of tokens. For example, if someone wants $20 worth of tokens to use on normal EBT items they get a matching $20 to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables,” Rebecca Saldivar, market director at New Harvest Park Farmers Market, said.

Three Rivers Market, 1100 N. Central Street will also adopt the Fre$h Savings incentive program for SNAP EBT card holders beginning Wednesday, May 3.

“We will continue to offer the program year round even after the markets close. In this way we can ensure that our community has access to healthy foods,” said Marin Wooley, member and customer service department manager for Three Rivers Market.

Learn more about Three Rivers Market at http://www.threeriversmarket.coop/

If you know of a market that’s not included in the list below email Mary.Constantine@Knoxville.com with details.

Regional farmers markets

Dandridge Farmers Market, corner of Gay and Meeting Streets, 8 a.m.-noon each Saturday beginning May 6.

Dixie Lee Farmers Market, 12740 Kingston pike at Renaissance Center, 9 a.m.-noon each Saturday beginning May 6.

Lakeshore Park FARM Market, Lyons View Pike, 3-6 p.m. each Friday.

Ebenezer United Methodist Church FARM Market, 1001 Ebenezer Road, 3-6 p.m. each Tuesday.

Marble Springs State Historic Site, 1220 W. Governor John Sevier Highway, 3-6 p.m. each Thursday beginning May 18.

Market Square Farmers Market, downtown at Market and Union Ave., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. each Wednesday beginning May 3 and 9 a.m.-2 p.m., each Saturday; beginning May 6.

Maryville Farmers Market, Church Avenue at Founders’ Square, 7:30.-11:30 a.m each Saturday beginning May 6. Opening date for the Wednesday market at New Providence Presbyterian Church, 703 W. Broadway Ave. has not been announced.

Oak Ridge Jackson Square FARM Market, 8 a.m.-noon, each Saturday. The Wednesday market will begin June 7 at 3 p.m.

New Harvest Park Farmers Market, 4775 New Harvest Lane, 3-6 p.m. each Thursday.

Seymour Farmers Market, First Baptist Church, Chapman Highway, 8 a.m.-noon each Saturday beginning June 3.

Union County Farmers Market, 115 Wilson Lane, 9 a.m.-noon beginning May 6.

Gatlinburg Farmers Market, 849 Glades Road at the covered bridge, 8:30 a.m.-noon each Saturday beginning May 13.

SOURCEKnoxville News Sentinel
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