Farmers Markets Popular Even in Rural Areas

Monday, June 10, 2013 | 03:46 pm

Pick Tennessee Products Media Days Planned at Markets Across State

NASHVILLE – Tennessee’s farmers markets are popping up everywhere—even in the heart of Tennessee farm lands. You’d think that in areas where many in the community still farm and grow gardens, the farmers market concept wouldn’t get much traction, but in fact, it’s in small towns and rural communities that most new farmers markets are showing up.

Pick Tennessee Products, the state campaign to help people find local food and other farm direct products, plans to host several media day events at farmers markets in rural communities across Tennessee this summer. Visitors who come out to a farmers market media day can also take home free recipe cards and have the chance to win a basket of artisan and other popular foods from Tennessee. 

Fact is, it’s at least as hard for the grocery stores in smaller towns to get access to fresh, local produce. Many smaller chain stores are locked into contracts with food distributors bringing in produce from far-off locations. Local, independently owned stores sometimes can’t purchase enough produce at one time to get a competitive price for their customers.

Additionally, savvy shoppers are realizing that it’s just plain hard to grow their own produce in a cost effective way, and it’s often an economically smarter choice to let a real farmer grow it for them.

Rural farmers markets also provide opportunities for communities to meet together in a casual way and enjoy each other at various activities and special events hosted by the markets much as they did when telephones, newspapers and televisions were not available to keep neighbors in touch.

Media will have the opportunity to interview farmers and officials in attendance, tour the market, and will receive a “goody bag” including digital images and information about local foods and farms.

Who:  All Media are invited.  Local officials are also encouraged to attend.

When & Where: Media need to be at each market by 9:00 a.m. local time to ensure opportunities for interviews, photos and footage, tours, and inclusion in the day’s activities.

June 15th:  Dickson County Farmers Market
Vickie Witcher, UT Extension Agent
284 Cowan Dr., Corner of Beasley and Cowan
Dickson, TN   37055-2020  
Phone: (615) 446-2788             
E-mail: vwitcher@utk.edu
Web: http://www.dicksonfarmersmarket.com

June 21st: Selmer Farmers Market
Sybil Dancer, Director
100 Front Street
Selmer, TN  (McNairy County)
Phone: (731) 645-3866 7316103444
E-mail: selmercommunity@selmercommunitycenter.com
Web: http://www.selmerpark.com

June 29th: Southern Middle Tennessee Farmers Market of Franklin County
John Ferrell, U.T. Extension Agent & Farmers Market Manager
Hwy 41-A (Dinah Shore Blvd.)
Winchester, TN   37398  
Phone: (931) 967-2741             

July 27th: Union County Farmers Market (Corn Festival)
Shannon Perrin, U.T. Extension Agent
3925 Maynardville HWY
Maynardville, TN   37807  
Phone: (865) 992-8038             
Fax:      (865) 992-1112
E-mail: sperrin@utk.edu

July 31th: Ripley Downtown Farmers Market
Frankie McCord, Executive Director
134 N. Jefferson St., Suite 3
Ripley, TN   38063  
Phone: (731) 635-0008 731-413-1089
E-mail: developripley@yahoo.com
Web: http://www.ripleytenn.com

August 3rd: Newport Farmers Market of Cocke County
Diana Steinfeld Hicks, Farmers Mkt. Manager
424 Heritage Blvd.
Newport, TN  37821 (Cocke County)
Phone: (423) 487-2056 or UT Extension Agent: (423) 623-7531
E-mail: hicksnursery@gmail.com
Web: http://newporttnfarmersmarket.com