Warm Spring Gives State’s Farmers Markets, Statewide Market Tour Early Start

Thursday, June 07, 2012 | 10:57 am

NASHVILLE – The wait is over, localvores. Despite a late cold snap that proved disastrous for some fruit crops in patchy spots across Tennessee, the three week warm spell that came before has farmers markets filling up with summer produce earlier than usual.

Pamela Bartholomew, agritourism and farmers markets coordinator for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, reports that summertime favorites like yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage and cucumbers are already being picked, and that homegrown tomatoes and sweet corn are not far behind.

Following Mother Nature’s lead, The Main Street Farmers Market of Dyersburg opens Saturday, June 9, when it will also host the first official tour stop of this summer’s “Pick Tennessee Products” tour. The state agriculture department tour will stretch across the state, reaching as far East as Maryville and running through August.

The state’s Pick Tennessee Products promotion began in 1986 as a campaign to identify local food products in retail stores but has expanded with national trends to focus on farm-direct foods and local farmers markets.

As part of the program, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture provides the popular site www.picktnproducts.org as a free service to the state’s farms and farm markets, promoting 1,700 individual farmers and farm-direct businesses that list about 8,000 farm products.

Visitors to www.picktnproducts.org can find statewide directories to farmers markets, seasonal farm product recipes, orchards and pick-your-own farms, retail stores where local products are sold, and showcases for products and activities as they come into season. Fans of local foods and farm-related fun can also find Pick Tennessee Products on Facebook and Twitter or get more information by calling TDA Market Development at 615-837-5160.

For more information about the statewide farmers market tour, contact Pamela Bartholomew at 615-837-5160 or e-mail pamela.bartholomew@tn.gov. Contact Steve Guttery at 731-285-3433 or e-mail to sguttery@dyerchamber.com to learn more about the upcoming tour stop and other activities at The Main Street Farmers Market of Dyersburg on June 9.
 

FARMERS MARKET TOUR SCHEDULE

Date               Farmers Market                                        Location
June 9            Dyersburg Farmers Market                   Dyersburg, TN
June 16         Columbia Fresh Farmers Market          Columbia, TN
June 26         Boliver Farmers Market                           Bolivar, TN
June 27         Farmers Market at Riverfront Park      Harriman, TN
July 28          Clarksville Downtown Market               Clarksville, TN
August 4       Maryville Farmers Market                      Maryville, TN
August 25    Warren County Farmers Market           McMinnville, TN