The Johnson City Farmers Market’s rules now state: “Farmers must grow at least 50 percent of the produce sold at the market. The other 50 percent sold may come from outside sources.”
Many consumers today want to buy meat, vegetables and dairy foods that are produced locally. That’s something that benefits both local farmers, as well as the markets that sell their products.
Buyers must enter into a partnership with local farmers if they truly wish to purchase such organically produced food. That means getting to know the farmers in their community to learn how they grow the fruits and vegetables that end up on their dinner tables.
That’s difficult to do with produce and other farm goods that are trucked in from who knows where. We urge the officials with the Johnson City Farmers Market to ban the sale of goods at their market that cannot be properly sourced as grown locally.
It can be done. The Jonesborough Farmers Market is a producer-only market where 100 percent of products are sold by area farmers and artisans. This gives consumers added confidence in the quality of the food they are buying by knowing where it is coming from.