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Jonesborough Farmers Market brings fresh look, more produce

Jessica Fuller • Updated Jun 9, 2018 at 5:49 PM

Entering its 11th year, Jonesborough Farmers Market has more to offer this year as organizers opened the doors for more vendors to offer more variety in an attempt to make Tennessee’s oldest town a one-stop shop every Saturday morning. 

One thing hasn’t changed, though, and that’s the market’s standards. Jonesborough Locally Grown organizers are still taking steps to make sure the market remains a 100 percent producer-only market. 

“The main thing this year is we wanted to start fresh and bring a revitalization campaign about,” Ashley Cavender, marketing and event coordinator, said. “I feel like people have almost forgotten the Jonesborough Farmers Market of sorts and even Boones Street Market, the hype of it has kind of died down. It’s just time for a big change.” 

In addition to a revamped website, Cavender said one of the major changes this year has been that the market has added several new vendors to the list for a bigger variety of produce and groceries that can be offered to shoppers. Cavender said shoppers can expect about 27 vendors at each market, which is about 10 more vendors than last year. 

“Some of the critiques we’ve had is that we haven’t had a lot of variety in our market,” Cavender said, adding, “It’s been a really good start to the season.” 

To keep up with the standard of producer-only vendors, Cavender said every vendor application comes with a farm check to make sure the vendor is growing or creating that product, whether it be produce or crafts. 

“You go to a farmers market with the intention that your money is going back into the community,” Cavender said. “It’s going directly to that farmer, it’s going directly to that producer.”

In order to rise to the demand for a bigger variety of goods for the market while still keeping these standards, Jonesborough Locally Grown expanded the radius. First, Cavender said those goods are searched for within a 100- to 150-mile radius, then that search is expanded to goods sourced in Appalachia, and then to those sourced in the state. 

For Jonesborough, the market is a communitywide event. The McKinney Center hosts a kids’ activity the first Saturday of the month and each weekend features a different local band from the area, from Ed Snodderly to Bill and the Belles. 

Boone Street Market is the other branch of Jonesborough Locally Grown, and Cavender said plans are still progressing to double the market’s floor space, but those plans have been pushed to the end of the year so the organization can secure enough funds and fill out the current space completely.

The Jonesborough Farmers Market is open through October next to the Washington County Courthouse in downtown Jonesborough from 8 a.m. to noon. The market won’t be open on June 30, Oct. 6 or Oct. 27. 

Email Jessica Fuller at jfuller@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow Jessica on Twitter @fullerjf91. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jfullerJCP.

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