CAB continues planning phase for farmer’s market

Published 11:15 pm Thursday, August 4, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden                        Jilian Reece, far right, with the Carter County Health Department talks with CAB members about updates on a farmers' market in Elizabethton.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
Jilian Reece, far right, with the Carter County Health Department talks with CAB members about updates on a farmers’ market in Elizabethton.

Elizabethton’s very own farmer’s market is continuing through the planning phases.
The Carter County Advisory Board (CAB) held their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, Aug. 4., at the Nelson Community Meeting Room inside the Elizabethton-Carter County Public Library and were provided an update on the status of the market thanks to CAB secretary Jilian Reece.
Reece was one of the six CAB members in attendance during the farmer’s subcommittee meeting held July 7. The meeting included Thomas Davis, Josh McKinney, Lindsay Bombria, Allison Foster and Cheri Tinney.
“We’re going to giving out surveys over the next month or so,” she said. “To gauge interest of potential vendors and citizens and what they may want to see at a farmer’s market.”
Davis, the vice chair of CAB, added that the surveys will be key for the creation of the market.
“The idea of doing these surveys is to see what obstacles we may face,” he said. Davis went on to add the current format for the Elizabethton farmer’s market will be based off ideas gathered from other markets across the region, including Roan Mountain, Johnson County, Johnson City, Jonesborough, Unicoi County, Kingsport and Greeneville.
The distribution of surveys will begin in the coming weeks. Incentives were tossed around for individuals that participate. One idea tossed around was for citizens that participate, they could be entered to win a $100 gift card from Wal Mart. As far as vendors go, Reece added that an idea being batted around is providing vendors who participate to set up shop at the first farmer’s market free of charge, to help build up the attendance for the first-ever event.
While the market is still in the infancy phase, a location has been solidified by the board.
“We’re looking at using the park between the senior center and the (Carter County) health department,” Reece said.
The park near the health department was one of many different options tossed around by board members during past meetings. Options mentioned also included the Covered Bridge Park.
Reece went on to add that parking at the health department could be limited, so the board will continue looking at partnerships with parking lots adjacent to the health department to address that issue.
Another key item brought up during the farmer’s market discussion included the opportunity for grants and providing the community with information on healthy living and eating.
Along with the farmer’s market, Reece also updated the news with Build it Up families, informing board members that the state has provided the group a chance to fund 25 Build it Up families to work at building their own gardens.
CAB would have to instruct two of the six classes offered for families, including classes on healthy living and canning and preservation.
During the partnerships portion of the meeting, members heard from Helen Scott, executive director of Healing Hands Health Center based out of Bristol.
The nonprofit organization works at providing ‘charitable’ healthcare for individuals that may have trouble obtaining health services.
Healing Hands offers services to Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Citizens of Carter County are invited to contact the center to see if they could be eligible for services. Healing Hands provides healthcare and dental but are unable to provide vision due to lack of optimist volunteers.
For more information, contact the center at 652-0260.
In other business, the CAB voted on a letterhead. The board selected from two options provided by McKinney.

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