Farmers Market opens June 4 with new items, old favorites

Published 11:37 am Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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By Angela Cutrer

Mark your calendars right now before you forget: Opening day is June 4 for the Elizabethton Farmers’ Market.

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That’s right – summer has officially arrived; well, at least as far as Elizabethton is concerned.

The market will offer home-grown products from more than 30 vendors. “We’ll be open from June to September every Tuesday all summer long,” said the market’s manager, Donica Krebs. “It’s from 4-7 p.m., and we’ll have new items as well as favorites.”

Customers will have a lot to choose from: fresh produce and fruit (picked that morning), USDA pasture-raised meats, free-range eggs, local honey, artisan bread, specialty baked goods, jams and jellies, pet treats, handcrafted soaps, artisan crafts, herbal products, live plants and more.

Many vendors offer unique items, such as rare and odd heirloom produce like purple cauliflower, kohlrabi, and Native American varieties of tomatoes, corn and beans. The market also includes food trucks supplying on-the-go dinners and desserts during your shopping.

Krebs said the two most important things shoppers should remember about the Elizabethton Farmers’ Market are the items for sale are locally produced and the market means shoppers are supporting local people from within the community. 

“Everything offered at our market is produced in, or adjacent to, Carter County,” Krebs said. “We do not allow resale of produce from states farther south.

“It is common practice for most farmers’ markets to allow vendors to buy produce from warmer climates and re-sell it at the market to keep up appearances of abundance during times when harvests are still low at the beginning of the season. We are much less concerned with appearances than we are with quality.

“Every vegetable at the market was grown by our farmers. Every cut of meat was raised on local pastures. Every egg and jar of honey was collected within the 423 area code.

“While this means that sometimes we have less variety during certain times of the season, particularly in the beginning of the season while we wait for summer crops to ripen, our customers can rest assured knowing that every single dollar spent at the EFM stays in our community.”

The purpose of the market is to support local farms and businesses, to supply the community with fresh healthy food and to strengthen community ties in order to secure a local food economy. “We all support each other,” Krebs said. “We are all accustomed to being able to walk into a grocery store and have our pick of produce at the drop of a hat, but most of those dollars are ending up in California or another country; we want to focus our efforts on supporting farmers that you can speak with face-to-face each week.”

The market has had its ups and downs, thanks to the pandemic. But things grow when they are nourished, and locals cared enough to keep this market alive. “[The local chamber] sponsors the market and we owe our existence to them,” Krebs said. “The Elizabethton Parks and Rec Department also facilitates us by providing the Covered Bridge Park for our weekly use.”

A new addition to shopping at the market is the acceptance of SNAP EBT. Those who pay that way will benefit even more by doubling their dollars up to $20. “That’s getting fresh product for free,” Krebs explained.

Keep up to date on the market’s activities on Facebook or Instagram – search @elizabethtonfarmersmkt.