East Tennessee farmers’ markets join markets across the country in celebrating National Farmers Market Week from August 6-12, 2017. Nourish Knoxville, organizers of the Market Square Farmers’ Market in downtown Knoxville, are celebrating farmers’ markets in East Tennessee by lighting up the Henley Street bridge in green and blue, hosting a kick-off at the Market Square Farmers’ Market on August 5, highlighting markets on social media, and raising awareness of the amount of farmers’ markets in East Tennessee.
Nourish Knoxville will also guest-host the Farmers Market Coalition’s Instagram account from July 31 through August 12 to highlight the great work being done in Knoxville, Tennessee.
As demand for local food continues to grow, so too have the opportunities for America’s farmers to market fresh food directly to the consumer. According to statistics recently released by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), farmers’ markets and farm stands account for roughly $2 billion of the $3 billion that Americans spend annually on farm-direct products. This revenue, in turn, supports the livelihoods of more than 165,000 mostly small and mid-sized farms and ranches.
Nourish Knoxville began in 2013 as a nonprofit organization to promote and support local producers, and currently hosts the Market Square Farmers’ Market. Photo of Market Square Farmers Market by Celebrate Knoxville.
Nourish Knoxville produces the East Tennessee Local Food Guide. The 2017 guide lists 37 farmers’ markets and 146 direct marketing farms in 28 counties in East Tennessee.
“Farmers’ markets play a vital role not just in generating real income for farmers, but in forming a healthy, prosperous food systems,” says Jen Cheek, Executive Director of the Farmers Market Coalition. “By providing the opportunity for farmers to connect directly with consumers, markets serve as education centers. Vendors are teaching customers about agriculture and sharing recipes and new foods with their neighbors. Markets are making people and communities stronger and healthier.”