Farmer’s markets are enjoying a resurgence, and there are very few communities in which at least one farmer’s market is not operating regularly. This allows farmers to access a much broader market and find buyers for an increasing amount of produce or food, but it is also even more beneficial to shoppers. After all, once you taste a locally-grown, vine fresh tomato or savor the potent flavors of fresh herbs, you may begin to change the way you look at your diet and food supplies.
If you are traveling to the Great Smoky Mountains area and want to explore options for farmers markets, be sure you block out a few hours on your Saturday morning schedule. This is the most common time for the markets to occur, though there are many that operate daily and also all year long. This includes the large Gatlinburg Farmers Market, among others. The Sevierville Farmers Market operates every Friday and is another popular option.
An Authentic Producer Only Market
Saturday morning is also when the amazing Maryville Farmers’ Market occurs. Emphasizing a “producer-only” model, they ensure that everything you buy is grown and/or made by the vendors themselves. This is not a market in which you have to worry about the authenticity of “local” goods. Instead, everything is baked from scratch, grown in the local soils, and transported from a farm nearby!
With a slogan that reads, “From East Tennessee Hands,” it is a fantastic way to enhance even the briefest visit to the area, and the market is active right through the winter. The Saturday markets run from April through November and hours are 9-12, rain or shine. Their November calendar also includes their “Holly Day Arts & Crafts Market,” making it the perfect way to pick up some truly amazing holiday gifts and goodies, while supporting local artisans and farmers. The dates for 2018 are 11/3 and 11/10 with hours from 9 AM to 1 PM.
With its quieter location and emphasis on local farm goods that “improve the freshness, taste, and nutritional value of produce available, encourage more social contact between the consumer and farmer, educate the public as to the agricultural traditions of East Tennessee, and celebrate and help preserve family farms,” it is the perfect win-win choice in terms of Saturday morning farmers markets.
What to Buy
If you do opt for the Maryville Farmers Market, their vendors include Turner Holler with its abundance of fresh eggs and homemade soaps and lotions that use their fresh goats’ milk as a main ingredient. The Holder Family Farm also appears regularly and sells only the finest fruits and vegetables from their generations-old family farm in the foothills of the Smokies. You can also grab delicious breads and baked goods from Marlow Bread Co. and enjoy goods from Bees’ Needs Art Farm, Smokey Ridge Apiaries, and more.