By Jana Jones
Mark your calendars for August 18th to attend the Johnson County Farmers Market’s (JCFM) Second Annual Harvest Celebration Dinner – Taste of Appalachia. The menu is set from locally sourced ingredients, live music planned, the venue is reserved, and invitations have been sent to City, County, State and US officials. Senator Jon Lundberg and his wife Lisa have confirmed they will be able to attend! Since we sold out last year, we have been able to secure a venue that will allow for more seating at the new Christian Life Center on Main Street in Mountain City. Early bird tickets are offered at a discount prior to July 31 and are now available at the Welcome Center in Mountain City, at the JCFM Manager’s Tent on Saturday mornings, or from any of our market vendors or board members. Seating is limited and we expect to sell out, so reserve your table early to ensure a spot.
Farm to table dinners have grown in popularity across the country as the “Eat Local” movement has gained momentum. The Jonesborough annual outdoor gala fundraiser seats 216 and sells out within the first few weeks of offering tickets at $100 each. The Marion Virginia Farmers Market farm to table event is also a large draw for the area with tickets going for $50 a piece. Supporting the local farmers and crafters is important to these areas. The proceeds raised from our fundraiser dinner allows the JCFM to continue being involved in the community offering education, economic development, and providing the freshest local produce and handmade items for our corner of Tennessee. Ingredients for our meal are purchased from each vendor and prepared by Chef Craig Cox and his Culinary Arts Class. This family style meal will feature a choice of pork tenderloin provided by Old Beech Mountain Farms or fresh herbed chicken provided by Leander Mountain Farms. A vegetarian option of stuffed squash will also be offered. Harbin Hill Farms, Sweet Spring Farms, Grieber Family Farm, and A Bushel and a Peck will also be providing other produce for the Appalachian Fare meal including dessert choices of apple stack cake or fresh berry crisp. All of this is offered for only $35 a ticket. However, early bird tickets are offered for $30 each or $50 per couple. Tables of 8 can be reserved at any of the locations where tickets are offered.
One of the favorite activities of our 2017 Harvest Celebration Dinner was a silent auction. Beautiful hand carved bowls, stained glass, a basket of homemade jams, gift certificates, and fine art prints were a few of the items that were eagerly sought after. This year’s silent auction of local craft items and area business offerings will be available from 5:00 until 6 pm when the dinner will begin. Donations of silent auction items are greatly appreciated and can be dropped off at the Mountain City Welcome Center.
If you haven’t visited the Johnson County Farmers Market this year, we are now located at Ralph Stout Park in the parking area near the children’s playground. Come enjoy the live music, farm fresh produce, eggs, meat, dairy, and local handmade baked goods and craft items each Saturday morning from 9 until noon. Check out our new “Breakfast at the Market” tent and come by the manager’s table to find your “Fresh is Best” t-shirt and other items and information. We offer the Fre$h Savings Program with doubles the dollars for EBT customers. Bring the kids by our GoJoCo Kids tent to make healthy snacks and participate in fun activities. We invite you to like us on Facebook to see all of the current news or visit our webpage at JohnsonCountyFM.org to learn more.