By Jana Jones
“What a perfect location for the Farmers Market” is the comment heard from locals as well as out of town visitors in connection with the Johnson County Farmers Market (JCFM). But, after seven years of setting up at the Courthouse parking lot, the market has outgrown its space. Mountain City Mayor and the Town Council were instrumental in securing a new location at Ralph Stout Park adjacent to the playground so that the JCFM will have room to expand.
“We feel that this venue will provide better visibility for us as well as draw in some customers that would be coming to the park for other activities,” said Richard Calkins, president of the JCFM Board of Directors.
More than 15 vendors are now confirmed to display their wares on Saturday, May, 5 featuring a variety of beautiful greens including kale, arugula, Swiss chard, mustard greens, lettuce, and spinach. Broccoli, carrots, and chives will also be among other vegetables offered. Visitors can look forward to mouthwatering baked goods such as apple krugans, lemon tarts, Russian tea cakes, creme brûlée tarts, Irish oatmeal raisin cookies, and gluten-free triple chocolate cake slices. Fresh-out of-the-oven French bread, Jalapeno bread, Asiago garlic bread, bagels, and five varieties of croissants will be waiting for you. Also featured will be pasture raised pork summer sausage, smokey bacon cheddar sausage, bratwurst, pork tenderloin, 100 percent grass-fed beef (all cuts), and field raised chicken eggs. Homemade jams and jellies, including strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry jam, brandied cherry, strawberry sunrise, and citrus rum punch marmalade along with lemon curd, sauerkraut, granola, chili marinade are just some of the “value-added” products on the list. A number of craft vendors will offer stained glass, jewelry, ceramics, homemade soaps, lotions, sunscreen, bath bombs, lip balm, as well as Mother’s Day gift tins with assorted bath products.
Make sure to the manager’s tent to check out our “Fresh is Best” t-shirts, pick up free recipes, a local food guide, and sign up for the JCFM email list to get up-to-date listings of weekly specials and items available. Next door to the market manager tent will be the new “GoJoCo Kids Club” tent with a variety of healthy activities for children. As always, we accept EBT cards and will again this year be offering the FRE$H Savings Program which gives SNAP shoppers double their money on produce purchased at the market.
The Acorn Valley Bluegrass band will help launch the Farmers Market’s 10th year serving Johnson County. On any Saturday morning, May through October motorists will see colorful tents set up in the east parking area at the park. All are encouraged to stop by and enjoy the live music, a cup of coffee and a melt-in-your-mouth sweet bun, and stroll among the booths to see the beautiful fresh produce, freshly baked wonders, and local crafts. Because FRESH IS BEST.