On almost any given day in the Chattanooga region, farmers are convening in pre-determined locations, setting up their pop-up tents, and unloading boxes of farm-fresh items, including produce, meat, eggs, and even fresh-cut flowers. For one hour, or even up to five, these farmers markets enable hungry throngs of Chattanoogans to by-pass the grocery store and purchase freshly harvested, locally grown foods directly from the person or family who grew or raised them.
“Farmers markets provide a unique opportunity for city-folk to meet real-life farmers,” said Andrea Jaeger, programs coordinator of Crabtree Farms. “These markets help connect us directly to the people who grow our food and enable us to have more control over our food choices.”
A visit to a farmers market allows customers to ask farmers about their growing practices and access a wide variety of freshly harvested items. Local farmers grow many common items found in produce isles of grocery stores, but sometimes they bring unfamiliar items that commercial retailers are unable to stock, such as Paw Paws, kohlrabi, unique varieties of heirloom tomatoes or Lacinato kale. This variety changes with the season, and farmers market regulars eagerly anticipate what will appear each week and stock up on their favorite items when they become available.
Selling their products directly to customers at farmers markets allows farmers to receive the true value of their goods. A small percentage of what they make may be paid to keep the farmers market in operation, but the farmer is able to keep the vast majority of the income. This means that the customer’s food dollars go directly back into the pocket of the farmer instead of a middle man.
Aug. 3-9 marks the 15th annual National Farmers Market Week (NFMW). The USDA created NFMW as a celebration of all the farmers markets across the United States. Chattanoogans can be part of the celebration by shopping at one of the 16 local farmers markets that unite farmers and customers each week. A complete listing of market locations and hours can be found in the TasteBuds Local Food Guide available at Crabtree Farms, or online at www.growchattanooga.org/foodguide. Many of the listed markets also accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, making local food more accessible to all Chattanoogans.
For more information about local farmers markets, call 423 493-9155, x13 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATHENS FARMERS MARKET
106 South Jackson Street, Athens TN
Tues, Thurs, Sat 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
BATTLEFIELD FARMERS’ MARKET
10052 Hwy 27 N, Rock Spring GA
Wed 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Sat 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
BRADLEY COUNTY FARMERS MARKET
3110 Peerless Road, Cleveland TN
Tues, Thurs, Sat 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
BRAINERD FARMERS MARKET
20 Belvoir Avenue, Chattanooga TN
Sat 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
1829 Carter Street, Chattanooga TN
Sun 11 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Wed 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
CUMBERLAND FARMERS MARKET
39 Ball Park Road, Sewanee TN
Pick up Tues 4:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
DOWNTOWN DALTON SATURDAY MARKET
245 North Thorton Street, Dalton GA
Sat 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
FARM TO TABLE MARKET
200 North Hamilton Street, Dalton GA
Thurs 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (September only)
LOOKOUT FARMERS MARKET
1300 Lula Lake Road, Lookout Mountain GA Thurs 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
900 N. Sanctuary Road, Chattanooga TN
Tues 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (May- Oct)
3917 St. Elmo Avenue, Chattanooga TN
Fri 4:00-7:00 p.m.
MAIN STREET FARMERS’ MARKET
325 East Main Street, Chattanooga TN
Wed 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Nov-March 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
MENTONE FARMERS MARKET
6139 Alabama Highway 117, Mentone AL
Sat 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
OOLTEWAH FARMERS’ MARKET
5829 Main Street, Ooltewah TN
Thurs 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN FARMERS’ MARKET
2815 Anderson Pike, Signal Mountain TN
Thurs 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
SOUTH CUMBERLAND FOOD HUB
13912 Highway 41, Tracy City TN
ST. ALBAN’S HIXSON MARKET
7514 Hixson Pike, Soddy Daisy TN
Sat 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
TRENTON FARMERS’ MARKET
Veterans Park, Trenton GA
Sat 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.