National Farmers' Market Week
It’s National Farmers’ Market Week (August 7-13), and we want to celebrate by sharing about our downtown farmers’ market (and other other nearby markets) and why supporting local farmers and makers is so important.
All about Nourish Knoxville's Market Square Farmers' Market:
Maybe we are a little biased, but we think Knoxville has some of the best farmers' markets around! Right in the heart of downtown Knoxville is Nourish Knoxville's Market Square Farmers' Market – Knoxville’s biggest and most popular farmers’ market. Every Wednesday and Saturday from May 4 to November 19 of 2022, you can visit Market Square for local farmers, makers, small businesses, and food trucks. The Winter Farmers' Market is only on Saturdays, and dates vary due to winter holidays. View the Map of Vendors and select a date to see what vendors are attending that day and where each booth is located. All of the Market Square Farmers’ Market vendors are from the East Tennessee region (within a 150-mile radius of Knoxville!), so you can expect the freshest local produce and homey Knoxville crafts.
Most vendors accept credit cards, but some are cash-only. All of the Nourish Knoxville Farmers’ Markets accept SNAP (sometimes informally referred to as food stamps) and Double-Up Food Bucks – learn more on their website. Nourish Knoxville has parking information on their website, as well. Knoxvillians are spoiled with plenty of free parking on weekends!
Why is it important to shop and support local farmers and businesses?
Shopping local helps create jobs within your community, improves public infrastructure and community connections, and circulates money directly through your community. Local makers and vendors sell unique products that you can’t find anywhere else – great for gifts or personal touches to your home. These local businesses often partner with other small businesses and buy local when they can. It’s a chain reaction! When it comes to farmers’ produce and products, buying local is healthier for you and the environment.
- Local food is healthier for you because it’s fresh – “farm to table” food. Once a vegetable is harvested, it begins to lose nutrients. Imported food in many grocery stores has spent days traveling and loses nutrients along the way, but food from local farms is sold at local and regional markets within days of harvest.
- Local and regional farms help preserve our soils and improve our environment. Small farming techniques are much more environmentally-friendly than large-scale, conventional agriculture which uses intense pesticides, monoculture growing techniques, and long-distance transportation. Many local farmers use organic techniques and grow several types of crops on their farms. (Keep in mind that organic certification is rare due to high costs, but most farmers are open to talking about their farming techniques!)
- Animal products from local farmers are safer, more humane, and more environmentally friendly than animal products from large-scale CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations). CAFOs are more likely to spread disease, cause significant greenhouse gas emissions, and use inhuman practices. Know exactly where your meat, dairy, and egg products come from when you support a local farmer.
- Local, small-scale farming often generates less waste than industrial farming. Smaller farms, shorter travel distances, and more targeted farm outputs help reduce food waste within communities. Many local farmers compost, so food waste recycles nutrients directly back into their soils.
- Local food travels a relatively short distance to get to your table. Grocery stores sell produce and animal products from all over the world, which require transportation (and therefore carbon emissions and resources). Farmers’ markets sell locally or regionally grown food – our Market Square Farmers’ Market has a range of 150 miles!
Check out these other farmers’ markets!
Ebenezer United Methodist Church
1001 Ebenezer Rd
Knoxville, TN 37923
3 pm – 6 pm
12740 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37934
Saturdays, May 7 – October 29, 2022
9 am – 12 pm
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
8 am – 12 pm
Commerce Street Parking Lot
245 N. Main Street
Clinton, TN 37716
3 pm – 6 pm
New Harvest Park
4775 New Harvest Lane
Knoxville, TN 37918
Thursdays, April 14 – September 29, 2022
3 pm – 6 pm
2003 E Broadway Ave
Maryville, TN 37804
Saturdays, April – November
8:30 am – 11:30 am
Dr. Walter Hardy Park
2020 MLK Jr. Ave
Knoxville, TN 37915
Sundays, June – September
1 pm – 4 pm
“The lot at the intersection of Court Avenue and Joy Street”
Sevierville, TN 37862
Fridays, May – October 28, 2022
7 am – 12 pm
Buying locally supports your local economy and community while reducing your environmental footprint. Next time you need groceries, try Nourish Knoxville’s Market Square Farmers’ Market or one of Knoxville’s many other farmers' markets! Have you been to any of Knoxville's farmers' markets? Do you have a favorite? Share your experiences in the comments below!