published Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Lookout Farmers Market grows: New location provides first night-time market

Jon Geerlings puts out wares Tuesday at the Lookout Farmer's Market at Audubon Acres.
Jon Geerlings puts out wares Tuesday at the Lookout Farmer's Market at Audubon Acres.

Lookout Farmers Markets

Mondays 4-7 p.m.: Hamilton Place - New Hope Presbyterian Church, 7301 Shallowford Road, Chattanooga

Tuesdays 4-7 p.m.: East Brainerd - Audubon Acres, 900 N. Sanctuary Road, Chattanooga

Thursdays 3-7 p.m.: Lookout Mountain - City Hall, 1214 Lula Lake Road, Lookout Mountain, Ga.

Thursdays 6-9 p.m.: Southside - Crash Pad, 29 Johnson St., Chattanooga

Fridays 4-7 p.m.: St. Elmo - Incline Railway, 3917 St. Elmo Ave., Chattanooga

For more information check lookoutfarmersmarket.org.

The Chattanooga daily work crowd now can shop local, outside and at night.

Lookout Farmers Market has found a Thursday home at the Crash Pad hostel in the city's Southside.

Today's debut, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., marks the fifth location for Lookout Farmers Market, which Lori Carter and her partner, Dayle Mathis, launched in April, fittingly, on Lookout Mountain. The couple has a small farm on the mountain but have been so busy opening new locations they've barely had time to tend to it, Carter said. In fact, on Monday, they opened their fourth location near Hamilton Place mall.

"We're both really passionate about the whole local food movement," Carter said. "We love the fact that this all helps to stimulate our local economy."

The city needs a nighttime farmers market, and Crash Pad's values match those of Lookout Farmers Market, she said.

The hostel, which caters to outdoor athletes such as rock climbers and cyclists, was the first hostel in the world to earn LEED Platinum status from the U.S. Green Building Council.

"They're very green, and they already support some of the local businesses and some of the local vendors by using some of their products," Carter said. Plus, "Crash Pad was very intriguing to us because it's such a popular place for young people."

The Crash Pad market will be open through November. It will feature locally grown fresh produce, baked goods, grass-fed meats, free-range eggs, herbs, baked goods, jams, nuts, dog treats, freshly squeezed lemonade, candles, soap, art, jewelry and prepared foods. Food carts, entertainment and educational programs are part of the market too.

All farmers and producers in the Lookout Market program are located within 100 miles of the market, and many use organic sustainable farming practices. Permanent vendors at the Crash Pad location will adhere to sustainable practices, Carter said.

Farmers Markets have been popping up faster in Tennessee than anywhere else in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A recent report showed 20 farmers markets had opened in the state in the past year. There are now about 20 USDA-registered farmers markets within 50 miles of downtown Chattanooga.

Contact staff writer Mitra Malek at mmalek@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6406.

about Mitra Malek...

Mitra Malek writes about business, with a focus on the Chattanooga area's tech, small business and entrepreneurial communities, as well as tourism. Before coming to the Times Free Press, she was a staff writer for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Journal Inquirer and Palm Beach Post. She has covered local and national politics, government, international trade, a state cancer cluster investigation and real estate growth and economic development, among other subjects. Her reporting ...

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