Year-round farmers market comes to Eastgate

Year-round farmers market comes to Eastgate

June 6th, 2012 Rachel Sauls in Local Regional News

Chattanooga's newest farmers market is going to be more than just a place to buy and sell produce.

To be located at Eastgate Town Center, the market will be held every Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. beginning June 9 and will feature live music, an information alley and free classes teaching people different agriculture-related skills.

From left, Byron, Molly, Ben, JoAnna, Dana and Brad Bleasdale of Fall Creek Farms showcase the way that farming is a family affair at Fall Creek Farms. Fall Creek Farms will be a vendor each week at the Eastgate Town Center Market, and market organizer Alicia Anderson said she hopes to spread the message of family farming through classes offered at the market each week.

Photo by Rachel Sauls

"Especially with the warmer winters we've had a lot of farmers tell us that they are growing year-round," said organizer Alicia Anderson. "We chose to have it on Saturday since the Chattanooga Market is already going on on Sundays and farmers seem to like Saturdays."

In addition to featuring local farmers and artisans, she said the market will also focus on crafts and trades that may be lost in the 21st century. Anderson said she partnered with the Eastgate Senior Center to create the Lost Arts Society, a group of seniors who will demonstrate crafts like quilting, crocheting and knitting for people attending the market.

Another component of the market is the Victory Garden Campaign. Similar to the Victory Gardens during World War I and World War II, Anderson said a big focus of the market will be teaching people to start their own gardens and encouraging them to donate to a fund for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

"The victory garden campaign grew out of the market before it even existed," she said. "For Chattanooga it will be a campaign for victory over diabetes, obesity and hunger."

According to Anderson, Victory Garden Campaign barrels will be placed throughout the Eastgate Town Center and other local venues. Donations dropped in the barrels will be converted into victory dollars that Chattanooga Area Food Bank representatives will use to purchase food from the farmers at the end of each week's market.

"One hundred percent of every dollar will go to buying food for our local food bank," said Anderson. "We're striving for the farmers to be out of produce at the end of every day and the food bank to be stocked with fresh vegetables."

The market is currently still looking for vendors. Anyone interested should contact Anderson at 716-4248 or Alicia@redpaintmarketing.net.