By Paul Leach
DELANO, Tenn. -- Delano Community Farm Market offers locally grown produce, baked goods and more without all the preservatives, dyes and additives.
"Everything comes off our farm. No goods are shipped in, it is all grown or created here," said Joseph Martin, manager of the market that is owned and operated by the local Mennonite community.
Customers say they're willing to travel to experience the variety of produce, canned goods and handmade items that can be found at Delano Community Farm Market.
Elaine Kinsey, of Ringgold, Ga., makes the trip because she enjoys the pleasant drive and the "unique" nature of the market.
"It has produce you can't find in Chattanooga," she said.
Johanna Koeppen, of Greenville, S.C., visits Delano Community Farm Market when she visits family in Cleveland, Tenn. She has shopped there regularly for about 10 years.
"I love this place," she said. "It offers organic variety, and you can't beat the prices. The taste is wonderful."
IF YOU GO
What: Delano Community Farm Market
Where: 146 Needle Eye Lane, off Highway 411, between Benton and Etowah
When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, from early spring until late fall
Information: 706-6283 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Delano Community Farm Market's brochure states it is not certified organic, but it tries "to raise our crops in a safe and responsible way and make use of cover crops, barnyard manure and compost to build up and maintain the land."
For pest and disease control, the brochure discloses that some crops receive moderate amounts of chemical treatment, but many crops receive none at all.
The market has posted signage in response to customer requests for organic produce, as well. Squash, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupes and watermelons are divided into "blue label" and "white label" categories.
The "blue label" produce is grown to a "similar standard" as certified organic, marketers say. "White label" produce is not and also includes items that "don't require much spraying," they say.
Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. E-mail him at email@example.com.
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