Kingsport celebrates National Farmers Market Week

Matthew Lane • Aug 6, 2019 at 8:30 PM

KINGSPORT — This is National Farmers Market Week in Kingsport.

In addition to its regular market days this week, Kingsport’s market will be hosting some special events, including an Evening at the Market, Tomato Fest and a scavenger hunt. Here’s what’s taking place this week:

— Evening at the Market: Beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, the market will be open during the evening, with Matlock & Company performing a free concert. Don’t forget to stop by and get your “I Heart Farmers Markets” temporary tattoo, then tag the Kingsport Farmers Market on Facebook or Instagram for a chance to win a swag bag.

— The 15th annual Homegrown Tomato Fest: This event will take place from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday. This celebration of the juicy, red fruit features tomato contests, free tomato tastings and refreshments, tomato-growing advice, tomato recipes and activities for kids. Be sure to gather your finest or foulest tomatoes and enter them in the contests for best tasting, biggest, prettiest, ugliest, most bizarre and/or best dressed tomato, along with best salsa.

Admission to Tomato Fest is free and there are no entry fees for the contests. Entry forms may be downloaded from the Southern Appalachian Plant Society website: www.saps.us. Entries will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. for all contests, and winners will be announced after 10 a.m.

— Farmers Market Swag: Kingsport Farmers Market merchandise — shirts, hats, mugs and canvas totes — are all on sale this week to celebrate the national event.

The Kingsport Farmers Market began in 1977 and currently hosts more than 110 farmers and crafters, who sell a wide variety of products. National Farmers Market Week is a celebration of these farmers and the benefits of having local produce and goods available to the community.

“Farmers markets play a vital role not just in generating real income for farmers, but in forming healthy, prosperous food systems,” said Jen Cheek, executive director of the Farmers Market Coalition. “By providing the opportunity for farmers to connect directly with consumers, markets serve as education centers. Vendors are teaching customers about agriculture and sharing recipes and new foods with their neighbors.”

For more information about the Kingsport Farmers Market, or to sign up for its monthly newsletter, visit kingsportfarmersmarket.org.