Spring is truly here when Farmers’ Markets begin to open for the season. The first of four Rutherford County markets opened at Lane Agri-Park Community Center on Friday, May 8. Others will open beginning the end of May and the beginning of June.
All of the markets ask that anyone feeling sick stay home. That visitors only go to obtain essential goods, wear a face covering while attending the market, and stay six feet away from others at all times. And pets are not allowed at the markets at this time.
Be safe. Stay Healthy. SHOP LOCAL!
1Rutherford Farmers’ Market
WHERE: Lane Agri-Park Community Center, 315 John Rice Boulevard, Murfreesboro
WHEN: Open Now Through Oct 30 – Tuesdays & Fridays 7am to 12pm
Lane Agri-Park Community Center is home to the Rutherford County Farmer’ Market. You will find produce booths, baked goods, canned goods, plants, and food trucks. On opening day vendors and customers were asked to follow CDC guidelines wearing masks, and gloves if possible. This will continue as long as the country is under social distancing orders.
Classes will not be offered onsite, nor will shopping carts. Coordinators also ask that customers make as many purchases as possible with a card.
“Business has been good for the first day of the market,” said Sarah Van Horn of Van Horn Cookies. Who was there with an assortment of individual and gift pack sugar cookies decorated with funny and humorous messages.
Martin Davis of M&L Greenhouse came with garden flowers and starter vegetable plantings. His family has long brought produce from their farm, but he and his two brothers are continuing to carry on the work of their sister who passed away last year.
“She ran the greenhouse and I worked on the farm,” said Davis. “My brothers and I want to carry on her greenhouse, and also our farm. Carry on her memory. We’ve seen pretty good response for a first day with all of this going on.”
Karen Ford has moved her Bake My Day booth filled with sweet and savory baked goods from the Main Street Market to this one. Ford, known for her scrumptious cooking at Goodness Gracious, says that the booth is therapy. Her lemon lavender and cheese and bacon scones are sure to delight, as well as her helper- grandson’s favorite — chocolate banana bread.
2Historic Smyrna Depot Farmers Market
WHERE: 101 Front Street, Smyrna
WHEN: Opens May 23 through Sept 19 – Saturdays 8am to noon
Like all of the other markets, Smyrna is working under new guidelines, including no pets and everyone must wear masks. The 2020 season opens Saturday, May 23 and runs through September 19. Hours are from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
“We have implemented policies with our vendors which are intended to keep them and you safe,” said Elaine Sutherland Market Manager. “When you arrive at the market, you’ll notice wider spaces between vendor tents, and that vendors and staff will be wearing masks.”
Sutherland will be roaming throughout the market to ensure that vendors and customers are following social distancing guidelines and to assist in any way necessary to their vendors and customers.
“Most significantly, the market will be a place for purchasing needed foods to feed your families and neighbors while limiting gatherings” added Nikki Sasser, Market Consultant. “In order to move people in-and-out quickly and to minimize the crowds, we will not have our Kidz Zone, artisan crafters, or any other non-food related services at this time. We ask that you come out, purchase what you need, and cheerfully make room for the next customer. We ask that only the primary shopper for each household come to the market, and if possible, children should stay home. We are taking the current COVID situation seriously, and we know that you will as well.”
As the season progresses, Sutherland will coordinate with Carpe Artista and the Town of Smyrna in order to update guidelines as needed. All updates will be posted on social media pages.
3LaVergne Farmers Market
WHERE: LaVergne City Hall Campus, 5093 Murfreesboro Road, LaVergne
WHEN: Opens June 2 until Sept 29 – Tuesdays 3pm to 7pm
Opening on Tuesday June 2, the LaVergne Farmers Market will be produce only until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year the market will be moving back to LaVergne City Hall.
“We are still accepting vendor applications,” said Robert Rayburn, Event Coordinator LaVergne Parks and Recreation. “We will be asking vendors to handle the produce only, and follow local health codes. Also, if possible take pre-orders to help get customers in and out [quickly]…Vendors will be spaced out to handle lines and keep social distance. We will ask customers to leave pets at home, please have a mask on, pay with exact change or credit card, and no gathering.”
All vendor fees benefit the LaVergne Senior Center.
4Murfreesboro Saturday Farmers Market
WHERE: The Square, Downtown Murfreesboro
WHEN: Open June 6 until September – Saturdays 8am to noon
“The Murfreesboro Saturday Farmers Market on the square will open for the 2020 season on June 6 from 8:00 a.m. until noon,” said Linda Weeks, MainStreet’s Murfreesboro Saturday Farmers Market Manager. “While COVID-19 remains a risk to customers and vendors alike, the Saturday Market will operate under modified conditions. It will not be “business as usual”…with added precautions, new procedures, and proactive steps to protect market customers, vendors, and staff…These recommendations have been collected from markets across the state and the country to comply with public health official’s guidance and requirements.”
MainStreet has added some space to the market so they are able to place vendors farther apart to meet the recommended CDC guidelines. Currently, they have 48 vendors signed up for the market. Vendors include: Tennessee Grass Fed, Campbell Farms, Evans Produce, Valley Home Farms, Kelley’s Berry Farm, Sunnyside Farms, Sow and Harvest Farms, Sanders Family Farm, Wagyu Farms, Blue Skye Farm, T & J Farm, Blocker Farms and many other small farmers and growers. This includes nurseries and flower growers, bakeries, pasta, gourmet cheeses, and MTSU Creamery Truck will be selling their famous chocolate milk.
“Most of our vendors have been coming to the market for years,” said Weeks, “some since the first year it was opened. We … have a few new vendors this year who have heard good reports from both customers and other vendors about the quality of the market and have decided to sell with us.”
The market is also looking into having customer pick-up for pre-market orders with individual vendors. That suggestion has been well-received by their vendors.
“The market has always been a gathering place, but as we open in June, it will have to be more of a shop local, get fresh produce, and thank a farmer place,” added Weeks. “We hope everyone will be understanding of the new rules and recommendations –like wearing masks to the market. As we receive new updates and recommendations change, these guidelines will be updated and posted to our Facebook page and Main Street webpage.”