New Evening Hours
By Calie Brummer
Founded with a mission to provide a pleasant market venue for residents and visitors in downtown Sylva, the Jackson County Farmers Market continues to expand its offerings. Vendors from across the region offer locally grown and produced foods, handicrafts and artwork that reflect the rich heritage of the mountains. The Jackson County summer market runs from April through October, on Wednesdays from 4–7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
This year, the Jackson County Farmers Market added the Wednesday evening market, allowing for more opportunities for residents to shop. Around 15 vendors attend the Wednesday market, including NGN 52 food truck serving wood-fired pizza and Sylva-based Vegenui Gardens, a community supported agriculture garden.
“We look forward to celebrating National Farmers Market Week from Sunday, August 5, through Saturday, August 11,” says Lisa McBride, market manager. “Visitors can also come out to listen to the music of recording artist Geoff McBride, who performs regularly at the market.”
Market vendors will offer seasonal produce, cheeses, dairy and locally sourced meats, including pork and chicken. Locally grown honey and farm-fresh chicken and duck eggs are available, as well as herbal products, ornamental and edible plants, wool rugs, yarns and many other crafts. Vendors will also be serving up fresh baked goods, coffee, pizza and kettle corn. Customers using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are welcome.
The Jackson County market was founded in September, 2000. The original market was established where it still resides on Mill Street in downtown Sylva. In its first year, vendors arrived at the market with truckloads of apples, watermelon and other seasonal offerings. Several of the original vendors are still in attendance today.
During those first few years, the market hosted anywhere from five to ten booths. By 2011, there were 32 vendors in attendance. Today the farmers market hosts 60 registered vendors.
The popularity of the summer farmers markets gave rise to the Jackson County winter market, held on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community Table building in downtown Sylva. The winter market hosts farmers and artisans offering seasonal products.
The 2018 summer farmers market hosts a variety of vendors, including Pineapple Sage Herb Farm, Backwoods Bakery, Dawson Green and Pomme de Terre. Many vendors, including Art by Jane, Tilley Creek Chicks and Linda’s Veggies, have been attending the market for many years. New to the market this year is KT’s Orchard and Apiary out of Canton, selling apples, peaches, nectarines and local honey.
The Jackson County Farmers Market is located at 110 Railroad Avenue in Sylva and runs from April through October. The winter market is held at 23 Central Street in Sylva and runs from November through March. For more information, visit jacksoncountyfarmersmarket.org.