The Exchange of the Knoxville Idea

Market Square is the place to be on Saturday mornings.

We are two weeks into the new season’s farmer’s market on Market Square. As one of the largest open-air fresh markets in the region, the farmer’s market plays host to local produce, food, live music, as well as arts and crafts.

The whole square is hopping, usually to the tune of jazz or big bands. Restaurants (like us) are open for brunch, often featuring items purchased from local vendors in the market. Vendors also sell homemade items such as clothing, soap, pottery, and woodworking. If you don’t like big crowds, then come down on Wednesday mornings, when produce vendors set up shop for a quieter day at the market.

The most amazing thing about the Farmer’s Market is that is an accessible connection to Knoxville’s history.

The support of communal bonds and fresh food is something that Knoxvillians have gathered around for nearly 160 years. Where Market Square stands today was once a building where farmers would gather to sell produce, and city dwellers came to buy their groceries. I’ve had people visiting our restaurant tell me stories of catching a bus to the Farmer’s Market with a pocket full of change that would be just enough for fresh snacks, a movie on Gay Street, and vegetables to bring home.

In today’s food climate, buying local food is healthier, fresher, and all around better than purchasing over-preserved vegetables from chain grocers. Not to mention, the money spent on produce, meats, and breads is remaining within our community, helping to sustain economic growth and jobs.

As Jack Neely put it, spending time and money at the farmer’s market “is an investment in the idea of Knoxville”. The Farmer’s Market is the culminating beacon of our city’s dedication to their neighbors that serves as a promise for up-and-coming community driven initiatives such as the Striped Light and the Knoxville Darkroom.

We support the farmer’s market because it supports our community.

Eating fresh strawberries, corn, and other produce is a perk that we also enjoy—and share on our menu. Remember that as the seasons cycle, so will the types of produce that are being offered. It’s important to return every few weeks if not every week, to see what has ripened. While you’re downtown, stop by to say hello. Stay and eat if you’re hungry.

Market Square Farmers Market Carrots Knoxville Tomato Head