The Winter Farmers Market by Grow Oak Ridge LLC opens for its second season on Saturday, offering fresh, locally grown farm products indoors all winter to Oak Ridge. The market will open Saturday, December 2. It will be open the following Saturdays through February, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the gym at St. Mary’s School, which is at 323 Vermont Avenue in Oak Ridge. It is closed December 23 and December 30.
“You’ll see an even bigger selection of selection of locally grown produce this year, including red, ripe tomatoes,” said Rebecca Williams, market director. “Our growers are really stretching the season with their greenhouses and hoop houses. We have tremendous variety at the Winter Farmers Market this season.
“Plus, we’re really excited to be able to offer the regional ‘Fresh Savings Program’ this year,” Williams said. The program doubles a shopper’s SNAP (food stamp) benefits, up to $20 for fruits and vegetables.
On opening day, customers can enter a free drawing for 20 Market Dollars. The drawing is at noon, and you can also enter at www.GrowOakRidge.org.
Some of the products available this year include a wide range of winter greens like salad mixes and kale, greenhouse tomatoes, free range eggs, local honey, baked goods, and ethically raised meats, including grass-fed and grain-fed beef, lamb, pork, chicken and even tilapia, a press release said. The market also features alpaca wool knitted items, hand sewn and wooden crafts. The ever-popular VGs Bakery is returning, plus there are two other bakeries as well.
Food trucks are invited to serve outdoors, and there’s an indoor eating area as well, the press release said.
“All our vendors must make, bake, or grow the items they sell,” Williams said. “So you know you’re truly supporting a local business. We do welcome one non-producer business sponsor each week in a designated ‘Business Sponsor’ booth, so there is a place for the entire Oak Ridge community at the Winter Farmers Market.”
The market offers a free Kids Club, offering fun and free activities each week for children up to age 12. On December 2, art teacher and city councilman Jim Dodson will be helping children paint “Oak Ridge Rocks.”
Later in the season, the Kids Club will feature Christmas activities, a baby lamb to pet, a Kids in Motion program, and the “Power of Produce” program, in which children taste two bites of a vegetable and then receive a $2 coupon to spend in the market. All Kids Club activities are from 10 a.m. to noon each Saturday.
The Winter Farmers Market donates a portion of all vendor fees to St. Joseph’s food pantry at St. Mary’s.
“St. Mary’s graciously gives us this space each week,” Williams said. “But we like to give back to the important mission of their food pantry, in keeping with our mission to provide quality, local food for all. If our farmers have extra produce, they often donate it to the pantry as well.”
The market is sponsored by St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the City of Oak Ridge, TN Coordinated School Health, Willow Ridge Garden Center, Downtown Hardware, National Fitness, Tractor Supply, and State Farm Insurance. The market seeks sponsors for its Kids Club and other programs. For more information contact Williams at [email protected].
More information is available at www.GrowOakRidge.org.
Winter Farmers Market by Grow Oak Ridge, LLC
- Where: St. Mary’s School gym, 323 Vermont Avenue, Oak Ridge
- When: Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in December, January, and February (closed December 23 and 30)
- What: Fresh farm produce, meat, fish, eggs, cheese, artisan breads, and crafts
- Enter to Win: Enter to win 20 Market Dollars on opening day! Sign up at www.GrowOakRidge.org or at the market on December 2. Drawing is at noon.
- Information: www.GrowOakRidge.org, Rebecca Williams, [email protected]
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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