Admin, Smoky Mountain News

(portion of larger article including additional counties)

While COVID-19 has caused cancellations and closures aplenty, many area farmers markets will open as normal this spring.

According to guidance from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, farmers markets fall under the same classification as grocery stores and are considered an important source of food for local communities.

Farmers markets that stay open during the outbreak should follow the same state and federal mandates as grocery stores regarding social distancing and crowd size. In keeping with Executive Order 118, they also may not offer any kind of dine-in service.

Here’s a roundup of the markets that have confirmed their intent to open.

Jackson County Farmers Market, Sylva

  • Getting there: Market held year-round at Bridge Park. Hours are: April to October, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon, and Wednesdays, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.; November to March 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays only.
  • What’s happening: A variety of locally produced vegetables, meats, honey, plants and crafts. Plant starts, native plants, mushrooms, greens and other in-season veggies, spices, eggs, baked goods, occasional brick-oven fired pizza, goat cheese, flowers and local crafts such as pottery, soaps, jewelry, journals, toys, candles, bird feeders, note cards and more for sale by 30-35 vendors. During the COVID-19 pandemic, vendors will be spaced further apart and customers moved through to avoid congregating. Tokens will be sanitized, a handwashing station will be available and a doctor will be on hand to assist and even take temperatures.
  • Ways to pay: Cash, credit, debit and SNAP benefits accepted. Double Up Food Bucks for SNAP recipients available.
  • Contact: Lisa McBride, 828.393.5236 or jacksoncountyfarmersmarket@gmail.com. Online at www.facebook.com/thegloriousjacksoncountyfarmersmarket, or www.jacksoncountyfarmersmarket.org.