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Long before “eating local” became a big city trend, people in the Great Smoky Mountains were doing it as a healthy way of life. Once again this year, local growers share their bounty at the Gatlinburg Farmers Market, part of a great American weekend. Whether you are traveling to the area or live nearby, you are sure to enjoy the fresh local produce, baked and canned goods, flowers and crafts available at the Gatlinburg Farmers Market.
When and Where the Gatlinburg Farmers Market Happens
The season kicks off on around mid-May each year (the 2015 season kicks off on May 16), and will run each Saturday through October 17. Hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., leaving plenty of time to enjoy a long, leisurely afternoon. The Gatlinburg Farmers Market is held at 849 Glades Road in Gatlinburg TN.
Check out the video of the Gatlinburg Farmers Market, but keep in mind that it’s a video from a previous season, so the market dates are different this season!
What You’ll Find at the Gatlinburg Farmers Market
For the market’s vendors, it’s all about seasonal freshness. Local growers take great pride in their produce and harvest at peak ripeness and flavor. Those who’ve never experienced farm-to-table eating are continually surprised at how much crisper and brighter the flavors are.
Over the course of the season, you will find everything grown in the region on sale here, including sweet corn, peppers, a wide variety of salad greens and fixings, peas, squash, tomatoes, okra and much more. Fruit crops include apples, peaches, melons, strawberries and the blueberries and blackberries that grow best in this never-too-hot mountain climate. In addition to fresh produce, the market also features traditional prepared items such as baked goods, jams and jellies, cider, spiced nuts, granola, locally made honey and country-fresh eggs.
Fresh flowers, plants and beautiful artisan soaps are also to be found here, and there is a brisk trade in new and used items.
You can find a complete list of vendors at the Gatlinburg Farmers Market by clicking here.
This part of the country is known for practicing and preserving traditional arts and crafts. Each week, a member of the local crafts community demonstrates his or her artistry.
Every 2nd Saturday there will be a lineup of special events such as: Cooking Demonstrations Day, Seed Swap Day, Canning and Food Preservation Day and an Apple Festival.
Every 4th Saturday, you can experience Kids Day at the Gatlinburg Farmers Market. Kids Day will give kids free activities to do as well as a scavenger hunt throughout the market. So, while you spend time shopping, your kids will be occupied with a scavenger hunt!
- May 23: Kids Day
- June 13: Health, Nutrition and Sustainable Living Day
- June 27: Kids Day
- July 11: Canning and Food Preservation Day
- July 25: Kids Day
- August 8: Cooking Demonstrations Day
- August 22: Kids Day
- September 12: Seed Swap Day
- September 26: Kids Day
- October 10: Apple Festival
- October 17: Pumpkin Carving Day/Kids Activity
For any last minute changes to the market’s schedule of events, you can check out their calendar: http://www.gatlinburgfarmersmarket.com/market-calendar.html
To make the most of the Gatlinburg Farmers Market, we recommend you go early for the widest selection. Take a quick browse before buying, then put together a mental list of what you want. The best eating is what’s freshest and in season, so be flexible and willing to change your menu to take advantage of spectacular finds. If you have questions about how to prepare something, ask the vendors, who are always willing to share tips and recipes.
The market is pet friendly and fun for the whole family. Parents have found that it is a perfect way to encourage healthy eating, as children are much more interested in items they helped shop for and can recognize in their raw state more than anonymous fruits and vegetables that come out of a can or freezer bag.
Directions to the Gatlinburg Farmers Market
- Go to stop light #3 in Gatlinburg, and turn onto Highway 321 toward Cosby.
- Drive for 2.7 miles and take a left onto Glades Road.
- Once you’re on Glades Road, the Gatlinburg Farmers Market is found approximately 2 miles down the road on the left side. You’ll drive through the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community until you reach the covered bridge where the market is held.
Like many American traditions, the village market was brought from the homelands of Europe and recreated in the New World. The Gatlinburg Farmers Market is a wonderful way to enjoy this centuries old way of life.
Are you planning to visit the market? What are you most looking forward to seeing at the Gatlinburg Farmers Market this year? Let us know in the comments below!