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Farmers market opening gets delayed until Aug. 7

The start date for a Unicoi County farmers market has been delayed by one week, organizers said.
The delay will push opening day for the Erwin/Unicoi County Farmers Market from July 31 to Aug. 7, said Ty Petty, a University of Tennessee extension agent for Unicoi County and one of the market’s organizers.
The market will be held in the parking lot at Erwin Town Hall, and a conflict with another event led to the one-week delay.
Still, Petty said, interest remains high for the county’s first farmers market in many years.
“We’ve got several farmers who are interested, but until the market actually gets started, it’s hard to know exactly how much participation we will have,” Petty said. “I think we will have a good turnout.”
The market will run six weeks from Aug. 7 until Sept. 10.
“We want to get into the strong local apple season,” Petty said.
Petty said he and others have wanted to start a farmers market for years in Unicoi County, but it wasn’t until recently that everything seemed to come together.
“It just seems like this is the right to get this thing going,” he said. “We’ve got a good group behind it, and conditions with the economy seems to have increased the interest in buying local. It all came together at the right time to start a farmers market.”
In addition to locally grown fruits and vegetables, vendors will also offer “traditional crafts” and baked goods at the market.
A steering committee, Petty said, was formed “to get the market started this year. At the end of this summer, we’ll have an election of new board members to take us into the future. The steering committee includes farmers, consumers, and representatives from the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce and UT Extension.”
“Major” farmers, Petty said, on the committee are Karen Bailey and Troy Clark.
In addition to Petty, Clark and Bailey, other members include Michael A. Baker, Jessica Crews, Amanda Delp, Sandy Sherburne and Brenda Warner.