To Market, To Market

Looking for another choice for organic and locally grown food?  Interns in the second year of a University of Tennessee program plan to offer a fresh option for East Tennessee shoppers.  The UT Organic Farm is planning a larger scale version of the farm-fresh market it offered last summer, right on the Knoxville campus.

"This year it's going to be even better," explains UT Vegetable Specialist Annette Wszelaki. "We're greatly expanding it, so we're inviting in other growers."  Organic foods grown just a few miles down the road at the university's research farm will be the main course offered by interns.  In early spring, a tour of the farm shows red cabbage, kohlrabi cabbage, onions and garlic already growing under USDA Organic guidelines.

USDA Certified Organic plot
The UT Farmers Market in 2011 will begin May 18 on Wednesday evenings from 4 to 7 o'clock.  Additional organic vendors and activities at the UT Garden site off Neyland Drive will offer more variety for visitors.  Wszelaki is excited about the community friendly event, "The idea is to kind of open up the campus to the community."  Check the UT website for more details, including guidelines for other growers who want to participate.

A goal of the organic market program is to become self sustaining because of market sales.  Right now, 10 of the 21 total farm acres are certified organic, while organic and sustainable practices are used throughout the farm.  This holds promise as a model for growers, because the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is looking to Assistant Professor Wszelaki to run the state's organic program.

Organic onions
Organics 101 Down on the Farm

Organic Growing:  Getting Started

Green Watering Alternatives

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