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Mayor John Clark has proclaimed the week of August 5, National Farmers Market Week in Kingsport! Kingsport Farmers Market joins markets across the country in celebrating National Farmers Market Week from August 5-11. The Kingsport Farmers Market will be celebrating the week with a social media contest, a Homegrown gardening demo, trivia and prize giveaways, kids activities, Market Jams and the 14th Annual Homegrown Tomato Fest.

The 14th Annual Homegrown Tomato Fest will take place Saturday, August 11, 2018, from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Kingsport Farmers Market. This celebration of the juicy, red fruit features tomato contests, free tomato tastings (including many heirloom varieties), free tomato refreshments, tomato-growing advice, tomato recipes, activities for kids and fun for the whole family.

Gather your finest and/or funkiest tomatoes and enter them in the contests for Best Tasting, Biggest, Prettiest, Ugliest, Most Bizarre and/or Best Dressed Tomato. Make an extra batch of your favorite salsa recipe and compete for bragging rights in the Best Salsa Contest. Admission is free and there are no entry fees. Entry forms may be downloaded from the SAPS website, www.saps.us, or picked up at Downtown Kingsport Association (DKA) or at the event. Entries will be accepted from 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. for all contests, and winners will be announced after 10 a.m. Homegrown Tomato Fest is sponsored by the Southern Appalachian Plant Society (SAPS) and Downtown Kingsport Association.

In keeping with the celebration, the Kingsport Farmers Market is inviting everyone who attends the market on Wednesday, August 8 or Saturday, August 11 to participate in the #LoveMyMarket Contest. The challenge is simple, take a photo of yourself, a farmer, shopper, puppy, baby, tomato – anyone or anything! – wearing a temporary “I Heart Farmers Market” tattoo, and post the photo to Instagram or Facebook tagging the Kingsport Farmers Market and using the  hashtag #LoveMyMarket. The free, temporary tattoos will be given out at the Kingsport Farmers Market kiosk inside the pavilion on August 8 and 11. Photos must be submitted by August 12 to be entered to win a Kingsport Farmers Market giveaway. The prize includes a farmers market t-shirt, reusable tote bag, coffee mug, hat and 2018 seasonal poster.

Make sure to stop by the market on Wednesday to support your local farmers and to play some trivia games! During the market on Wednesday, August 8, shoppers can spin the farmers market trivia wheel to win various prizes, including farmers market merchandise. On Saturday, August 11, market shoppers can enjoy the Homegrown gardening demo, winter gardening, a Market Jams performance and bring the kids for free, kids activities.

The Kingsport Farmers Market began in 1977, and currently hosts over 110 farmers and crafters selling a wide variety of products. National Farmers Market week is a chance to celebrate these farmers and the benefits of having local produce and goods available to the Kingsport community.

“Farmers markets play a vital role not just in generating real income for farmers, but in forming a healthy, prosperous food systems,” says Jen Cheek, Executive Director of the Farmers Market Coalition. “By providing the opportunity for farmers to connect directly with consumers, markets serve as education centers. Vendors are teaching customers about agriculture and sharing recipes and new foods with their neighbors. Markets are making people and communities stronger and healthier.”

For more information on Homegrown Tomato Fest, contact Dennis Marshall at 423-288-3675 or dmarshall@chartertn.net. For more information on the Kingsport Farmers Market, or to sign up for our monthly newsletter, please visit kingsportfarmersmarket.org.