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Harriman considering farmers market

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By The Staff

By CINDY SIMPSON

rccindysimpson@bellsouth.net

Local farmers might have another place to sell their product.

Some Harriman residents are interested in developing a farmers market in downtown Harriman.

Pat Mynatt, wife of Harriman City Councilman Ken Mynatt, is one of those people spear-heading the activity.

“I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time,” she said enthusiastically.

Mynatt said she has been doing some careful study. She shared the idea with Harriman Mayor Chris Mason, who she said informed her that someone else was interested in doing the same thing.

She has also looked to the state for guidance.

“A lot of people are trying to do this but they just go in and throw it together,” Pat Mynatt said.

Mason brought up the idea at a budget workshop last week.

In the draft of the 2009 fiscal budget, it includes $20,000 for marketing, and Mason suggested using part of the money to promote that activity, including getting signs for the market.

“I think it is a good idea,” Councilman Chase Tedder said.

Tedder, who does some farming of his own, said he had recently attended a conference dedicated to agritourism and much of it focused on farmers markets.

Mynatt said she hopes to have organizational meetings in the future and would like to have something going by the end of July.

She is working with Grant Palmer, an extension agent at the Roane County Courthouse. She said he knew several local producers who would be interested.

“We don’t want resellers of fruits and vegetables; we want actual farmers,” Mynatt said.

Other items she thought might do well include fruit, vegetables and plants.

Mynatt said she would like to see the farmers market be a two-day-a-week event, on a weekday and Saturday.

She said interested people will be forming a committee to further work on a plan.

For more information, call Mynatt at 882-5349.