“The idea of an open market started last year as my sweet neighbor kept offering extra produce from his garden … just as I was also trying to give my extras away,” said Connie Ward, former Fairyland Elementary School teacher.
Not about to let their precious produce go to waste but also producing more than they could eat themselves, a few folks thought about putting up a stand by the road and asking people to self-pay. But they realized the traffic might pose a problem; even if it didn’t cause traffic jams exactly, cars pulling in and out at all times would upset dogs and disrupt quiet farm life. But Connie had an idea.
“I work in the garden most afternoons and realized that one day a week I could have a farm stand open, since I am up there anyway,” she said. Picking cucumbers and smelling homegrown tomatoes, she thought about other items that might be of interest to browsers.
“The idea grew as I considered including some my own creative crafts. I realized this could provide an outlet for other community farmers and artists,” she said, citing pottery, wood turned wares, homemade bread, beautiful bouquets, salsa, honey and paper mache creations.
For $10, a vender can set up a space. All vender fees go to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, where her husband, Dane, has volunteered for years.
“Rising Pines Farm Market’s goal is to promote work of friends and family by providing an opportunity to share their creative and agriculture efforts. We live in a community where artists, gardeners, farmers and craftsmen are abundant. We hope this market will become a showcase for our community’s treasures,” Connie said.
So there you have it - the Rising Pines Farm Market. You never know what you will find, but it will always be homegrown or handmade.
The Rising Pines Farm Market will be open Thursdays from 4-6 p.m., June through September, at the Ward’s farm at 10384 Highway 157 in Rising Fawn.
by Ferris Robinson