Tuesday, November 18, 2014

WNC Farmers Market seeks input from local consumers

The WNC Farmers Market is looking for feedback from area residents on ways to improve the market to better serve the changing needs of Western North Carolina. From now until Nov. 23, consumers can provide input in an online survey.

“A lot has changed since the WNC Farmers Market opened in 1977,” said Doug Sutton, market manager. “As a state-operated farmers market, we want to make sure that we continue to provide the services that meet the needs of our regional farmers and provide fresh, locally grown produce and farm products to area consumers.”

The 10-minute survey is online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WNCFarmersMarketsurvey or through the WNC Farmers Market Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WNCFarmersMarket.

Results will be used by Market Ventures Inc. of Portland, Maine, to develop a 20-year master plan for the market. The master plan will propose physical upgrades to the market’s buildings, changes to operating hours, and new programs and facilities for education and events.

“Interest in buying fresh, locally grown foods has exploded among consumers and restaurants.  Schools and hospitals are also seeking North Carolina products. The WNC Farmers Market is ideally positioned to serve all of these buyers, but we need to make sure the market’s facilities are properly designed to meet the demand,” Sutton said. “The feedback we receive from the survey is critical to ensure the market meets the needs of the local food community.”

The WNC Farmers Market is located at 570 Brevard Road in Asheville, at the intersection of Interstates 40 and 26. Year-round tenants sell seasonal produce, jams, honey, garden and nursery plants, and other agricultural products. Shoppers can also find nursery plants and landscaping supplies at Jesse Israel & Sons Garden and Nursery Center and enjoy a meal at the Moose Café.

More information about the market is available at www.wncfarmersmarket.org.

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