Creating a Tailgate Farmers Market
Fairview, North Carolina is a small community that is fast changing from an agricultural
community to a suburb of Asheville. However, there are a number of farmers (as well as
gardeners who grow more than they can eat) that needed a local market for their goods.
Many consumers–both newcomers to Fairview and those who have lived there longer—are
interested in the availability of fresh foods. Because of this, the market organizers reasoned
that if local Fairview people were able to buy local Fairview products, it would create a direct
link between growers and consumers as well as bring the community closer together.
This SARE Producer Grant was used to create the Fairview Tailgate Farmers Market from
April to November to bring local food to the community as well as increase understanding
about the importance of preserving local agriculture. By marketing directly to the consumer,
the farmers and gardeners received better prices for their goods. This encouraged them to
continue growing and producing, thus preserving Fairview’s valuable agricultural land. The
market included items grown or made on the farm, including baked goods, canned goods, and
Most of the core group of growers were at the market nearly every Saturday from mid-May
to mid-November. The producer grant enabled the organizers of the market to advertise in
local newspapers and to create flyers, signs and T-shirts. They also hired a manager to keep
Coinciding with the beginning of the farmer’s market, a local farm, Hickory Nut Gap Farm,
offered a series of workshops to educate the community about various aspects of sustainable
agriculture in the area. Some of the topics that were covered were; soil building, making soil
blocks, starting seeds, growing seasons, bugs – good and bad, and chicken tractors.