Sustainable Food

Sustainability Director

Brian Blackmon
bblackmon@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-4430

400 Main St., Room 598
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Farmers' MarketThe production of food requires an enormous combination of labor, land, water, energy, and chemicals. Unfortunately, the world’s growing population only intensifies this strain as technology struggles to keep up. With the industrialization of farming, few producers supply consumers near and far. This situation has created impossible competition for small, local food producers, often much more expensive and considered novelty relative to lower-cost, lower-quality alternatives. By finding ways to eat locally without breaking the bank, we stimulate the normalcy, and ultimately the affordability, of local, sustainable agriculture, free of massive doses of pesticides and fertilizers, while supporting our local farmers and our local economy.

Eating Sustainably

Buy fruits and vegetables in season.
o Stimulate the market for locally seasonal food while discouraging long shipping miles for out-of-season produce.
Visit local farmers’ markets.
o Local farmers will appreciate your business, and you won’t find fresher food anywhere else!
Plant your own garden, or join a community garden.
o Growing some of your own food will lessen your total food cost and reduce your dependence on other sources.

Additional Resources:

City of Knoxville LogoKnoxville’s Urban Agriculture Initiative seeks to broaden the range of urban agriculture in Knoxville and provides a map of current local food producers. In 2015, the City’s Office of Sustainability enacted an Urban Agriculture Ordinance in order to standardize citizens’ methods and ensure the use of best practices. The document defines which areas may be used for certain small-scale agriculture, restricts practices which harm the environment and, most importantly, outlines the rights and responsibilities of citizens when it comes to home cultivation. 

Beardsley LogoBeardsley Community Farm is an urbandemonstration farm that works with community members to educate the public on the methods and benefits of local, sustainable food production. Anyone may volunteer as rarely or as often as desired to participate in the cultivation of various crops and attend informational classes.  Beardsley donates its produce to the local food distribution network in order to free up funds to purchase more of other foods.

Three Rivers LogoThree Rivers Market is a local community food co-op focusing on carrying quality, sustainably produced products supplied by local vendors. They seek to foster an atmosphere that is healthy for the body, the environment, and the community.

Farmers' Market LogoThere are several farmers’ markets in the area, including the popular Market Square Farmers’ Market right downtown. From May through November, citizens are able to purchase fresh, locally grown produce and support local farmers.