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New farmer's market opening at VA Medical Center

Contributed • Apr 7, 2019 at 8:17 PM

In an effort to promote healthy-eating choices within the local community, the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center will be launching its first Farmers Market in April.

The Mountain Home Farmers Market will kick off April 25 and run on Thursdays from 2:30-6:30 p.m. through October. Vendor applications are still being accepted. Veteran farmers will get priority considerations, but all applications will be considered by the committee.

“We made a concerted effort to select this day and time to coordinate with other local community markets, rather than interfere,” said Angela Gervais, registered dietitian and MOVE! program coordinator at the center.

“This time slot allows our veterans and staff alike to pick up fresh produce and foods on their way home from work or an appointment, and it doesn’t interfere with the other area markets who have established their times.”

“Our Whole Health and MOVE! Program team members have contributed to the creation of the market and will be able to use it to further patient education and support healthy behaviors and nutrition choices of our veterans and staff,” she said.

The Farmers Market is one way in which the Medical Center is focusing on veterans’ experiences when visiting the center and using the VA.

“We are just getting started with our market, but our team is committed to creating a positive experience for our veterans, staff and community members,” Bob Collett, veteran experience officer at the center, said.

“Imagine coming to the VA for your annual medical exam. You get a clean bill of health and walk over to our market to pick up some cucumbers, tomatoes and a variety of micro-greens. That’s about to be the reality at Mountain Home.”

“We’ve been working with local farmers and veteran farmer groups to increase awareness of the market,” he said. “If we have veteran farmers who would like to sell at the market, we definitely encourage them to apply.”

Vendors interested in applying can email vhamoufarmersmarket@va.gov for more information and to request an application.

Community members planning to attend the market are asked to enter the VA grounds from West State of Franklin Road and take a right at the fork (toward the lake) and follow that road to the market.

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