The Best Farmers and Farmer's Markets in Nashville 2014
The hot, humid days of mid-summer in Nashville are finally upon us, and with this, brings the best in our own Tennessee local produce. It takes these hot days to fully ripen the beautiful array of homegrown tomatoes and to give them that perfect summer taste. There is nothing better than sinking your teeth into that very first BLT! Squash blossoms have given way to the fruit of the vine – crookneck, zucchini and patty pan are just a few that can be sliced and diced to make healthy and delicious summer sauté's or the most decadent and cheesy casseroles. The okra pods have formed and are ready to be picked. I love nothing better than okra dredged in some buttermilk and coated with a seasoned corn meal crust, then fried to a golden brown, but did you know that with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper – they can be grilled on your outdoor grill or oven roasted (only takes a few minutes) and are just as delicious?
In addition to these fruits and veggies, take your pick of fresh cucumbers, peaches and cream or white corn, green beans, manyvarieties of shelled peas and beans, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe – the list goes on – that you can find at your local Farmers Market or get in your local CSA. If you are not familiar with CSA – this stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is a great way to get the best of local, naturally grown or organic produce straight from the Farmer. This is a win-win situation as the consumer gets the best of the best and also helps to support the local farms in the area. There are many Farmers Markets and CSA's around town and I hope you will take the time to research these and others and find your favorites. I have my favorites and I will lift up a few here for you to consider as you make your weekly shopping list.
Nashville Farmers Markets
Nashville's oldest and best Farmers Market is located next to the Bicentennial Mall at 900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. This market operates 362 days a year, only closing on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day with operating hours seven days a week from 8:00am – 6:00pm. You can take advantage of the Farm Shed – home to a variety of local farmers, artisans and merchants with products ranging from fruits and veggies in season to organic free range meats and eggs, prepared foods, local honey, breads, homemade artisan soaps and more. Gardens of Babylon can be a source for all your gardening needs – floral or edible! Every 3rd Friday there is a Night Market with live music, great food and more. For lunch or dinner you can visit the Market House where there are 15 restaurants and many great shops to browse through. On the weekend there is a Flea Market with 50 or more merchants selling everything from clothing and jewelry to hand crafted pottery and more. If you are interested in culinary classes or a kitchen to rent for a pop up restaurant, check out the Grow Local Kitchen on site. For more information and a calendar of events, you can visit their website at www.nashvillefarmersmarket.org.
Franklin Farmers Market
The Franklin Farmers Market is located in The Factory at Franklin, 230 Franklin Road with operating hours every Saturday from 8:00am – 1:00pm. This is your ultimate spot close to Franklin and Brentwood to find local, sustainable fresh produce from over 70 Tennessee farms. In addition, you will also find local artisans selling their crafts and lovingly prepared high quality foods. Check out their website to find out more about the farmers and the happenings here at www.franklinfarmersmarket.com.Other local farmers markets:
- 12th South Farmers Market – located in Sevier Park, 3000 Granny White Pike and open Thursdays from 3:30pm – 6:30pm. www.12thsouthfarmersmarket.com
- East Nashville Farmers Market – located in Shelby Park, 1500 Davidson Street and open Wednesdays from 3:30pm – 7:00pm between May 14th and October 29th. www.eastnashvillemarket.com
- West Nashville Farmers Market – located at the Richland Branch of the Public Library, 3701 Charlotte Pike and open every Saturday from 9:00am – 12:00pm.
- West End Farmers Market – located in the parking lot of Vine Street Christian Church, 4101 Harding Pike and open every Saturday from 9:00am – 12:30pm. www.westendfarmersmkt.com
- Hip Donelson's Farmers Market – located in the Ace Hardware Complex, 2730 Lebanon Road open Fridays from May 9th through the end of October from 4:00pm – 7:00pm.
There are a multitude of local farms to support by subscribing to a CSA program. I am familiar with four which I will lift up and will list several more for you to research as you look for the perfect fit for you and your family.
- Green Door Gourmet – 7011 River Road. This farm has just recently been USDA certified organic. You can sign up for a weekly CSA or a flexible CSA (choose the weeks that you participate). In addition, Green Door has a Farm Store which is open Wednesday through Saturday from 9:00am – 3:00pm and Sunday from 12:00pm – 4:00pm where you can get fresh fruits and veggies, local cheeses, meats, eggs, Green Door or other local jarred goods, handmade art and more. Check out their website for more information at www.greendoorgourmet.com.
- Avalon Acres Farm – Run by Tim and Jennifer Bodner out of Hohenwald, TN. Check out their website for subscription information and pick up sites at www.avalonacres.com.
- Delvin Farms – Run by Hank and Cindy Delvin. This is a USDA certified organic farm. Their website information will also have subscription and pick up information and is www.delvinfarms.com.
- Long Hungry Creek Farms – Run by Jeff Poppen a.k.a The Barefoot Farmer. His website is www.barefootfarmer.org and will give you all the information you need to contact them for CSA information.
Other CSA's to check out:
Arugula's Star Farm, Beaverdam Creek Farm, Bells Bend Neighborhood Farms, Bountiful Blessings Farm, Earthly Goods Farms, Peaceful Pastures Farms, Six Boots Grower's Collective
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