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Farmers Market Update: Nashville

Yellow Doll Watermelon

Yellow Doll Watermelon

I’m extremely excited to welcome the Spinach Tiger herself, Angela Roberts, who is providing a beautiful visual tour of the Franklin Farmers Market in Nashville.

Angela Roberts  is a faux artist turned food blogger.  As an artist, her food has to look good as well as taste good. She always starts with fresh, local ingredients, combining healthy and hearty, which inspired  the tag line, “food a woman will love and a man will marry her for.”

You can follow her on twitter @spinachtiger or become a fan of Spinach Tiger on Facebook.

Farmers Market Update: Nashville

by Angela Roberts

When Darya offered me an opportunity to talk about our own farmer’s market, I got excited for two reasons. Summer Tomato is one of my favorite blogs, and one of the reasons is her weekly highlight of my all time favorite farmer’s market.

Although I live in the Nashville area, I have visited the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market several times. Just like Darya is at the Ferry Plaza every weekend, I can be found every Saturday morning at the Franklin Farmer’s Market, and this might seem a bit odd, but I usually spend a good part of my morning there.

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Music

Music

The Franklin Farmer’s Market, held in an outdoor pavilion at the Factory in Franklin, has a lot of heart and much to be proud of. We even have music.

Franklin is a small historic town, in cahoots with Nashville, and the market serves all of Williamson County. It’s special for several reasons:

It’s a local only market. All of the meat, herbs and produce come from middle Tennessee. The people selling you the food are the same people growing the food.

It’s dynamic, growing by leaps and bounds, adding new food artisans and farmers every year. In 9 seasons, they have grown from 9 to over 70 vendors.

Watermelon and Tomatoes

Watermelon and Tomatoes

Its open year round, and this says a lot about the commitment level of both the farmer’s and the local shoppers. I never knew about muscadine grapes, purple hull peas or yellow doll watermelon. Every week there is something exciting in produce that I’ve never seen before. But, at this time of year, I face the heat to get the season’s best tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Green Tomatoes

Green Tomatoes

I love purple foods, not just the health benefits, but the beauty.

Muscadine Grapes

Muscadine Grapes

Eggplants

Eggplants

The Produce You Expect to Find: Green Beans, Corn, Squash

Corn

Corn

Green Beans

Green Beans

Thai Chilies

Thai Chilies

Purple Hull Beans, Baby Limas

Purple Hull Beans, Baby Limas

And, then there are the local food artisans, who seem to work 24 hours a day baking bread, making cheesecakes, jellies, jams, honey.

Local honey can help with seasonal allergies

Local honey can help with seasonal allergies

There is never a Saturday that we don’t buy one of Lucy’s Super Muffins. For those desiring a richer treat, Lucy is known all over town for her cheesecakes. She also sells savory homemade dips and spreads.

My most recent purchases were a chick pea gluten free and yukon potato/truffle oil ravioli.

You can buy excellent quality grass fed meat from local farms, such as West Wind Farms, Bear Creek Farm and Hatcher Family Dairy to name a few.

Hatcher Family Dairy

Hatcher Family Dairy

Lucy's Kitchen

Lucy's Kitchen

I know many of the vendors personally, as I engage with them every week. I have even visited a few of the farms. You might be surprised how open the vendors are to a visit.

Once you meet the goats that bring you Nobel Springs fabulous cheese, you’ll head to market every week to stock up. I am a fan of Hatcher cream and Nobel Springs Goat Farm. I’ve seen first hand how hard they work and the quality of their product.

Nobel Springs Goat Farm

Nobel Springs Goat Farm

Cooking from the Market

I left the market with a bushel of heirlooms, happily taking home the discarded tomatoes that couldn’t be sold. In two days, I made bruschetta, tomato marmalade and tomato panzanella topped with farm fresh eggs. I also made homemade pasta.

Fresh Pasta

Fresh Pasta

Fresh Eggs

Fresh Eggs

The farmers have had challenges this year with the May flood and then the severe heat. Yet they have managed to do their best and bring food made with care. There are many organic farmers and many farmers who aren’t certified organic but heed exceptional farming practices to bring you the best tasting, healthy food. I am proud to honor them here at Summer Tomato.

Purchases:

If you’d like to share your local farmers market with Summer Tomato readers, use the contact form to drop me an email.