Hot Peppers and Sweet Corn Arrive at Market

Tables of "Just Picked" local summer produce right from Tennessee Farms

Tables of “Just Picked” local summer produce right from Tennessee Farms

Spicy hot peppers and summer sweet corn arrive at the East Nashville Farmers Market this week, joining a bevy of heirloom tomatoes, okra, eggplants, cucumbers, kales, and more. Plus, plenty of luscious blackberries, blueberries, and peaches for homemade preserves, cobblers, and pies. Our musical guest this week will be the fiery Lillie Syracuse playing her country and rock n roll blues. Enjoy the music on the lawn with dinner from one of our local food trucks. And don’t forget the fresh teas, lemonades, and ice cream available to cool you from the heat, because this Wednesday is going to be one sweet and spicy market!

Mountains of sweet corn pile high at Oak Grove Farms market booth

Mountains of sweet corn pile high at Oak Grove Farms market booth

First thing’s first, folks, let’s talk sweet corn! Nothing says summer more than a smoky, charred ear of corn fresh from the grill or a pot of freshly-creamed kernels bubbling on your stove. Our farmers grow the sweetest varieties available in Tennessee and bring them fresh from the field to you, our market shoppers. Find mountains of corn at the Oak Grove Farms and Delvin Farms booths. For extra flavor, pair your sweet corn with the many varieties of sweet and hot peppers available at the East Nashville Farmers Market, and you could make some delicious summer meals, like this Five Pepper Southern Cornbread recipe.

 

Varieties of hot peppers are found at market

Varieties of hot peppers are found at market

Don’t forget the other summer fruits and vegetables that are available at our farmers market. Heirloom slicing tomatoes , flat Italian ‘Roma’ green beans, squashes and cucumbers will be at the Oak Grove Farms booth. Find sugary sweet and tiny tomato varieties for snacking and salad bowls at Old School Farm (hyperlink to farmer profile). Plus, Green Door Gourmet is still going strong with impeccable greens and aromatic staples such as carrots and parsley. And Kelly’s Berries will have all the blueberries and blackberries you need for anti-oxidant packed smoothies and snacks.

 

Herbs and sweet grape tomatoes from Old School Farm

Herbs and sweet grape tomatoes from Old School Farm

Finally, we’d like to mention a particularly zesty item that has made its annual debut at the East Nashville Farmers Market: Kirchner Kickles—Pickles with a Kick (hyperlink to blog)! Jami and Russell Kirchner of Slocal Foods prepare these small-batch local pickles with organic Delvin Farms cucumbers every year. So add a jar to your shopping list this week, because once the cuke season is over, these spicy dills will be gone until next summer.

See you guys at the market!

Kirchner Kickles--Pickles with a Kick!

Kirchner Kickles–Pickles with a Kick!

Kickles! East Nashville’s Favorite Pickle

Jars of famous Kirchner Kickles

Jars of famous Kirchner Kickles

We’re knee-deep in cucumber season at the East Nashville Farmers Market, which means one thing is certain, folks—it’s pickling time for Jami and Russell Kirchner and their pickles. Every summer when these cucurbits hang heavy on the vines, the East Nashville couple cranks-up their small-batch pickle operation at their home-based business in Cleveland Park, Slocal Foods. From the beginning to the very end of cucumber season, Jami and Russell work tirelessly to bring our market shoppers the very best locally-made pickles this side of the Cumberland. In fact, these pickley gems are taking home awards state wide. You guessed it, folks, we’re talking about Kirchner Kickles—Pickles with a Kick! And these spicy little dills are available right now for a limited time—only at the East Nashville Farmers Market.

Jami and Russell Kirchner of Slocal Food

Jami and Russell Kirchner of Slocal Food

Kickles were created from the couple’s desire to use as much overflow as they possibly can at Slocal. So after a bumper crop of cucumbers one summer, Russell began experimenting with his own proprietary pickling mixes made from the zesty herbs and spices the couple grew themselves. He had no idea that his then pickle tinkering would one day win him three consecutive first-place awards at the Nashville State Fair and become one of the most seasonally sought-after items at the East Nashville Farmers market.

Today, the Kirchners make five main varieties of Kickles— Klassic Garlic Dill, Hot Garlic Dill, Sweet Basil, Plain Jane (for the mild at heart), and a “New” Bread and Butter for the sweet and spicy lovers. Russell, the “pickle artist,” is also known to take requests from customers who like to experiment or add an even bigger kick. He even pickles for friends and neighbors who request to have their very own home-grown veggies Kickled. Everyone just loves that crunchy Kickle action!

Visit the Slocal booth and wrap your hands around a jar of Kickles this Wednesday at the East Nashville Farmers Market. But be sure to hurry, or you might find yourself in a pickle…. the Kirchners use nothing but locally-grown cucumbers in their Kickles! Supplies are limited.

An Explosion of Summer Produce this Week at Market

east nashville farmers marketThis week at the East Nashville Farmers Market, summer berries and slicing tomatoes as far as the eye can see. Plus, plenty of red, white, and blue potatoes in case you didn’t get enough for the 4th of July! Our very own award-winning songbird, Mary Brag, performs at our market this week, and lots of supreme local food trucks to fill your bellies. Our featured chef this week will be executive chef John Howard of Rumours East serving fresh, seasonal samples at our farmers market. So grab your blanket and your favorite folks, because you won’t want to miss all the summer produce and fun at this week’s market!

east nashville pie festival 2If you didn’t already know, last week was our 1st Annual East Nashville Pie Festival and Bake-Off, and boy, did we have one heck-of-a good time! With almost 30 pies entered into two categories, sweet and savory, it was a grand success for all involved. Our volunteers rushed to serve samples of contest pies for our eager market shoppers, so everyone could be involved. The winners of the Bake-Off received cash prizes and winning ribbons, in addition to official plaques for the First Place winners. We look forward to many Pie Festivals and Bake-Offs for years to come, and hope to see new categories and contestants each year.

east nashville farmers marketOur featured chef last week was chef Todd Alan Martin from Treehouse restaurant, one of our top-tier sponsors for the 2015 season. Chef Martin served bites of peach curd pie topped with a silky Swiss meringue for our festival attendees, and they sure went fast! This week, be sure to catch chef John Howard from Rumours East serving cool and crunchy bites of fresh tomato bruschetta with ‘Juliet’ tomatoes and sweet basil from Delvin Farms. Healthy, light, and oh-so fresh, this tomato topped bruschetta will be sure to beat the July heat!

delvin farmsLast week, Donna Frost and the Ukeabilly Upstarts rocked our Pie Festival with their raw ukulele, guitar, accordion tunes. This week, expect a slight switch in gears to the soulful acoustic set of Mary Bragg another returning market favorite. You won’t want to miss this power-house of a voice, gang.

Speaking of powerhouse, our farmers’ market is booming with loads of fresh, local summer produce, so get out to Shelby Park this Wednesday and see for yourself! You will be supporting your local farmers and neighborhood community, and you might even discover something you’ve never seen before. In fact, we guarantee it. So grab those blankets and shopping bags and we’ll see you at the market!

 

east nashville pie festival

Chef Demonstration by Chef John Howard of Rumors East

rumors eastThe East Nashville Farmers Market is excited to announce executive chef John Howard of Rumours East as our featured chef this week. Located in an early 20th century Victorian home nestled within the Historic East End’s Five Points district, Rumours East is a destination for crafted cocktails, a wine list featuring selections from regions around the world, and a seasonally inspired menu that features locally-grown ingredients. The East Nashville Farmers Market is excited to welcome Rumours East as a top-tier sponsor for our 2015 season, and happy to have chef Howard as a member of our 2015 chef series.

chef john howardWhen asked which cuisine is reflected in his menu at Rumours East, chef Howard chuckles and replies, “It’s a play on both Asian and Southern, because my sous chef, Matthew Rhodes, is Filipino and I’m, well, Southern. ” He goes on to describe how he and his sous chef like to approach food at Rumours East: “We have a rotational menu based on what is seasonal and fresh. We like to have fun, do what we like, and cook the things that taste good to us — our favorite dishes.”

The Gatlinburg, Tenn., native is going on his fifth month at Rumours East — a rather fresh addition to the restaurant who sources fresh produce from local farmers and distributers. “I love promoting local produce and the people who supply and grow it. Farmers’ markets are a lot of fun for me, so I’m really excited about being an sponsor and looking forward to this season.”

Chef Howard will be serving refreshing summer tomato bruschetta this week at the East Nashville Farmers Market to help cool down our customers in the July heat. “Sometimes in the heat, nothing sounds good to eat. But gazpacho and tomato bruschetta —that always sounds good. You just can’t beat it.” We at the market certainly agree!

rumors east

Winners for the 1st Annual Pie Festival and Bake-Off

The pie table begins to form at the 1st Annual East Nashville Pie Festival and Bake-Off

The pie table at the 1st Annual East Nashville Pie Festival and Bake-Off

The East Nashville Farmers Market would like to express our deepest gratitude for everyone who joined us in celebration of our 1st Annual Pie Festival and Bake-Off last Wednesday. What a spectacular success and fun had by all! Contestants, local farmers, pie vendors, volunteers, judges, and all of you who came to see the outstanding pies created for our first time Pie Festival and Bake-Off, we are deeply grateful for your participation. Our market is already cooking up ideas for next year’s Pie Festival and Bake-Off and looking forward to hosting even more events that celebrate local culture, food, and most importantly, our local farmers, artisans, and food vendors.

Bethany Costello's and Kaylee Klein's 2nd Place Savory "Basil, Pecan, and Tomato Pie

Bethany Costello’s and Kaylee Klein’s 2nd Place Savory “Basil, Pecan, and Tomato Pie

Our community really came together for this one, gang. Amateur bakers, professionals, and a rich range of ages, cultures, and ethnicities were represented, and the results were down-right delicious. Our pie table was a veritable culinary fingerprint of our diverse Nashville community with traditional American pies such as apple, peach, and berry; contemporary fusion pies with ingredients such as duck fat, balsamic vinegar, and bourbon; Southern American pies like pecan, tomato, and chess; a Portuguese-inspired pie —Pastel de Nata; an Uzbek minced meat and potato balish pie; and much, much more. Crusts ranged from light to deep amber to dark golden brown, from smooth to incredibly flaky, and everything in between. Fillings consisted of fruits, nuts, chocolate, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and more. The variation in colors, textures, flavors, and smells was marvelous, and we are excited to see how the pie table transforms for years to come.

1st Place Savory winner, Laura Wallace Johnson's Ratatouille Pie with Homemade Ricotta

1st Place Savory winner, Laura Wallace Johnson’s Ratatouille Pie with Homemade Ricotta

Though all of the pies were delicious and carefully prepared with love, the winners must be chosen and our judges worked diligently tasting each one until their decisions were made. In the Savory category taking third place was a real original — a Nashville original — called “Nashville Hot Chicken Cottage Pie” baked by Mary Yang. This pie had a kick, for sure, and really impressed our judges with its flavor and ingredients. Second place in the Savory category was our very own Bethany Costello and Kaylee Klein of Eat Like Kings Bakery and their “Basil, Pecan, and Tomato Pie.” This pie was perfectly golden with a shiny, egg-washed crust that was oh-so flaky and irresistible. And the first place winner of the Savory category went to Laura Wallace Johnson’s “Ratatouille Pie with Homemade Ricotta.” A layered, vegetable galette with zucchini, onions, and tomatoes, creamy ricotta, and a red pepper puree. It’s construction and appearance was as flawless as its flavor profile. Congratulations, Laura!

Georgia Copeland's 2nd place Sweet "Pecan Weekend, Baby!

Georgia Copeland’s 2nd place Sweet “Pecan Weekend, Baby!

For the Sweet category, our farmers market had over twenty contestants, yet only three could be chosen to go home with winning ribbons. In third place for the Sweet pie category was Natalie McLaughlin’s “Traditional Apple Pie.” Our judges loved the well- balanced flavors and exceptional crust. Taking second place was Georgia Copeland’s “Pecan, Weekend, Baby!” Georgia’s pecans had the right smoky, savory quality that is needed to balance the sweet filling of a traditional pecan pie. And finally, the first place winner of the Sweet category was Kelly Pruitt’s “Garden Peach Pie.” This wining pie could only be described as fresh, fresh, fresh! Kelly’s pie peaches were still vibrant and the essence of local basil added to the brightness of the pie. It was a refreshing experience to taste and we would like to congratulate Kelly on her win!

1st place Sweet Pie Winner Kelly Pruitt and her sons

1st place Sweet Pie Winner Kelly Pruitt and her sons

Next year, we are brainstorming for new and different categories for the 2nd Annual Pie Festival and Bake-Off. Perhaps some more pie vendors, a pie auction, and a popular vote. What do you guys think? We want to hear your suggestions, critiques, compliments, and recommendations!! Please leave a comment below or email us at PieFestival@EastNashvilleMarket.com. So start working on those winning recipes for next year, folks, and we will see you at the next East Nashville Pie Festival and Bake-Off. May the best pies win!!

Page 2 of 212