Find the Best Local Flowers and Plants at the East Nashville Farmers Market

 

Our local farmers are still planting for the season, and our home gardeners are filling their homes with flowers and garden plants. It’s not too late to get your home garden started! Where can you find the best flowers and plants for your garden? The East Nashville Farmers Market, of course! Talk to the farmer who grows your food- they are the same ones who grow your plants for your own garden.

DSC_0093Garden plants and flowers are an easy way to bring “locally grown” to your home garden, and a wonderful way to teach children how to grow food. Talk to Jami and Rusell from Slocal or the farmers from Laurel Mountain Farm for vegetable starter plants and herbs. They will tell you what kind of garden plant it is, how deep to plant it, how much room DSC_0922it needs and how much water it needs. They will tell you the signs to look for when it’s ready to harvest, and they will even tell you how to cook it when it’s ready!

 

 

 

 

 

For beautiful flowers in your home there’s no need for a flower delivery service. You can buy beautiful and unique arrangements made for you from Whites Creek Flower Farm.

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The difference between buying local plants from the East Nashville Farmers Market and a big box store or nursery is our farmers have already “hardened” them to grow in the same conditions as your home garden. Buying from the farmers who know the plants and flowers that will do best in our climate only makes sense, and you can’t get more local than that!

 

See you at the East Nashville Farmers Market, every Wednesday 3:30-7:00pm in Shelby Park.

 

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Try Meat at the Farmers Market!

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Our local farmers have just what you need for last minute dinner ideas after work. The possibilities for a menu are endless with fresh ingredients from our farmers including spring carrots from Bloomsbury Farm, beautiful swiss chard from Delvin Farms, fresh herbs from Slocal, lettuces from Green Door Gourmet, wild spinach from Lost Weekend Farm, baby kale from Flying S Farms, greens from Athena’s Harvest, and strawberries from Kelley’s Berry Farm.

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For a complete meal, add a meat from any of our meat farmers including Wedge Oak Farm, Quarter Springs Farm, Tavalin Tails Farm, Triple L Ranch and Laurel Mountain Farm, and maybe try a meat you may have never tried before, such as lamb. Lamb is a meat that many people are scared to try, but lamb is a good source of omega 3 fats, the healthy fats that have been shown to reduce inflammation and guard against cancer and heart disease. It is also has less saturated fat than other meats. Lamb has a delicious flavor and is not “smelly” or “mutton tasting” as its reputation has been.

I’ve always thought the lamb farmers got the short end of the marketing stick. For example- the beef industry marketed the Angus breed well, and now everyone looks for the Angus beef symbol at restaurants. When people talk about lamb, they conjure up ideas of the tiny cute fluffy balls in the field standing next to their mommas. Not so! Lamb meat is a full grown sheep, so be reassured when you order lamb meat from any of our local farmers, you are not eating the cute animal you had at your daughter’s Easter photo shoot.

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Lamb is easy to prepare and not to be confused with the meat you only serve at fancy meals or special occasions. It pairs well with mint, basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme (all herbs our local farmers like Athena’s Harvest, Bloomsbury Farm, Slocal and Lost Weekend Farm grow), and there are plenty of quick and easy meals you can make during your workweek.
Here are a few ideas:
-Ground Lamb: Use ground lamb from Tavalin Tails Farm or Triple L Ranch. Add some salt and pepper for delicious lamb burgers, or mix it with oregano, rosemary and thyme for meatballs served over a bed of mixed greens.
-Lamb Shoulder: Add this cut of lamb to a slow cooker with salt, pepper and oregano and forget about it for about 6 hours. Make some kale from Flying S Farms or swiss chard from Green Door Gourmet and you have a fantastic, easy meal brimming with health benefits.
-Leg of Lamb Steaks: No need to make a fancy leg of lamb. To get the same taste in a fraction of the time, choose leg of lamb steaks from Tavalin Tails Farm or Triple L Ranch. Marinate it in olive oil or herbs from Galina Garlic and grill it for a meal made in 15 minutes!

For lamb and more, visit any of the farmers mentioned above at the East Nashville Farmers Market every Wednesday in Shelby Park 3:30-7:00pm.

Strawberry, Spinach and Snap Pea Salad

 

Spinach, Snap Pea and Strawberry Salad Recipe

Strawberry Salad strawberries

Kelley’s Berry Farm Strawberries

The farmers at our market are in full spring produce mode, and every week more and more beautiful veggies are showing up at the market.

This week Lost Weekend Farms had sugar snap peas, perfect for this simple salad. Strawberries and spinach can be found at many of our vendor’s booths, along with parsley, eggs and even the olive oil needed! To make this recipe you will need:

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Beautiful snap peas from Lost Weekend Farms.

Ingredients:
1-2 bunches of spinach, thoroughly washed and torn
1 pound of snap peas, sliced on the diagonal
1 pint of strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
¼ cup of walnuts, toasted
2-3 hard boiled eggs, cooled, peeled and quartered

A handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped, a generous snipping of fresh chives, and a good glug of olive oil, red wine vinegar to taste, salt and pepper.

Arrange the peas, strawberries, walnuts and eggs over a bed of spinach.  Sprinkle with the parsley and chives, and toss with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

Serves 2 as a meal, or 4 as a side, and is particularly good with fresh bread and good company!

 

Join a CSA for Locally Grown Right to Your Home!

A CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, is a program that pairs a farmer with a customer who is buying a “share” of the farm. The farmer delivers their share once a week, or sometimes once a month. There are many ways in which farmers set up a CSA program, and you can find the one that fits you at the East Nashville Farmers Market! We have several farms who offer vegetable CSA’s: Delvin Farms, Athena’s Harvest, Quarter Spring Farm, Bloomsbury Farm, Lost Weekend Farm and Flying S Farms, and three farms who offer meat CSA’s: Tavalin Tails Farm, Wedge Oak Farm and Triple L Ranch.

Picking up a CSA box of fresh veggies with Sweet Strawberries.

Picking up a CSA box of fresh veggies with Sweet Strawberries. 

Ten Reasons to Join a CSA

  1. Support a local farm and learn how your food is grown. We all have a doctor for our health, but what about a farmer? With a CSA you can have a personal relationship with your farmer and get to know who is growing your food and how. By buying a CSA, your money goes directly to your local economy, your personal farmer, and you are helping to keep the family farm alive while having access to healthy, nutritious food.
  1. Learn how to eat with the seasons You will eat leafy greens in the Spring and Fall, tomatoes and cucumbers in the Summer and root vegetables in the Winter. This is how we are meant to eat- with the seasons when produce is at its best and flavor is delectable.
  1. You will learn to eat a variety of food  You may not know what to do with kale now, but if you join a CSA you’ll get the opportunity to learn to cook vegetables you’ve never tried.
  1. The Fruits and Vegetables are fresh  Unlike fruits and vegetables in a grocery store that are harvested with shelf life in mind, the fruits and vegetables harvested for a CSA are hours old, at their ultimate peak of flavor and freshness.
  1. Committing to a CSA will force you to eat more fruits and vegetables  By buying a CSA share, you will have access to fresh fruits and vegetables every week. You won’t want to waste those veggies, and you will end up with healthy eating!
  1. You’ll cook more  Many CSA’s give their customers recipes for what is in the CSA box. You’ll learn to cook things you never knew about and you’ll feel accomplished! Cooking at home will save you money in the long run, too.
  1. A CSA saves you money  Compared to buying the same amount/volume in the grocery store, joining a CSA will save you money. You’ll have to go to the grocery less, too.
  1. There are Vitamin and Flavor Benefits of CSA fruits and Vegetables  When a fruit or vegetable is harvested, it immediately begins losing vitamin content. Having your veggies hours old ensures you are getting the most out of the nutritional content possible!
  1. Protect the Environment  Buying from a local farm ensures that your food does not have to travel the average 1500 miles of grocery store food. You are lessening your carbon footprint by consuming food that is locally grown in a CSA. A small family farm is going to be as sustainable as they can in their growing methods and protect the land- after all, this is their livelihood and it is in their best interest to protect the environment!
  1. Get back to your roots  We are now three generations removed from the family farm and our children do not know how food is grown. Participating in a CSA allows you to connect to the farmer, to visit the farm and get back to your roots! Many CSA’s allow you to volunteer on the farm, and others hold open houses to give you a tour.

You  can find a CSA farmer at the East Nashville Farmers Market, every Wednesday form 3:30-7:00pm in Shelby Park. Stop by and meet your farmer!

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Wedge Oak Farm Meat CSA

 

First Farmers Market of 2016 Success!

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Kelley’s Berry Farm jam and fresh berries

 

 

The first farmers market of the season got off to a bang-literally- as we scrambled amid rolling clouds and rain to set up in the parking lot. A large storm blew through and knocked produce over, scattered papers and toppled tables, and we clung to our tents to keep them from flying. Moments later the sun emerged as if nothing happened! Loyal customers came out with rain gear on and supported the local farmers and artisans.

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This week we set up in the parking lot due to the rain.

There were many new vendors and some familiar faces at the first market of the season. New this year are more CSA options! You can get a vegetable and a meat CSA from our local farmers. Our vegetable CSA farmers include Flying S Farm, Bloomsbury Farm and Delvin Farms. Our Meat CSA include Wedge Oak Farm and Tavalin Tails Farm. Check them out next week and meet your farmer!

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Wedge Oak Farm Meat CSA

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Flying S Farms has a vegetable CSA at the market, too!

 

Come out next week and plan to stay for a picnic dinner with our food trucks, Four and Twenty Blackbirds and Bradley’s Ice Cream. Do your grocery shopping for the week, meet your farmers and your neighbors at the East Nashville Farmers Market!

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