What’s at the Market?

Next week we’ll celebrate National Farmers Market Week! We will be celebrating all things farmers market- artisan breads, juice, dog treats, pasta, flowers, tea, herbs, food trucks, cheese, meat and produce!

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Shopping at the farmers market is more than just the fun of connecting with your community. Many small businesses and family farms rely on farmers markets to get their businesses started and to keep them going! There are over 8,200 farmers markets in the United States, and recent research shows that small businesses such as bakeries rely on local markets to for a customer base, to try out new products on customers, to learn what customers want, and to connect with farmers who can supply them with ingredients. The same can be said about farmers- many farmers use farmers markets to connect with chefs who shop at markets for their restaurants and to form a customer base for CSA’s.

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The East Nashville Farmers Market began in 2007, and we have been the venue to help start many of Nashville’s best small businesses that now have their own brick and mortar or who sell at major stores such as Whole Foods and Kroger including: Juice.Nashville, Porter Rd Butcher, 8th and Roast, Soberdough, Papa C Pies, Chubby Bunny, Hummus Chick, Alfresco Pasta, Provence Bread, Noble Springs Dairy, Hatcher Dairy and Dozen Bakery. We may be forgetting a few who have started their business with us through the years, but we can assure you that they all hold a special place in our heart because we “knew them when..”

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We predict that there are many of our vendors with us today who will go on to open their own stores, or get into major retail chains that will propel them to be able to quit their full time jobs and be their own boss! The East Nashville Farmers Market and you as the customer play an important role in giving back to the local economy by shopping local and keeping your dollar in your community. Our artisan bakers and farmers rely on our market, not just to “try out products” on customers, but to make a living by bringing you the freshest, local food you can find!

Who is your favorite farmer or baker at the market? Would you rather see their products in major stores, or do like having them “all to yourself” at your local market? Let us know how the farmers market makes a difference in your world!

2nd Annual Pie Festival Winners!

The 2nd Annual Pie Festival was a tasty treat on an ordinary Wednesday in East Nashville. Customers enjoyed more summer produce with the local farmers at the market, while the community gathered to see who gets the bragging rights for winning the best tasting pie! Children were entertained with games, crafts and face painting while live music greeted customers who had dinner with one of our food trucks.

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We had 24 entries in the categories of savory and sweet. Thank you to our judges, Jill Melton of Edible Magazine, Laura Wilson of Nashville Grown and Rebecah Boynton, East Nashville Pie Festival Founder, and event coordinator at the Nashville Farmers Market. We know that they had a tough time tasting all those pies and the decision was not an easy one!

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Jill Melton, Rebecah Boynton and Laura Wilson were our 2nd Annual Pie Festival Judges

After many tastings, the winners were announced and the crowd was able to sample all the entries!

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Market customers were treated to free pie samples from all the pie entries

The winners in the Savory Pie Category are:

1st Place in Savory: Celeste Davidson for her Tomato Pie

2nd Place in Savory: Alain Treville for his Lamb Pie

3rd Place in Savory: Lynn Jones for her Zucchini Pie

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1st Place Savory Pie, Celeste Davidson with Tomato Pie

In the Sweet Pie Category, our winners were:

1st Place- Samika Cohen with her Lemon Chess Pie

2nd Place Tracy Treville with creme Brulee 

3rd Place Billie Ruth Brownell with Lemony Blueberry Crisp.

1st Place for Lemon Chess Pie, Samika Cohen

The East Nashville Farmers Market is every Wednesday from 3:30-7:00pm in Shelby Park from now until the end of October. You can find local farmers and bakers, food trucks, live music and fun for kids. Come out and meet the East Nashville community AND meet your farmer!

Pie Fest for the Win!

Get ready  East Nashville for the 2nd Annual Pie Festival and Bake-Off to be held July 20th at the East Nashville Farmers Market from 3:30-7:00pm.  You say that someone once told you that your chicken pot pie was better than anything they had ever tasted? Come prove it! If apple pie is your go-to dessert for potluck dinners, let the community decide if you get bragging rights!

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The East Nashville Pie Festival and Bake-Off is quickly becoming the event of the summer and you don’t want to miss it! Local celebrity judges will make their final decisions on who deserves the pie prize and market customers will be able to sample the pies after the winners have been announced at 6pm. There will be live music, food trucks, kids games and adult conversation- all while eating pie!

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There will be three categories for the contest: sweet, savory and hand pie. We know that Catherine of Flying S Farms makes an amazing hand pie. If you have one that you think can beat her’s, come on out and enter the contest! For contest rules and submission visit this link: Pie Festival

Besides the pie festival we have our weekly farmers market featuring local meat, produce and more from our farmers. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and melons are in season along with fresh sweet corn, peppers, eggplant and tomatoes! Come do your weekly shopping while you enjoy the ambience of a good ole American Pie Festival! We’ll see you this week from 3:30-7:00pm in Shelby Park.

 

Freeze Berries for Summer Goodness All Winter Long!

The East Nashville Farmers Market has many options for delicious summer berries. Did you know that you can freeze berries to last all winter long? If you like blueberries or blackberries in the winter for muffins, pancakes, cobblers, pies or just in a bowl, imagine how good it would taste if you had picked a couple of quarts fresh and then quickly froze them at home!  Freezing is one of the simplest ways to put up a fruit for the winter.

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Fresh Blackberries from Delvin Farms

Below is how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps! Your own frozen blueberries will taste MUCH better than anything you’ve ever had from a store. I’m using blueberries as an example, but this same process works exactly the same for any other berries such as raspberries and blackberries.

Directions for Freezing Blueberries, Ingredients and Equipment

  • fresh berries – any quantity
  • Vacuum food sealer or “ziploc” type freezer bags (the freezer bag version is heavier and protects better against freezer burn).
  • pan or tray that will fit in your freezer
  • strainer or colander

Instructions:

Step 1 – Buy Your Blueberries at the East Nashville Farmers Market!   Start with the freshest blueberries you can get.  Look for plump, full blueberries with a good color. I’ve used blueberries as an example, but these directions would equally well for any similar berry.

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Kelley’s Berry Farm Blueberries

Step 2 – Wash the blueberries? No! You should not wash blueberries because it results in a tougher skinned product, but you can wash raspberries and blackberries and pat them dry with a paper towel. For blueberries, just pick the dirt out and wash them later when you thaw them by rinsing them in cold water.

Step 3 – Spread the blueberries in a pan. There are two ways of doing this.  If you have space in your freezer, spread the berries out in a large oven pan with a lip or ridge.  Put enough on to make 1 layer so they will freeze quickly and not be frozen together in a lump. Later you can remove only what you need without thawing the rest! If your freezer isn’t that big, just put them into whatever container will fit in your freezer.  After they are frozen, they may stick together a little bit, but should break apart fairly easily.

Step 4 – Put them in the freezer! Pop them into the coldest part of the freezer, or the quick freeze shelf, if your freezer has one. You may want to leave them in the freezer overnight so the berries get completely frozen.

Step 5- Bag the blueberries. A vaccum seal bag is great, but if you don’t have them a ziploc bag work, too! Remove as much as the air as you can to prevent drying and freezer burn. To remove the excess air from a ziploc bag, put a straw inside the bag and zip it closed as far as possible, then suck the air out of the bag. Pinch the straw shut where it enters the bag and pull it from the bag and quickly zip the bag the rest of the way.

Step 6- Done! Pop them into the deep freeze, or in the coldest part of your regular freezer!

When you are ready to use the blueberries – Thaw, wash and sort the blueberries.  To thaw them, just set them in the fridge overnight, or on the counter for a couple of hours. You can then rinse them under cold water and get ready to enjoy them in your favorite dish or by themselves!

Kelley’s Berry Farm blueberries, blackberries and raspberries can all be frozen in the same way.

So don’t forget about the winter- buy some extra at the market this week and follow this simple freezing tip to enjoy summer’s goodness all winter long.