The East Nashville Farmers Market is officially Fully-Loaded with Summer’s Bounty: Sweet corn and Tomatoes! We are excited to announce the East Nashville Farmers Market Tomato Throwdown will be held on August 5, 2015. Live musical guests, the Ukeabilly Upstarts, will be performing their country blues for our crowds. Local food trucks will be there for Wednesday night dinner, and cool treats, too, to survive summer heat. Also, Kelly Ann Monahan, founder of Sweetie Pie® Health & Harmony, will be visiting our farmers market this week to discuss her recipe e-book and clean eating tips with our market shoppers. Tomorrow is going to be a bustling summer market day!
Before we discuss the market goods, we’d like to announce the East Nashville Farmers Market Tomato Throwdown on August 5, 2015, from 3:30 to 7pm. Tomato growers of East Nashville will unite with local farmers and judges to determine who has the tastiest tomatoes this side of the Cumberland. To enter and for information on how to pre-register, visit our Tomato Throwdown blog .
Time to talk fresh, local food at our farmers’ market. Peak summer produce season is upon us and we are fully-loaded with summer’s bounty! Our farmers’ trucks are arriving every week loaded-down with bushels of fruits and vegetables picked fresh from the field and brought straight to you, our market shoppers. The Tennessee sweet corn is tasting mighty sweet this summer. We love to microwave a few ears after a busy day at work and slice it off the cob into a Stark-Naked Tomato Corn Salad. There’s nothing finer than the pairing of sugar-sweet summer corn and juicy, ripe tomatoes.
Speaking of tomatoes, how about all the different heirloom varieties of tomatoes we have at the East Nashville Farmers Market? Wow! Zach Erhard of Oak Grove Farm will have a full spread of giant, fully ripe heirloom slicers, in addition to Catherine and Ben Simmons from Flying “S” Farm. Grab your sweet cherry tomatoes from Old School Farm, Delvin Farms, and Green Door Gourmet. Plus, don’t forget the loads of more summer produce, like peaches, blackberries, blueberries, eggplants, green beans, sweet and hot peppers, potatoes, squashes, herbs, and more.
Finally, we are pleased to welcome our market visitor this week, Kelly Ann Monahan, founder of Sweetie Pie® Health & Harmony. Kelly is an integrative nutrition coach who authored the recipe e-book Sweet Healthy Living…Delicious, Easy Recipes…Clean Eating Never Tasted So Good! Find her at one of our farmers’ market booths to discuss tips on healthy, clean eating and information about her recipe book.
Stephanie and Brian Oaks of No 9 Farms, along with their two children Tyler and Abigail, work together on their family farm to produce organic locally-grown herbs, berries, seasonal fruits and vegetables, and value-added products such as high-mineral seasoned salts and hand-crafted teas. Their 40 acre farm in Ashland City, TN, is flourishing into its second year and ever-evolving with added farm products available for every season. No. 9 Farms also provides organic gardening and seasonal cooking classes for members of the community to take a break from the city and learn more about farm living. The Oaks are dedicated to a nutrition-focused, sustainable lifestyle that is reflected in their products, and possess a tenacity for perseverance and hard work that makes the impossible possible.
In 2007, the family left their home in Seattle, WA, and bought a house in East Nashville where they quickly became a part of the community. They installed an edible backyard landscape, began growing food themselves, and purchased fresh local produce at the East Nashville Farmers Market. “Walking to the market every week was a big highlight for us as a family,” says Stephanie. “We could purchase what we didn’t grow ourselves, and we really enjoyed it.” But as the kids became teenagers and the family began running out of space, Brian and Stephanie began to shift their focus from East Nashville to outside the city. “We wanted to teach our kids how to work,” she says, so the family purchased land in Ashland City in 2013.
It began as 40 acres of predominately woodland area, yet it was transformed into cultivatable land through Stephanie and Brian’s perseverance and hard work. “We really laid the infrastructure the first year,” says Stephanie. The couple cleared acres while slowly improving the soil and built a low-energy sustainable home with the help of members from the community. Through their first year, the Oaks’ farm slowly took shape, and by the second year, No. 9 Farms introduced pick-your-own berries, gardening classes in the field, and cooking classes in their certified kitchen.
Arriving at No. 9 Farms today is like happening upon a farm oasis in the woods, with a sparkling creek running along its border that serves as cool respite for the family after a hot day in the field. A rasp of guinea fowl beside a wood-crafted hen house greets you as well as a greenhouse full of seedlings surrounded by rows of berries and herbs. The Oaks harvest fresh, organic parsley, fennel, dill, and a variety of basils, and sell them at the East Nashville Farmers Market as well as local tea companies and breweries. Customers are also welcomed at the farm by reservation to pick-up customized boxes of organic herbs, seasonal produce, and farm eggs.
“We wanted to create a place where people could come and make memories with their families away from the city,” says Stephanie. For her, the goal for No. 9 Farms was to educate—to teach the benefits of organic farming, living, and seasonal and healthy cooking to her community. This drive came from a personal place for Stephanie that influenced and shaped the family’s lifestyle and diet for years to come.
When her son was young, Stephanie was told what every mother dreads to hear—that Tyler was suffering from a fatal sickness that he likely could not survive. She became resolute—she would not accept that nothing could be done for her son and became staunchly committed to his recovery. She poured over research and studied naturopathic healing. A healthy diet with a holistic approach was the medicine and treatment she chose for her son, and within a few years, Tyler made a full recovery.
Today, as the family forages ahead into new journeys, they remain dedicated to a balanced lifestyle that is heavily focused on nutrition, hard work, and sustainability. “Abigail loves to work in the greenhouse and Tyler loves to build things,” Stephanie says with a smile. Although Brian travels for work as a musician and producer, he plays a very active role on the farm when he is home. “I just cut stuff and move stuff with the tractor,” he jokes.
The hand-crafted teas and finely-ground seasoned salts they produce are not only culinary specialties but nutritional favorites of the entire family. High-mineral sea salts and pink Himalayan salts are finely-ground with farm herbs to perfectly accompany jars of organic kernels of popping corn. The popular Rosemary Popcorn Salt is inspired from Abigail’s love for the snack, but also look for their next creation—a Carolina Reaper pepper salt—created for Brian’s love for spicy food. Herbs are harvested and dried on the farm and hand-blended to make teas meant for boosting immunities and calming moods. All of these beneficial value-added products can be purchased at the East Nashville Farmers Market or through Etsy.
As Tyler and Abigail get older and No. 9 Farms moves through its third season, Stephanie continues to dedicate herself to a life that matters to her most: hard work, healthy living, love and family—the life of a farmer. In the past, the Oaks were one of our East Nashville neighbors, walking to the market to enjoy their community. Today, having them join The East Nashville Farmers Market as one of our vendors is a special sort of homecoming for everyone involved. “It’s neat for the kids and us to be back growing things for our community and seeing all the farmers again, ” she admits. We whole-heartily agree.
Green Door Gourmet is a unique farm to fork venture that produces and provides local artisan foods and plants in a farm-cooperative community setting.
Sylvia Harrelson Ganier, the farm operator, brings years of farm and restaurant experience as well as a passion for food and education. Her background, growing up on a dairy farm in North Carolina, melds with her many years in the restaurant business, including being chef and owner of her former Nashville based establishment, CIBO. Personal attention is the main focus of Sylvia and the crew at Green Door Gourmet, and produces both high quality produce, and a positive experience for their patrons.
Green Door Gourmet is located within Hidden Valley Farm on River Road in Nashville, TN, less than 2 miles west of Interstate 40, and less than 10 minutes from downtown Nashville. Their close proximity provides ease of access for customers who crave experiencing the best of local fare but still with in the city limits.
Hidden Valley Farm also serves as the perfect spot for agri-tourism and special farm events. They have hosted events ranging from small picnics and receptions up to a BBQ for 1000 people!
Green Door Gourmet grows up to 80 varieties of herbs and flowers, and a wide assortment of fresh produce grown using natural methods which follow an organic holistic model. They harvest as close to customer-scheduled pick up as possible to maintain the integrity of our product. They do not sell anything that does not pass their own “taste tests.”
You can find them each week at the East Nashville Farmers Market. Stop by and say hello and meet members of their dynamic crew working on the farm this season. As them about their unique flower CSA and traditional CSA.
I thought I would post a recipe for an item that often gets overlooked at the farmers market. This is a simple addition to the grill that tastes great. You can steam the onions by placing them in foil and sealing it or grill them directly using a grilling screen or rack made especially for vegetables and other small objects. I recommend staying away from the foil and love the grilled taste.
Grilled Green Onions
Ingredients: 12 green onions, rinsed, ends trimmed
6 spring garlic greens (or 3 cloves of garlic, chopped in half)
3 tbsp sunflower, olive, or melted butter
A few shakes of smoked paprika
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Place onions and garlic with oil in a bowl and work the oil over the greens to cover. Preheat grill to medium-low heat. Place greens on a grilling rack. Grill until tender, around 10 minutes.
Cut a sheet of aluminum foil to about 12 by 15 inches. Arrange the greens side by side in the center of the foil sheet. Keeping the green onions flat, fold the foil to make a sealed cooking pouch. Place the foil packet on the preheated grill away from the main heat source. Allow the green onions to steam 5 to 7 minutes. After removing from grill, sprinkle with smoked paprika. Salt and pepper to taste.
Makes around 4 servings.
East Nashville Farmers Market Opening Day Celebration Wednesday, May 14th 3:30pm -7pm
Our new location in beautiful Shelby Park next to the children’s playground near the baseball fields
In our 8th season we have over 35 market vendors! Every vendor at the market is the person who grows the local farm produce, raises the animal, bakes the bread, makes the cheese, or creates the artisan crafts. You can be assured that your purchases are supporting small family farms while giving back to your local economy and community. We invite you to ask questions and learn more about the local producers at our market. Come each week to meet your local farmer and stay to meet your neighbors & enjoy the live music. This local one-shop shopping venue will run every Wednesday from May 14 -Oct. 29 from 3:30pm-7pm. This week we will feature a petting zoo, live bee demonstration, children’s activities, live music, food trucks and much more. We are proud to once again offer SNAP/EBT benefits allowing everyone access to healthy food. If you have any questions about the market, the farmers, or how EBT works please visit us at the market information booth in the center of the market. We will see you Wednesday! To find our new market location in Shelby Park take Shelby Ave directly into the park once you cross 20th Street. Follow the winding road down the hill to the lake and turn right. Continue until you pass the Old Timers baseball field and must turn left onto Davidson St. You are now driving along the Cumberland river, just pass the baseball field on the left you will find our farmers market on the left next to the children’s play ground. The photo below is the location.