Category Archives: Market Saturday News

8th Annual Franklin Strawberry Festival Kicks off the Summer Season

The 8th annual Franklin Strawberry Festival was a big hit with market customers and the Franklin community. This has been a tough year for our strawberry farms with a hard freeze in April after plants set blooms, but despite the challenging growing season, our farmers were able to bring the very best to celebrate the strawberry!  Our Strawberry Festival and market sponsor, Williamson Medical Center made it possible for us to have such a large festival.
Visit this link for photos of the Strawberry Festival. 

Strawberry Judges enjoying delicious Strawberry Shortcake! From left Brandy Blanton, City of Franklin Alderman and Editor of Southern Exposure Magazine; Andy Marshall, A. Marshall Hospitality; Jan Marshall, A. Marshall Hospitality; Jenna Eckert, Williamson Medical Center

Karen Norton, of Norton Family Farms made over 600 strawberry shortcakes that were nothing short of amazing. Clearview Baptist Church volunteers spent hours preparing the strawberries that topped the shortcakes on Friday evening. Customers were able to choose more than the traditional shortcake to enjoy the local berries. Chef Michael Martin from Southfork Catering prepared 400 buttermilk biscuits and Ellie’s Donuts made 400 of their original donuts. All three shortcake variations were topped with strawberries from our farmers and cream from Hatcher Dairy. 

Ellie’s Donuts made over 400 special strawberry donuts that were a big hit among children and adults. The line for the donuts never ceased, but the general consensus was that it was worth the wait! Belle Springs Lemonade sold strawberry lemonades made with fresh strawberries from our farmers at the market. We love the way our food vendors use local ingredients from our farmers!

Children were entertained with free games and art activities including storytelling by Magda the Storyspider and a local balloon artist. Parents enjoyed live music on our patio with food from our food trucks Califarmia and Jay’s Chicago. 

 

 

 

 

 

The most popular event at the market among our farmers is the best tasting strawberry contest. Winning this contest gives the farmer bragging rights for the rest of the year. It was a close contest, but our winners are: 

1st Place Kelley’s Berry Farm
2nd Beaverdam Creek Farm
3rd Conry Farm

1st Place Winner Best Tasting Strawberry of 2018 Patrick Kelley of Kelley’s Berry Farm

We don’t envy our celebrity judges who had to make a decision from the 7 farms who entered their berries because we know how good they all tasted! A big thank you to Kristy Williams of the Franklin Heritage Foundation for organizing our judging contest. 

Thank you to our judges:

Jenna Eckert, Williamson Medical Center
Andy Marshall, A. Marshall Hospitality
Jan Marshall, A. Marshall Hospitality
Brandy Blanton, City of Franklin Alderman and Owner, Southern Exposure Magazine

The Celebrity Strawberry Judges have a tough job selecting the Best Tasting Strawberry, they take this responsibilty very seriously as each farmer anxiously waits to here their results

With over 50 volunteers from Clearview Baptist Church working behind the scenes, the festival ran smoothly and efficiently. Thank you so much to our volunteers! And finally, thank you to our market customers who attended our market to support to the farmers. We hope you had a “BERRY” good time! 

Thank you market sponsor Williamson Medical Center! Our community Strawberry Festival is not possible without your support each year! From left, Katherine Hellard of WMC, FFM Market Director Amy Tavalin, Jenna Eckert of Williamson Medical Center

The Franklin Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8am-1pm behind the Factory in Franklin, TN. The market is a 16 yr old producers only market with the largest assembly of local farmers providing fresh farm food all year long each Saturday morning. Find us at 230 Franklin Road behind the Factory. Visit us online at www.franklinfarmersmarket.com or follow us on facebook, twitter and instagram for the latest market news. 

Franklin Strawberry Festival: Franklin’s Sweetest Tradition

The Franklin Farmers Market will host its 8th annual Franklin Strawberry Festival on Saturday, May 12 beginning at 8am, hosted by market sponsor, Williamson Medical Center. Farmers wil

Which Farm will win the Best Tasting Strawberry of 2018?

vie for the best tasting strawberry in the popular taste test judged by local celebrity judges: Andy Marshall, Chef and Owner of A.Marshall Foods, Pearl Bransford, Alderman for the City of Franklin and Brandy Blanton, Alderman for the City of Franklin and Editor of Southern Exposure Magazine. Best Tasting Strawberry judging begins at 10am with the winners announced around 11am.

Free children activities will include games, a balloon artist and Magda the Storyspider will delight all ages with special strawberry stories. The first story time will be at 10:30am and the second story time will be 11:15am. Story time will take place under the tree by the patio. 

 

The sweetest tasting strawberries come from our local Tennessee Farmers!

Karen’s famous short cakes, a local favorite tradition from Norton Family farm, will once again be the popular dessert in the celebration. Karen’s delicious shortcakes will be topped with local berries and whip cream made from Hatcher Dairy cream. Chef Michael Martin of South Fork Catering will be serving up a buttermilk biscuit strawberry treat, Belle Springs will have strawberry lemonade and Ellie’s Donuts will have their seasonal strawberry donuts. Many farmers and vendors will have their own strawberry surprises for customers to enjoy. 

A market favorite each year with over 1,000 strawberry shortcakes served with fresh strawberries and cream

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a family affair at the Franklin Strawberry Festival with free children’s activities, strawberry treats and locally grown strawberries from our farmers picked less than 24 hours before the event. You can’t find a sweeter event than the Franklin Farmers Market strawberry festival! 

The Best Tasting Strawberry judges always have a Berry good time!

Festival attendees can enjoy all that our market has to offer- fresh, locally grown produce, locally made artisan goods and food trucks, Califarmia, Jay’s Chicago and Et Voila for breakfast and lunch. Admission to the festival and the market is free! 

Cassie & Derby Jones of the Williamson Herald, Thank you for all the wonderful support you give our Community Farmers Market each year!!!

The Franklin Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8am-1pm behind the Factory in Franklin, TN. The market is a 16 yr old producers only market with the largest assembly of local farmers providing fresh farm food all year long each Saturday morning. Find us at 230 Franklin Road behind the Factory. Visit us online at www.franklinfarmersmarket.com or follow us on facebook, twitter and instagram for the latest market news. 

 

Celebrate Community Supported Agriculture, CSA Day April 7th

 

 

 

The Franklin Farmers Market is pleased to host the third annual CSA Day on Saturday, April 7 sponsored by Williamson Medical Center and Amerigo Italian Restaurant. At this informational event customers will be able to talk with the farmers who grow their food and join others in middle TN who are:

  • eating healthful foods and preparing them for their families;
  • supporting their local farmer;
  • being kind to our planet;
  • learning something new; and
  • being adventurous in the kitchen.

Families love picking up their weekly CSA Share from organic grower Delvin Farms

CSA (community-supported agriculture) is a subscription to a season’s worth of sustainable, locally grown produce or meat that is distributed to members throughout the harvesting season. It is a form of investment that allows small farmers to continue growing on a scale that may not be sustainable without the CSA model. CSA members enjoy the quality of fresh meat, fruits and vegetables for their family, while supporting their local Franklin Farmers Market farmer.

The rich certified organic soil of Delvin Farms along the Harpeth River has been growing and harvesting CSA Shares for local families all over Middle Tennessee now for 17 years

The most popular time to join a CSA each year is now. To promote this important time for farmers, the Franklin Farmers Market is providing a day dedicated to connecting customers with farmers who will grow their food. It’s an entire day dedicated to the celebration of community-supported agriculture, and CSA farmers enjoy an influx of sign-ups from members, which gives them revenue when they need it most for the growing season.

Our seven market farms offering CSA Shares are full of locally grown produce like these CSA baskets ready for pick up from organic grower Bloomsbury Farm.

“Community-supported agriculture is about relationships and feeding families in our community,” said Amy Tavalin, director of the Franklin Farmers Market. “CSA members will be cooking food that they may not have been exposed to otherwise. It’s a great way to support your farmer but also to learn more about eating with the seasons.”

Amerigo Italian Reostaurant is an eight year sponsor of the Franklin Farmers Market who often performs Food demonstration and is this years Tomato Festival presenting sponsor

Williamson Medical Center is a seven year sponsor of the Franklin Farmers Market and presenting sponsor for this years Strawberry Festival

 

Why join a CSA? The reasons are many, but the most important reasons are the nutritional value in freshly harvested food and supporting your local economy. 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.

 

 

 

 

The CSA model has changed frequently through the years, but the idea is to have a “share” of the harvest. Some farmers offer a “market style” CSA where members choose what is in their share, and some put shares together for the members with recipes on how to prepare the food. CSAs aren’t confined to produce. Some farmers include the option for shareholders to buy shares of eggs, homemade bread, meat, cheese, fruit, flowers or other farm products along with their veggies. Some farmers have just meat in their CSA, where members get a monthly or bimonthly share of mixed beef, pork, chicken and lamb. At the Franklin Farmers Market we have all kinds of options for customers. CSA day is designed for customers to spend some time talking with the farmers to see what is the best fit for them. 

A smiling face will great you each week for delivery of your very own harvest of fresh locally grown produce each Saturday morning

The Franklin Farmers Market has more CSA vendors than any other market in the area. Customers can find meat AND vegetable CSA farmers at the Franklin Farmers Market, including:

“The CSA day is a perfect way to showcase all that our farmers have to offer outside of what they bring to the market,” said Franklin Farmers Market Director, Amy Tavalin. “We have the largest selection of CSA farmers in middle TN, and even more than just vegetables. You can find meat, eggs, bread, milk and vegetable CSA, all grown by one of the farmers at the market. We are proud to be in Franklin and proud to be a producers only market where we have real food and real farmers.” 

The beautiful CSA Baskets of organic grower Bloomsbury Farm are one of seven Farm CSA options from the Franklin Farmers Market

Find a vegetable and meat CSA farmer at the Franklin Farmers Market’s first CSA day on April 7 from 8:00 am- 1:00 pm.  The market is located at 230 Franklin Road behind the Factory. 

Where to Buy the Best Herb and Vegetable Starter Plants

A market customer selecting vegetable starter plants from Paradise Produce

A market customer selecting vegetable starter plants from Paradise Produce

Buying local herb and vegetable starter plants from your local farmers provides the healthiest young seedling plants for your home garden. Local farmers grow all their plants from the best seeds they can find. They also know how to create the best conditions for starting plant growth. I’ve been purchasing vegetable starter plants for my garden from farmers for years now. One day after losing several vegetable plants after planting, I thought there had to be a better place to find healthier young seedlings. I remembered seeing young plants at a local farmers market, so I made the trip back to the market and found beautiful young herb and vegetable starter plants for sale.

I then laughed to myself thinking “Well, of course, buying the same plants a farmer is using to grow their crops just might be the best choice”. Problem solved!

Vegetable Starter Plants from Paradise Produce

Vegetable Starter Plants from Paradise Produce

At the Franklin Farmers Market, most of our local farmers bring to market healthy young starter plants. You can find just about all the vegetable starter plants you need. You don’t have to worry about if any of the young seedling plants are labeled wrong. The root growth is strong and ready for planting in your home garden. If you need soil suggestions, you can ask any farmers for suggestions. Our local Williamson Farmers Co-op can help with any garden supplies you need. Our market soil expert Organics in Motion can also help advise you on best soil types. All our farmers are friendly and full of advice to help you with your home garden.

Kids love Lettuce!

Kids love Lettuce Plants from Kirkview Farm

You can find market starter plants from Kirkview Farm, Purple Tree Farm, Paradise Produce, Evans Produce and Earth Advocates Research Farm. We’ve created a starter plant photo gallery so you can see some of our vegetable and herb starter plants currently in the market.

Good luck and happy planting! Hope to see you at our local Tennessee farmers market!

Danny the Turkey Pardoned by TN Ag Commissioner!

It’s official, Danny the Turkey has been Pardoned by TN Ag Commissioner! The Franklin Farmers Market 3rd annual Pardoning of the Turkey was held on Saturday, November 18th sponsored by Herban Market. The star of the show, Danny the Turkey of Earth’s Advocates Research Farm, was not at all nervous about whether or not he would be pardoned. Instead, he sat royally on his bale of hay as children and adults took the opportunity to pet and hug him. Danny is a pro at being the center of attention and children gathered around him for a chance to pet their first turkey. Visit this link to view the Photo Gallery of Danny’s pardoning. 

Second Graders from Liberty Elementary School wrote over 90 letters to the TN Department of Agriculture’s Commissioner Jai Templeton on Danny’s behalf and delivered them to the Commissioner asking him to pardon Danny for Thanksgiving. Commissioner Templeton was happy to oblige and graciously granted Danny clemency in front of hundreds of market attendees.

Thank you presenting sponsor Herban Market seated front row, L to R Market Director Amy Tavalin, Ashlea, Ayla & Matt Hogancamp of Herban Market, back row L to R Adam Turtle of Earth Advocates Research Farm, Ryan Palmer of FFM, Ag Commissioner Jai Templeton, Danny the Turkey, Asst Ag Commissioner Ed Harlan and Sue Turtle of Earth Advocates Research Farm

Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture, Ed Harlan, delighted the crowd with turkey facts. Being a farmer himself, Ed gave insight into the farmers who provide us with delicious Thanksgiving foods. Ellie’s Donuts provided donuts for the children who wrote letters to the Commissioner and the fun day was complete with many “selfies” taken with Danny. It’s not everyday that one can say they took a picture with a Royal Palm Heritage breed turkey, but the customers of the Franklin Farmers Market can check off that one on their bucket list!

 

At this very moment Danny the Turkey is being Pardoned by TN Commissioner of Agriculture Jai Templeton to the delight of Liberty Elementary School Children and residents of Franklin, TN

The Franklin Farmers Market is open 52 weeks a year. Gone are the days of markets closing down in the winter months due to no produce. The farmers at the Franklin Farmers Market grow year-round thanks to crop row covers, hoop houses and green houses. The meat producers provide beef, pork, chicken, lamb, turkey and vegetable producers have leafy greens, winter squashes, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, lettuces and more. It’s not hard to eat seasonally and locally right here in our hometown! This Thanksgiving we are grateful for the farmers who provide us with healthy, locally grown food to nourish our bodies and we are thankful to live in such a wonderful community of Franklin, TN.

The Franklin Farmers Market is open year round with winter hours of 9am-12pm November-March and 8am-1pm April-October The market is located at 230 Franklin Road behind the Factory.

TN Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture Ed Harlan visiting with the children of Liberty Elementary School about Danny the Turkey before Danny is pardoned.

3rd Annual Pardoning of the Turkey

The Franklin Farmers Market 3rd annual Pardoning of the Turkey is Saturday, November 18th at 10am sponsored by Herban Market. This fun, family oriented event is centered on our market turkey, Danny, of Earth’s Advocates Research Farm. Children will be delighted to meet and pet the Royal Palm Heritage breed turkey that will be pardoned by the Assistant TN Commissioner of Agriculture, Ed Harlan.

Friends and Family can pose with Danny the Turkey all market long!

Children are invited to download this coloring sheet and write a letter to the Commissioner of Agriculture asking him to grant amnesty to Danny for Thanksgiving. Deliver your letter by 9:45am to the market information tent for a chance to win a farmers market prize! There will also be a coloring tent set up for children visiting the market who want to color and write a letter on Danny’s behalf.

Market Sponsor Herban Market owners Matt & Ashlea Hogancamp with Ayla

The November farmers market is full of beautiful produce you may not know is still in season, just in time for Thanksgiving! November 18th is the perfect time to buy your sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens, radishes, turnips, pumpkins, winter squashes and more! Some farmers will still have cherry tomatoes available to go with the lettuce! Bring your children to the market as we give thanks to the farmers and teach them where our food is grown and enjoy our wonderful celebration of Pardoning of the Turkey! Thank you Herban Market for sponsoring this fun event for kids, families and friends. We look forward to your free Olive Oil tasting at the market!

“The Franklin Farmers Market has always done an excellent job of connecting local families to local farm foods. I’m especially pleased to be a part of this special event because it extends that connection to school children who are learning about the importance of agriculture in our lives.” Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Jai Templeton  

The Franklin Farmers Market is open year round with winter hours of 9am-12pm. The market is located at 230 Franklin Road behind the Factory.

A large crowd gathers each year to see if Danny the Turkey is given a pardon.

 

 

Farmer Jon Gives Pumpkins to Kids

Students at Liberty Elementary School got an October treat on Halloween Day when “Farmer Jon” delivered a trailer full of pumpkins to their school. Jon and Teresa Clarke of Purple Tree Farm in Shelbyville are farmers at the Franklin Farmers Market. Every year they bring their most beautiful and unique pumpkins and mums to the farmers market, and this year they shared their bounty with Liberty Elementary School for their annual Fall Fling. Children in grades 1-4 chose their favorite pumpkin to take home. “Farmer Jon,” as the children lovingly referred to him, grew pumpkins of all sizes, shapes and colors and drove them from his farm in Bedford County.

This season has been a wonderful one for TN pumpkin growers. The weather has been just right for the perfect Halloween decoration. Purple Tree Farm owner, Steve Grace and farmers Jon and Teresa grew many varieties that one can only see at the Franklin Farmers Market and not in stores. After the peak market season they were left with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes that did not sell at the market. The neighbor’s cows usually look forward to October’s special treat, but this year Jon wanted to give back to the community that has supported his business for many years at the Franklin Farmers Market, and what better way than to bring his farm to the city of Franklin’s children.

From left to right from Liberty Elementary School Assistant Principal Dr. Jenetta Davenport, Principal Dr. Cheryl Robey, Franklin Farmers Market Director Amy Tavalin with Jon & Theresa Clarke of Purple Tree Farm

Principal Dr. Cheryl Robey called each class outside to meet their farmer and choose a pumpkin. Turks Turban, a unique heirloom pumpkin, was the choice of many of the happy students. White pumpkins, colorful carnival acorn squash and tiny orange pumpkins that fit in the palm of their hands were the delight of the smaller children. Over 500 children went home with a pumpkin of their choice from Farmer Jon and the school Fall Fling Day was a success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about Farmer Jon and other vendors at the Franklin Farmers Market, visit the Franklin Farmers Market every Saturday at the Franklin Factory, 230 Franklin Road, Franklin, TN 9am-12pm November-April and 8am-1pm May-October.

Sweet Summer at the Franklin Watermelon Festival

The Franklin Farmers Market hosted its annual Franklin Watermelon Festival on Saturday, August 19th presented by Market sponsor, Williamson Medical Center. You can view all the photos of the Watermelon Festival here.

 

The annual Watermelon Festival grows larger every year, and this year the Franklin Farmers Market had record crowds to celebrate the fruit of summer. Fun events included a seed spitting contest for adults and kids and a very popular watermelon eating contest for both kids and adults. Other watermelon festival activities included free face painting and games for the whole family.

 

 

 

 

 

One contest had over 400 entries- the Guess the Weight contest. The largest melon at the market came in at 49lbs 8oz. The weight was guessed perfectly by market customer, Terri Dixon who got to take the melon home.

One of the most popular contests of the day is the Watermelon Eating Contest. Adults and kids get their own contest and eagerly participate for bragging rights on who can eat a piece of watermelon the fastest (with hands behind their back, of course). This year in an amazing coincidence, our winners of the kids and adult contests are father and son- the fun must run in the family!

The winners of the 2017 Kids Watermelon Eating Contest are:
1st Place- Thomas Malone
2nd Jason Wang
3rd Place Kellen Sakkinen

The winners of the 2017 Kids Watermelon Eating Contest are 1st Place Thomas Malone, 2nd Place Oakley Smith and 3rd Place Kellen Sakkinen. Congratulation to all the kids who participated!

Kids love watermelon!

The winners of the 2017 Adult Watermelon Eating Contest are:
1st Place- Tim Malone
2nd Place-Oakley Smith
3rd Place- Nicole Medina

The winners of the Adult Watermelon Eating Contest are right to left, 1st Place Tim Malone, 2nd Place Oakley Smith, and 3rd Place Nicole Medina. Congratulations on a great job by everyone!

We think the Adult winners had the most fun!

To help us celebrate the watermelon even more, the Leiper’s Fork Carving Club carved beautiful and unique creations from watermelons in a matter of minutes! It was truly amazing to see what they could do with an ordinary watermelon and customers enjoyed learning more about their artwork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The watermelon seed-spitting contest continued throughout the morning and the winners were announced at 11:30am. It was amazing to see how far some of our smallest “spitters” could get their seed to go!

The winners of the 2017 Kids Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest are:
1st Place- Warner Campbell at 17ft.5in
2nd Place- Gavin Murphy at 16ft 11in
3rd Place- Isabell Campbell at 15ft 9in

The winners of the 2017 Adult Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest are:
1st Place- Mark Mickholtzick at 32ft 9in
2nd Place- Steve Redding at 30ft 5in
3rd Place- Todd Atkins at 28ft 5in

A Huge Thank You Williamson Medical Center for your 6th year of supporting our farmers market! This event is not possible without your support!

The Franklin Farmers Market vendors and local farmers joined in the fun celebration in their own way. Padrino’s Pops quickly sold out of their famous watermelon pops, and Belle Springs Lemonade wowed the crowd with their handmade watermelon lemonade with melons sourced from the farmers, and Califarmia had their own homemade watermelon water concoction. By 11am Delvin Farms had given away 250 watermelons in samples along with Colbert Farm who gave hundreds of free watermelon samples to the many customers who attended the festival. The Franklin Watermelon Festival ends the summer with a bang!

 

 

 

 

The Franklin Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8am-1pm behind the Factory in Franklin, TN. The market is a 15 yr old producers only market with the largest assembly of local farmers providing fresh farm food all year long each Saturday morning. Find us at 230 Franklin Road behind the Factory. Visit us online at www.franklinfarmersmarket.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest market news. Visit this link to view all the photos of this years Franklin Watermelon Festival.

 

A Big Thank You to the Williamson Herald for your coverage and promotion of this years Franklin Watermelon Festival!

Family Fun at the Annual Franklin Watermelon Festival

The Franklin Farmers Market will host its annual Franklin Watermelon Festival on Saturday, August 19th from 8am-1pm. Market sponsor, Williamson Medical Center, is hosting what is sure to be the highlight of your weekend as we celebrate summer’s favorite treat. Williamson Medical Center is an invaluable partner for our market, providing not only medical care for our farmers and customers, but wellness programs and classes to help us make the best healthy food choice, such as watermelon. At the Franklin Watermelon Festival, our local farmers will have the best of their watermelon crops ready for tasting, and customers will have their chance to guess the weight of the largest watermelon ever grown!

The Watermelon Eating Contest is the most favorite kid and adult event of the year!

We are so very grateful for the support of Williamson Medical Center and what they mean to our local community 24/7 all year long! Pictured from left to right is Paul Bolin, Chief Financial Officer; Julie Miller, Chief Operating Officer; Stephanie Clark, Director of Marketing and Business Development; and Lori Orme, R.N., Chief Nursing Officer, F.A.C.H.E.

 

 

 

 

 

Our produce farmers have carefully tended the watermelons in the field in preparation of this annual event and they tell us that this year is a record year for delicious watermelons. Colbert Farm, Delvin Farms and Kirkview Farm will have watermelons ripe and ready for tasting, seed spitting, carving and more.

Fun events include a seed-spitting contest for adults and kids beginning at 9:30am, watermelon eating contest beginning at 9:30am for kids and 10:30 for adults. There will also be a kids activity area with face painting and games for fun for the whole family. For a special treat, the Leiper’s Fork carving club will be carving beautiful creations from watermelons. Come out to see the amazing artwork and marvel at the unique designs.

 

 

 

 

 

Big and Juicy Sweet Watermelon from Colbert Farm, Delvin Farms and Kirkview Farm

Our vendors and local farmers are joining in the fun celebration in their own way. Padrino’s Pops will have watermelon pops, Belle Springs will have watermelon lemonade and Ellie’s Old Fashioned Doughnuts will have a special red donut that is sure to be superb. Join us from 8-1pm Saturday August 27th for a fun celebration to see what other vendors have prepared for the Watermelon Festival.

The Franklin Watermelon Festival is more than just celebrating the best of summer. It is a fun, family friendly event celebrating all that is good about our community farmers market, from wonderful market sponsors such as Williamson Medical Center, to our loyal customers who support our farmers every week, rain or shine.

The Franklin Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8am-1pm behind the Factory in Franklin, TN. The market is a 15 yr old producers only market with the largest assembly of local farmers providing fresh farm food all year long each Saturday morning. Find us at 230 Franklin Road behind the Factory. Visit us online at www.franklinfarmersmarket.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest market news.

The True Sign of Summer, The Watermelon

Delvin Farms organically grown Crimson Sweet Watermelon

Delvin Farms organically grown Crimson Sweet Watermelon grown in Harpeth river bottom soil

Nothing says summer more than a big, ripe, juicy, deep red watermelon. It doesn’t matter if you’re from the deep south or far north, everyone loves the official “fruit of summer.” My mother was a true watermelon lover. No picnic was complete without watermelon. No summer Sunday dinner was complete, until the watermelon was pulled out of the ice. With one tip of the knife, it’s cold solid mass was popped open to reveal a deep red lusciousness that would soon be running down the chin’s of every child present. The mere presence of watermelon brought on a festive atmosphere.

The choice favorite of the time was the Crimson Sweet, a largely stripped melon which was always in the “picnic family” of melons because of its high-sugar content and great flavor. Spitting seeds at the picnic also added great fun and making memories out of simple pleasures. We organically grow the Crimson Sweet here at Delvin Farms for those same reasons. The Crimson Sweet is an old favorite and thrives in the hot summer days nourished by the cool waters of the Tennessee Harpeth River. The Crimson Sweet is a classic favorite whose tradition we proudly carry on.

Another summer favorite is the sugar baby watermelon. Delvin Farms chooses to grow the La Mar seedless sugar baby. Its round, dark green outside conceals a deep red, crisp inside. Its small size, up to 12 pounds, is the perfect “refrigerator” melon that can be easily accessed and enjoyed when those watermelon cravings hit. Both varieties of melons grow well in home gardens and will fill the bill for luscious melon flavor.

Mama didn’t fancy it up with watermelon salads; the simple fruit was enough for us, but today we take the watermelon into the gourmet spotlight. Here are a couple of ways to prepare the all time favorite watermelon and bring it to the formal dinner table.

Watermelon and Feta Cheese

INGREDIENTS
• 3 cups of small watermelon chunks
• 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
• 1/2 cup black olives
• Black pepper to taste (optional)
• Lime juice (optional)
Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy!

Another Version!
Ingredients:
• Per serving:
• 3/4 – 1 cup of cold watermelon, cubed
• 1/4 cup of feta cheese, crumbled or cubed
• 1/4 medium red onion, cut in paper-thin slices
• 1/4 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinaigrette
Preparation:
Place the watermelon in a bowl, top with most of the onions, then the feta cheese. Place remaining onions on top. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, and serve.