Monthly Archives: August 2015

Franklin Farmers Market Watermelon Festival!

Come to the Franklin Farmers Market Watermelon Festival this Saturday, August 29, 2015, and experience fresh food, fun activities, contests, and more for the entire family. The Franklin Farmers Market Watermelon Festival is an annual event in celebration of a summer favorite where both adults and kids can engage in agriculturally-focused events like our popular Seed Spitting Contest, a Watermelon Eating Contest, and sample the freshest watermelon provided by our local farmers. And this year, the watermelons are particularly sweet, so you won’t want to miss this very special event.

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Last week, many of our younger market customers stopped by the Information Booth to ask about entering the annual Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest. They were excited to learn that this year mom and dad will have their own seed spitting contest, too!  The kid’s seed spitting contest will begin at 10am and will be followed by the adult’s seed spitting contest at 10:30am. So get those chops ready to propel some watermelon seeds, folks!

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Our young customers participating in the Seed Spitting Contest at the Franklin Farmers Market Watermelon Festival 2014

Back by popular demand, the exciting Watermelon Eating Contest will commence at 11am at the picnic table area. We just love seeing the kiddos having fun with cheeks and faces filled with bright red watermelon. Don’t miss it!


Lots of red faces and grins at the popular Watermelon Eating Contest.

The Leiper’s Fork Carving Club will return to the market this year to carve watermelons from Colbert Farm and Delvin Farms. Carving Club members Joe Holt and Vic Hood will be under the market shed carving melons that will be on display through out the market for our customers to view.



Leiper’s Fork Carving Club at the Franklin Farmers Market Watermelon Festival 2014

After you and the family peruse the watermelon carving table, take the little ones over to the White Rabbit Escapades tent for a fun Photo Booth Dress-Up activity where you and the kiddos can have some costume fun together.

Last but not least, volunteers of the Williamson County Medical Center will serve the “Eating in Season” Watermelon, Basil, and Feta Salad at the Franklin Farmers Market Watermelon Festival tasting booth. Williamson Medical center will also have a kid’s coloring tent for our younger customers to enjoy while mom and dad shop the market.



Watermelon, Basil, and Feta Salad

Nothing tastes like summer at the Franklin Farmers Market more than our Watermelon, Basil, and Feta Salad. This dish is cool and crunchy, juicy, sweet and sour—all the refreshing flavors needed to beat the summer heat. This recipe is one of many found in the Franklin Farmers Market’s Eating in Season cookbook, which is available to purchase every Saturday at our market.


Watermelon, Basil, and Feta Salad is available in the Franklin Farmers Market cookbook Eating in Season.

Watermelon, Basil, and Feta Salad begins by whisking together a sweet and tart dressing of fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and Johnson Honey Farm’s clover or wildflower honey.


A fresh lemon vinaigrette lightly sweetened with local honey forms the dressing for this watermelon salad.

Next, 1 small red onion is peeled, halved, and thinly sliced into half moons. Add the onion slices to the fresh lemon vinaigrette to marinate while the rest of the salad is prepared.


Marinating red onions first softens their natural bite, creating a nice pairing with summer sweet watermelon.

Then, sweet, ripe watermelon is cubed and placed into a serving bowl. Crumble on 4oz of tangy feta cheese, add the onions and lemon vinaigrette, and gently combine.


Crumble salty, tangy feta cheese onto sweet watermelon for a sweet and savory salad.

For a complete flavor profile, toss in 1 cup of fresh, pungent basil leaves, thinly sliced, just before serving. Enjoy on a late-summer afternoon with friends and family.


A chiffonade of fresh sweet basil leaves, rolled and thinly sliced.

Watermelon, Basil, and Feta Salad

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon local honey or agave nectar

1 small red onion

3-4 cups cubed seedless watermelon

2-4 ounces feta cheese

1 cup basil leaves

Late-Summer Bounty of Fresh Produce

We’re experiencing a late-summer bounty of fresh produce at the Franklin Farmers market this week. Heirloom tomatoes in all sorts of vibrant hues, fresh peas, newly-dug potatoes, herbs, fragrant melons and more are filling the stalls this week at our market. Speaking of melons, we are enthusiastic to announce this year’s Watermelon Festival on Saturday, August 29, 2015, with tons of fun for the kids’ and opportunities to taste the sweetest watermelons grown by our local farmers. So get ready to celebrate the late-summer bounty of fresh produce this week at the Franklin Farmers Market.


Kirkview Farm’s field-fresh peas.

Though the month of August is coming to a close, we are still experiencing a late-summer bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables at our market. Our stalls are still filled with late-summer fruits such as Kirkview Farm’s plums, Rainbow Hill apples, peaches from Evans Produce, and not to mention all those glorious watermelons and cantaloupes lining our farmers’ market tables. These fruits are nutritious, fresh, and grown by your local farmers.


Crisp Apples from Rainbow Hill Farm.

The end of August is also bringing a late-summer bounty of fresh vegetables, such as swaths of glorious tomatoes in all shapes, colors, and sizes, eggplant that comes in heirloom and Japanese varieties, a kaleidoscope of bell peppers, and crisp sweet onions — everything needed for the perfect ratatouille. Our farmers also provide your family with both red and green late-summer okra for frying or grilling, speckled beans and peas picked fresh from the field, and newly-dug sweet, red, and white potatoes for a farm-fresh mash or breakfast-style home fries. And don’t forget the abundance of herbs to add flavor to all your culinary endeavors. This bounty of late-summer produce is sure to inspire many ideas for seasonal cooking. Come and get it while you can this week at the Franklin Farmers Market!


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Watermelon Festival 2015

It’s that time of year again, and the Franklin Farmers Market is gearing-up to celebrate everyone’s favorite summer snack at this year’s Watermelon Festival 2015, sponsored by Williamson Medical Center. On August 29, 2015, come to experience fun for the entire family with kids’ activities, contests, competitions, watermelon salad samples, and more! So be sure to view the Watermelon Festival 2015 schedule below, because you and the kiddos will certainly want to carve-out some time to taste some juicy, sweet watermelons and to engage in agriculturally-focused family fun.

Ice cold watermelon slices at last year’s festival.

Our Watermelon Festival 2015 kicks off with the Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest for Kids at 10am, directly followed by the adult’s Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest at 10:30am. Afterwards, bring the entire family along with big appetites to the picnic table area for the Watermelon Eating Competition at 11am and compete to see who can eat a juicy slice of watermelon the fastest. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for all contests and competitions will be awarded with a watermelon to take home, Watermelon Festival 2015 certificate, and ribbon.

Watermelon Festival 2015 Schedule

10am – Kid’s Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest

10:30am – Adult’s Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest

11am – Watermelon Eating Competition (located at the picnic table area)


Watermelon Eating Competition at the Franklin Farmers Market.

In addition to competitions for the family and activities for kids, be sure to check out the Leiper’s Fork Carving Club booth where these excellent carvers will be transforming giant watermelons into fun and exciting pieces of art. Then, take the little ones over to the White Rabbit Escapades tent for a fun Photo Booth Dress-Up activity where you and the kiddos can have some costume fun together.


During all of these fun events and activities for the Watermelon Festival 2015, what about tasting juicy, sweet watermelon?? Well don’t fret, because our market has got you covered! Visit the Williamson Medical Center tent to sample a juicy bite from the Franklin Farmers Market recipe Book “Eating in Season” — Watermelon, Basil, and Feta Salad — and taste how delicious watermelon can be in creative, savory recipes.


We’re looking forward to seeing you all this year at the Watermelon Festival 2015. Until then, stay cool, everybody!

Mad About Melons!

This Saturday August 15, 2015, we’re mad about melons at the Franklin Farmers Market! Late summer is upon us and melons of all shapes, sizes, and varieties are at the peak of sweetness and arriving by the truckload. Our local farmers grow everything from watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydews to more interesting selections like white-fleshed canary melons, Korean chamoe melons, and more. So don’t forget your extra-strong tote bag this Saturday, because you’ll certainly want to take home a couple sweet summer melons.

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This time of year, melons are fragrant and ripe. They can be enjoyed right off the rind or in a number of dishes, both sweet and savory. We like to use them in fresh summer salads, such as our Watermelon Salad with Arugula and Feta. Their juicy sweetness is perfect to press for refreshing beverages and cocktails like a cantaloupe cooler blended with real gingerale and lime. In Spain, melons are paired with salty cured meats, and in Southeast Asia bitter melon is used to make soup. Melons are nutritious, versatile, and undeniably delicious — that’s why we are mad for melons at our farmers’ market!

Fresh cantaloupe from Paradise Produce.

But why stop at melons? Our farmers’ market has many local ingredients that can be paired with a juicy sweet melon. How about fresh mint? Or perhaps jalapenos? Maybe some red onion or salad greens? The Franklin Farmers Market has everything you need to get mad about melons at home with all your creative juices flowing.

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And don’t forget!! The Franklin Farmers Market will hold its Watermelon Festival on August 29th — a fun family celebration for our most popular summer melon. Come find all your favorites — Sugar Baby, Crimson Sweet, yellow/orange, and more. So see you and the family this Saturday at the Franklin Farmers Market as we get mad for crispy, juicy, sweet, summer melons!


Watermelon Salad with Arugula and Feta

Late August at the Franklin Farmers Market is an exceptional time for creating light meals such as a refreshing watermelon salad with arugula and feta. The sweetness of crisp Tennessee watermelon and the salty tang of feta pairs pleasantly with the peppery bite of arugula harvested fresh from the farm. Toss all these local ingredients with Tennessee honey, fresh mint, and lime, and you have a late-summer salad that really beats the heat.


Browsing for fresh melons at the Franklin Farmers Market is easy with farmers such as Stacy and Sonia Geny of Paradise Produce. This farm offers more than four types of organic summer melons, all of different flavors, colors, and textures. Their  yellow watermelon is not only juicy and sweet, but crisp enough to enhance the texture of this watermelon salad with arugula and feta. Once sliced and de-seed, it’s ready to be tossed in a tangy dressing with fresh greens or lettuces.


Yellow watermelon from Paradise Produce is a golden sunset yellow and sugar sweet.

When searching for fresh, local salad lettuces and greens, Norton Family Farms offers the largest selection of baby salad mix, arugula, kale, spinach, and more. Their tender yet spicy arugula is so fresh and fragrant, it makes a nice match for the sweet flavor of cool yellow watermelon. In fact, any of Norton Family Farms’ greens work well in this summer salad.


A bin of freshly-harvested Norton Family Farms’ arugula at the Franklin Farmers Market.

There’s nothing quite like feta to add the perfect amount of salty tang to a watermelon salad, and Noble Springs Dairy 100% goat’s milk feta really hits the mark. These goats forage on natural pastures in the same style as European dairies have for centuries, imparting unique flavors to the milk that make their artisanal cheese collections. Plus, the crumbly yet creamy texture of their feta leaves salad dotted with salty goodness throughout.


Noble Spring’s goat cheese feta adds a hint of salty tanginess to sweet yellow watermelon.

For the finishing touches, this watermelon salad with arugula and feta is tossed in a bright, citrusy-sweet dressing filled with fresh mint and hot pepper from Bloomsbury Farm, plus a dollop of Johnson’s local wildflower honey. Toss on a handful of toasted almonds, and you have a well-balanced profile to fulfill a Tennessee summer craving. Sweet, fresh, juicy, green, and bright — all the flavors of late-summer at the Franklin Farmers Market.


Watermelon Salad with Arugula and Feta

2 cups diced Paradise Produce yellow watermelon

2 cups tightly-packed Norton Family Farms arugula

4oz package Noble Springs Dairy feta

Toasted almonds or any other nut for garnish (optional)


1 juicy lime, juiced and zested

1-2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (grapeseed oil would be nice, too)

1 Tablespoon Johnson’s wildflower honey

2 large tablespoons chopped Bloomsbury Farm fresh mint leaves (almost 1/4 cup)

2 tablespoons minced jalapeno or poblano, seeds removed

pinch of salt and lots of shakes of black pepper


Prepare dressing in separate bowl. Combine all ingredients. Toss and serve.