Category Archives: Market Saturday News

5th Annual Pardoning of the Turkey

The Franklin Farmers Market 5th annual Pardoning of the Turkey is Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 10am presented by Walker Chevrolet. 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 TN Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr. Charlie Hatcher. 

Fans of Danny the Turkey gather for the Franklin Farmers Market Pardoning of the Turkey in 2018.






Children are invited to download a coloring sheet from the website the week of the event and write a letter to the TN Commissioner of Agriculture asking him to grant amnesty to Danny for Thanksgiving. 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 along with free face painting. Kids can also enjoy Trampoline jumping provided by market sponsor Springfree Trampoline. 

Chef Michael Martin of Southfork Catering will be cooking up samples of roasted sweet potatoes from Delvin Farms, turnip greens from Kirkview Farm and a new Cornbread Donut from Ellie’s Old Fashioned Doughnuts. This cornbread donut is a new item from Ellie’s and we are delighted to debut it at this special event. So for all you fans of Ellie’s Old Fashioned Doughnuts, you might try using the delicious new cornbread donut as stuffing for your Thanksgiving Day Turkey! 















The November farmers market is full of beautiful produce you may not know is still in season, just in time for Thanksgiving! November 23rd 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! 

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. 


Summer Zucchini “Pasta” Salad with Tomatoes & Fresh Basil

Summer is in full swing at the Franklin Farmers Market!  Summer squashes, tomatoes, and eggplants are everywhere, so now is the perfect time to try a new recipe that South Fork created for our Market tasting last Saturday. For this recipe, Romana used a vegetable spiralizer to transform the zucchini into thin “pasta” noodles to toss with fresh basil, garlic, and diced tomatoes. If you don’t have a spiralizer just use a vegetable peeler to shave thin ribbons or use a sharp knife to carefully cut the zucchini into your favorite pasta shape. You can also make this using yellow squash no problem. Good luck with the recipe and we’ll see you at the Market next Saturday



Summer Zucchini “Pasta” Salad with Tomatoes & Fresh Basil
Serves 4-6

6 medium green & golden Zucchini (Paradise Produce)
2 large ripe tomatoes (Paradise Produce)
1 small clove garlic (Beaverdam Creek Farm)
½ bunch fresh basil (Bloomsbury Farm)
2 tbl olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Wash and dry the zucchini, tomatoes, and basil to get started. Pick the basil leaves and set aside. Using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler, turn the zucchini into noodles or thin ribbons, place in a bowl and dice the tomatoes, then add them to the bowl. Chop the garlic finely as well as the basil leaves and add them to the tomatoes and zucchini. Season with the olive oil, sea salt, and pepper and toss to combine everything. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours before serving. The key to this dish is its freshness, but feel free to prep everything the day before and keep it covered in the fridge, but don’t mix it together until you’re ready to serve.


Michael R Martin
South Fork Catering Co.


Franklin Kids and Adults Celebrate the Watermelon!

The Franklin Watermelon Festival presented by AlphaGraphics of Franklin and hosted by the Franklin Farmers Market delivered smiles, sticky fingers, and soaked shirts of full of sweet watermelon juice. Our local Farmers did not disappoint with a large delicious crop of 8 different varieties that nearly sold out from all Farmers. Events ranged from the popular Watermelon Eating Contest for Kids and Adults, hence the wet shirts, free watermelon slices, face painting, and kids games. Visit this link to our website photo gallery for all the photos of this year’s Watermelon Festival.

Our market picnic tables were full of eager Kid and Adult watermelon-eating contestants. A fast one-minute time frame determined who would get to enjoy this year bragging rights as the quickest watermelon eaters of Franklin, Tennessee!












Last years first-place winner in the Kids contest returned this to defend his title, and he won again. Congratulations Shamarion Cooksey! Also, note his younger brother took 2nd pace.

Great job Kids!

Winners of the 2019 Kids Watermelon Eating Contest are:

1st Place – Shamarion Cooksey 2nd year in a row

2nd Place – Corey Cooksey

3rd Place – Avah Bramante





Winners of the 2018 Adult Watermelon Eating Contest are:

1st Place – Alan Tang

2nd Place – Jacob Blaze

3rd Place – T. Michael Twardowski






The Leiper’s Fork Carving Club attends each year carving beautiful and unique creations from watermelons during the Watermelon Festival. It was truly amazing what their hands and imagination can create each year, even a sailboat with sails this year. Thank you to each talented carver for making our event so special again this year.


A special thank you to Ryan Whited of Springfree Trampoline for supplying the incredibly safe trampoline for the enjoyment of kids jumping and dunking a small basketball through a hoop.

Our Farmers and Food Vendors provided refreshing drinks and foods. Padrino’s Pops sold many of their famous watermelon pops, and Belle Springs Lemonade wowed the crowd with their handmade watermelon lemonade with melons sourced from the farmers. And Ellie’s Old Fashioned Doughnuts served up beautiful watermelon red donuts!

Market presenting sponsor AlphaGraphics of Franklin provided much-needed signage and free Kids Coloring Books with Crayons. The Franklin Watermelon Festival is not possible without the generous support of community business leader Jim Bright, owner of AlphaGraphics of Franklin.Visit this link to our website photo gallery for all the photos of this year’s Watermelon Festival.

The Franklin Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8am-1pm behind the Factory in Franklin, TN. The market is a 16yr old producer’s 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 or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest market news. Visit this link to our website photo gallery for all photos of this years 2018 Franklin Watermelon Festival.

Watermelon & Tomato Salad with Local Goat Cheese and Mint

The Franklin Farmers Market is bursting with fresh watermelons and tomatoes right now. Come out this weekend and explore the market and see all of the different varieties to choose from. Evans Produce, Delvin Farms, Bloomsbury Farm, Paradise Produce, Beaverdam Creek Farm, Kirkview Farm, Colbert Farm, and others will have bushels of fresh summer vegetables and melons ready to take home! This week’s recipe is featuring 2 of the summer’s top offerings, watermelon, and tomatoes, as well as local goat cheese from Noble Springs Dairy. It’s delicious and it couldn’t be easier to make. Pick up a loaf of sourdough bread from Lucy’s Kitchen and toast off a few slices to serve alongside for a perfect summer lunch. Give it a try and I hope to see you in the Market this Saturday!

Watermelon & Tomato Salad with Local Goat Cheese and Mint

Serves 4-6

1 small Sugarbaby watermelon (Delvin Farms)
1 pint cherry tomatoes (Beaverdam Creek Farm)
½  small red onion, thinly sliced (Rosecreek Farm)
2oz. fresh goat cheese (Noble Springs Dairy)
Fresh mint
1 tsp sea salt flakes (I use Maldon)
Black pepper from the mill
1 tbl olive oil
½ fresh lime

Cut the watermelon in half and reserve one half for later. Trim the rind from the melon and pick out the seeds using the tip of a knife. Cut the melon into fork size pieces and arrange on a large platter. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place around the melon pieces on the platter and add the red onions on top. Crumble the goat cheese over the melon, tomatoes, and onions. Tear the mint leaves and scatter over the platter, then season with the sea salt flakes and a few turns of the pepper mill. Drizzle the olive oil and squeeze the half of lime over everything. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to let the flavors come together then serve. Enjoy!

Michael R Martin
South Fork Catering Co.

Family Fun at the Annual Franklin Watermelon Festival

The Franklin Farmers Market will host its annual Franklin Watermelon Festival on Saturday, August 24th from 8am-1pm. Market sponsor, AlphaGraphics of Franklin, is hosting what is sure to be the highlight of your weekend as we celebrate summer’s favorite treat.  AlphaGraphics of Franklin is an invaluable partner for the Franklin Farmers market, providing Print and Marketing Solutions to Franklin and Middle Tennessee including new market signage for 2019. Visit their booth at the front of the market shed during the Franklin Watermelon Festival and pick up a pack of our new 2019 recipe cards featuring produce and meat from our farmers. 

We greatly appreciate AlphaGraphics of Franklin as a new market sponsor this year. They’ve supported our community market with new signage and printing of the new recipe cards and so much more! Congrats on consistently being one of the top ten largest AlphaGraphics in the USA!

At the Franklin Watermelon Festival, local farmers will have the best of their watermelon crops ready for tasting, and customers will have their chance to win the watermelon-eating contest. 

Franklin Farmers Market farmers have carefully tended the watermelons in the field in preparation of this annual event and they tell us that this year looks to be a record year for delicious watermelons. Colbert Farms, Delvin Farms, and Kirkview Farm will have watermelons ripe and ready for tasting, watermelon carving and more. 

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

Market 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 in the fun from 8-1pm Saturday, August 24th for a fun celebration to see what other market vendors have prepared for the Watermelon Festival. 

The Leipers Fork Carving Club always provides the best Carving Entertainment this side of the Mississippi River.

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 AlphaGraphics of Franklin to loyal customers who support the 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 16-year-old producers-only market with the largest assembly of TN farmers providing fresh farm food all year long each Saturday morning. Find them at 230 Franklin Road behind the Factory. Visit online at or follow on Facebook and Instagram for the latest market news.

Enjoy this new Watermelon Festival Reicpe prepared by Chef Michael Martin of South Fork Catering.

How to Can Tomatoes

Canned TomatoesOne of my favorite things to do in the summer is to can tomatoes with Romana. We usually buy 4 or 5 cases of just ripe tomatoes and spend the day “putting up” tomatoes to use in the winter. There really is nothing like opening a jar of home canned tomatoes in January and making some rustic tomato sauce to go over pasta with a little grated Parmesan cheese. It’s just like opening a jar of summer sunshine. They also make great gifts! So here’s an easy way to can tomatoes!

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Canned Local Tennessee Tomatoes

(count on using 3 pounds of tomatoes for each quart Mason jar)


15 pounds just ripe local Tennessee tomatoes
15 teaspoons of sea salt

Bring 6 quarts of water to a simmer in an 8 quarts stock pot. Score a little X in the bottom of each tomato with the tip of a sharp paring knife. Remove and bits of stem on the tomatoes.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set aside to shock chill the tomatoes after blanching.
Working in batches of 4-5 blanche just ripe tomatoes in simmering water for 1 minute or until the skins begin to wrinkle. Remove each one to the ice bath. Peel off the skins and cut out the cores, then cut into quarters. Pack into clean, hot prepared quart Mason jars and press down with a clean wooden spoon until the jars fill up with tomato liquid, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon of salt for each quart. Wipe the rim of each Mason jar with a clean paper towel
and place on a new clean lid and then close and tighten the ring. Process in a boiling water bath for 45 minutes (35 minutes for pints, if using). Remove form the water bath using special jar tongs and place on kitchen towels to cool. Lids should seal so there is no movement when pressed. If you have some jars that don’t seal properly you can still use them, but you need to refrigerate them and use them within 2 weeks. Learning how to can tomatoes will deliver some delicious pasta winter meals. Enjoy!

canning jarstomato canningcan tomatoes local tomato canningFullSizeRender

Michael R. Martin
South Fork Catering



Summer Squash Salad with Sweet Onions, Olive Oil & Two Vinegars

South Fork had a great time cooking this past weekend at the Franklin Farmers Market. We broke out the grill and grilled a wonderful collection of meats from River Cottage Farm, The Fly Farm, and Tavalin Tails Farm. Additionally, we had loads of fresh produce from Evans Produce, Paradise Produce, Flying S Farms, and Kirkview Farm. Romana had a great idea to create a simple recipe on the spot to highlight some of the abundant squashes found throughout the market using just a few ingredients. She thinly sliced some Zephyr squash and candy onions from Paradise Produce on a mandolin and tossed them with some Herban Market olive oil and vinegar, a little salt and pepper and a touch of red wine vinegar. So simple yet very delicious! We handed out several hundred samples to market-goers and everyone requested the recipe! So here it is, give it a try and serve it alongside your favorite grilled meat this Summer! Hope to see you at the Market next weekend! PDF of Summer Squash Salad Recipe from the Williamson Herald



Summer Squash Salad with Sweet Onions, Olive Oil & Two Vinegars

4 cups thinly sliced Summer squash, like zucchini and Zephyr squash (Paradise Produce)
1/3 cup thinly sliced candy onions (Paradise Produce)
1 ½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil (Herban Market)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (Herban Market)
1 tsp red wine vinegar







This recipe is dead simple but packs big flavor. Serve it as a side dish or as a tasty base for a juicy grilled steak. If you don’t have a mandolin use a sharp knife and carefully slice as thin as possible.

In a large bowl toss all of the ingredients gently together. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to get a little chill, then serve. Enjoy!

An incredible recipe, easy and quick to make. Everyone needs to try this one!


Michael R Martin
South Fork Catering Co.







Grilled Lamb Chops with Cucumbers, Yogurt & Couscous

I always love grilling at the Franklin Farmers Market during the Summer Chef Demos. It gives me a chance to share the best of our local meat producers with the Market customers and to talk about the quality standards of each farm. Recently South Fork was grilling at the Market and we featured different cuts of meat from 4 different producers- Bear Creek Farm, Tavalin Tails Farm, The Fly Farm, and Peaceful Pastures. 

For this week’s recipe, I grilled some hefty double-cut lamb chops form Tavalin Tails Farm that was simply seasoned with salt & pepper and lemon zest. I picked up a few cucumbers and fresh dill from Rosecreek Farms to make a small salad to help bring out the depth of flavor from the pasture-raised lamb. Hope to see you at the market this weekend!

Grilled Lamb Chops with Cucumbers, Yogurt & Couscous

Serves 4-6
For the Lamb
2 double cut lamb chops (Tavalin Tails Farm)
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thinly (Rosecreek Farms)
½  clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbl of lemon juice
1 tsp Sea salt
Black pepper
Fresh dill (Rosecreek Farms)






For the Couscous
1 cup couscous
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup boiling water

Fire up the grill to medium-high. Season the lamb with ½ teaspoon of sea salt and some fresh ground pepper. When the grill is hot grill lamb on both sides, turning often until medium-rare. (145F) Set aside to rest. Toss the sliced cucumbers with the remaining olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of sea salt and some fresh dill. Set aside and make the couscous.

In a bowl stir together the olive oil and salt with the couscous, then add the boiling water and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove the plate and fluff with a fork. Spoon some couscous on a plate, add a dollop of Greek yogurt alongside, top with the cucumber salad and finally the lamb chops on top. Tear some fresh dill over everything, divide the lamb chops and serve.

Michael R Martin
South Fork Catering Co.

The Franklin Tomato Festival Celebrates the Queen of the Farm

The Franklin Farmers Market will host its 9th annual Tomato Festival on Saturday, July 20 beginning at 8am. Farmers will vie for the best tasting tomato in the popular taste test judged by you, the customer! Children will have many free activities for fun and entertainment. 

Customers will be in for a real treat with free tomato tasting from our local farmers.  No one will want to miss the tomato-tasting contest with 14 participating farms in the categories of Heirloom or Standard tomatoes.  This year our contest will be a blind taste test judged by the customers attending the market between the hours of 8:00am-10:30am. Winners of the contest will be announced at 11:00am. 

“The farmers market summer season is in full swing now that the “queen” of the farm has made her way to the market. Everyone waits for the perfect homegrown tomato and that wait is finally over! We are honored to have the largest selection of farmers in middle TN in one location, and proud to be a producers only market. You won’t find a better tasting homegrown tomato than right here in Franklin, grown by the farmers who are here,” says Franklin Farmers Market Director, Amy Tavalin. 

It’s a family affair at the Franklin Tomato Festival with free children’s activities that include Tomato storytelling by Magda the Story Spider, free face painting, kids games and a trampoline from market sponsor Springfree Trampoline. Everyone will enjoy free tomato tastings of locally grown tomatoes from our farmers picked less than 48 hours before the event. You can’t find a better, homegrown event than the Franklin Tomato Festival! 

Festival attendees can enjoy all that our market has to offer fresh, locally grown produce, locally made artisan goods and local food trucks for breakfast and lunch. Admission to the festival and the market is free.

The Franklin Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8am-1pm behind the Factory in Franklin, TN. The market is a 17-year-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 or follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest market news. 

Oven Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes with Basil and Sea Salt

The farmer’s market just comes alive when the first heirloom tomatoes arrive in June! There are so many ways to enjoy those sweet juicy tomatoes fresh: sliced on a BLT, chopped stirred into freshly cooked pasta or cut into wedges to go with your favorite salad. But another great way to make good use of a large quantity of tomatoes is the slice them in half and roast them. Use them to go alongside a grilled steak or a toasted flatbread.


A super tasty way to finish the roasted tomatoes is with a good drizzle of infused basil Olive Oil from Herban Market.

Oven Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes with Basil and Sea Salt

Find delicious Heirloom Tomatoes from Beaverdam Creek Farm and many of our other Farmers

2-3  lbs of large heirloom tomatoes, cut in half cross-wise
2 tbl olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
Small hand full of fresh basil leaves
Fresh ground black pepper from the mill
A good drizzle of Herban market Basil Olive Oil

Heat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the tomatoes cut side up and drizzle with olive oil and season with the sea salt. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to take on some color and the juices begin to concentrate.

Set aside to cool, drizzle the Basil Olive Oli and tear the fresh basil leaves all over the tomatoes, serve room temperature.  Can be store in an air tight container for 3 days. Bring to room temp before serving. Enjoy!

Michael R Martin
South Fork Catering Co.