#3 Blooming Baskets – Rebecca Fly
Every day at the farmers market is a good day, but at this time of the year, it’s even better with summer fresh vegetables from local Tennessee farmers. You can practically bet that every time the FFM is open, you’re going to find something new to eat. For example, the first blueberries of the season were at the market this past Saturday. And so were the first tomatoes. People were lining up, anxious to get a bite of real tomatoes and other fresh vegetables.
Broccoli, squash, radishes, potatoes, lettuce, and herbs – it was all at the market. The warm Tennessee weather is really making the gardens grow providing some of the best fresh vegetables in recent years.
And a lot of you were getting ready for a big backyard grill out too, with tender cuts of meat from our farmers. If you have not tasted the beef, chicken, pork and lamb the FFM farmers have, you don’t know what you’re missing. Next Saturday, you’ll get your chance to find out what we’re talking about. On June 14th, the Hearth and Grill Shop and Chef Michael Martin of Whole Foods will come together for Grill Day at the Franklin Farmers Market. This is your chance to taste the best meat you’ll ever find and it’s all from the local meat farmers at the FFM. Big Green Egg Grills, the choice of grill masters everywhere will be used for the beef, pork, chicken, lamb and sausage seasoned and seared to perfection by Chef Michael.
Once you’ve tasted what our local farms have, you’ll know why meat from the FFM is so popular. You can view market pictures here.
So we’ll say it again – this is the time of the year when there’s something delicious and new to eat every week at the market… Wonder what you’ll find next Saturday?
Chilly with gray skies and a little sprinkle of rain here and there – doesn’t sound like a great day at the market, does it? But despite the weather, this past Saturday was a good day at the FFM. After all, there were lots of good late spring vegetables, such as broccoli, green onions and asparagus.
And there was a little hint of the good things to come with some early cucumbers, squash and tomatoes – yes, tomatoes! Those hoop houses the farmers use can really speed up the growing times on veggies.
Of course, there were strawberries too – lots of them. It’s definitely berry time in Tennessee. As we do every year at the FFM, we celebrate the arrival of strawberries with our annual Strawberry Festival. It takes place next Saturday (May 24th) and the weather is predicted to be sunny and warm – perfect for a day of homemade strawberry shortcakes, games for the kids and the Barnyard Petting Zoo.
Lots of folks were also going home Saturday with delicious cuts of meat, stocking up early for their backyard Memorial Day grilling to kick off summer in a delicious fashion. Speaking of grilling, the market’s Grill Day has been rescheduled to June 7th and hopefully the weather will match the great taste of the pork, beef, lamb and chicken from our meat farmers.
Chef Jeff Lunsford of the Hearth and Grill Shop will use his skills to grill lip-smacking samples for you to enjoy.
And finally, we notice this past Saturday that there’s more of the sweet treats at the market too, such as delicious Greek pastries and incredibly decadent toffee. We saw you munching. Confession time – we did the same thing! So yeah, it was less than perfect weather at the market. But it was still a great delicious day at the FFM!
And they’re off! It was just like a race this past Saturday as some of you practically ran through the market to get strawberries, the first asparagus, radishes and other spring goodies. The lines for strawberries were particularly impressive. But If you missed out on the ‘berries and new veggies, don’t worry. There should be even more next Saturday. With the warm temperatures and sunshine we had, things are growing a lot faster now. Enough so, that the market will begin its’ summer season next Saturday (May 3rd), giving you an extra hour to find your favorite fresh food. Market hours will switch to 8am – 1pm.
This past Saturday was also Volunteer Day at the market. We’ve got a great group of volunteers, but we can always use more to help with special events and market operations overall. A good number of people stopped and signed up to be a member of the FFM volunteer team. If you missed out, you can become a team member by visiting the Volunteer section of the market website. It’s a great chance to become friends with the farmers and vendors, be up close and personal for all of the FFM’s special events and to be styling in a really cool volunteer t-shirt too. Visit our volunteer page to learn more.
As we said before, days like this past Saturday really put things in the garden into high gear. Every weekend through the summer, there’s some newly harvest vegetable coming into market. It’s only natural to grab as much as you can to take home and enjoy.
But do you know how to take all of those veggies and turn them into the perfect meal? Find out how at the FFM’s Chef Saturday. On the first market day of every month, there will be a professional chef at the market to give you more ideas on cooking. This upcoming Saturday, Chef Cyndi Shalhoub who specializes in delicious healthy organic cooking will be at the market to show you great ways to prepare the perfect meal with the fresh food from the market. When you get a sample of what she prepares, your taste buds will be doing the happy dance!
We saw them too – red, plump and juicy and flying out of the market as fast as cars zooming around a racetrack. The very first local farm strawberries of the spring were at the FFM this past Saturday and some of you could not wait to get your hands on them. We can’t really blame you. Those beautiful strawberries were grown on Rocky Glade Farm and are a couple of weeks earlier than expected. But remember how we told you that farmers are pretty resourceful, using hoop houses and row covers to protect their crops from bad weather? That’s exactly what they did on Rocky Glade Farm. The Vaughn family raises a lot of good vegetables in the fields. But they also have two large hoop houses, which help to protect early spring crops from those last-minute blasts from winter. It all adds up to delivering delicious local farm produce like those early strawberries. We’re betting you’ll see more of them next Saturday.
It was one of those everything old is new again days at the FFM this past Saturday. Think about it for a minute. Sometimes it seems like winter drags on forever, with no bright flowers to see and no warm weather fresh veggies to enjoy. So when all the local farm produce of spring finally show back up again, it’s like we’re seeing them for the first time. That’s what it was like at the farmers market. There were new spring veggies to enjoy, like fresh green onions for the perfect salad.
Early starter plants, such as squash, tomatoes and cucumbers were going home to be planted by backyard gardeners.
Plus all the flowers… beautiful, bright flowers were found all over the market. Spring makes everything new again.
Have you ever wondered how the FFM comes together every Saturday, year-round? Sometimes to us, it seems like magic. But it is really the work of our volunteers who play an important role in making the Franklin Farmers Market the best market in Tennessee for local farm produce. We’re always looking for great volunteers.
Next Saturday is FFM’s Volunteer Day. It’s your chance to join the market team and help out in a variety of different ways. If you believe in local food, sustainability and the goodness of Tennessee farms, we’d love for you to be part of our team.
Look for the special farmers market Volunteer booth next Saturday at the front of the market and join the FFM team!
Allegedly, there is no “perfect” day. But this past Saturday came pretty close to being one a perfect farmers market day. It was a sunny, warm t-shirts and shorts kind of day and there was plenty of good food all around the market. One of the things that make the Franklin Farmers Market a good place to go on any day in the spring is to see what’s new – what’s growing on the farms, what springtime veggies are ready to enjoy. The bright colors of flowers were popping up all over the market, with bedding plants for people to take home and increase that curb appeal. There were the veggie “starter” plants grown by the farmers for those of you that like to do a little back yard gardening. It was a good weekend to grill out too and many of you were getting the best in beef, chicken and pork from our farmers to enjoy. Lots of smiling faces all around as everyone just got outside and enjoyed the day!
Of course, some of you were kind of pushing the season on Saturday, expecting to find such goodies as corn and tomatoes at the market. After all, you’ve see corn showing up in the produce section of the grocery. We’re anxious for corn, tomatoes and other summer goodies to be ripe too, but it’s not the time of the year to find those veggies at the market.
And while the weather plays a big role in when crops are ready to harvest, you can get a good idea of when your favorite fresh food will be at the market by stopping at the FFM’s Info Booth at the front of the market and getting what we call the “cheat sheet”. It’s a handy little chart that gives you an idea of when the peak season is for summer produce in Tennessee.
All in all, it was a great Saturday at the market. Lots of smiling faces all around as everyone just got outside and enjoyed day! See for yourself with a visit to our market photo gallery.
Isn’t it funny how the weather can affect your mood? Days of cold, cloudy weather can really bring you down, but when that first bright sunshiny day pops up, it’s amazing to see all the happy faces out and about. That’s the way it was this past Saturday at the Franklin Farmers Market. There was a big bunch of people all over the place, talking, smiling and picking up some of the best in fresh food from local farms that you could ever find. There were vegetables like sweet crunchy carrots and fresh lettuce for salads, along with sweet potatoes and herbs to spice things up a bit.
And then there were all types of soups, baked goods and sweets to take home.
All very delicious, but we’re anxiously waiting for the first real spring veggie to show up. There’s a whole lot of back and forth with the weather in March. It could be freezing cold one day and in the 70’s the next. But the official first day of spring is now just 3 days away and very soon, the first of the spring vegetables will be ripe and ready. We talked to all of the farmers at the market this past Saturday, asking about their spring crops. And after doing so, we’re betting that asparagus will be the first spring veggie to make an appearance at the market. Then again, broccoli or snow peas could surprise us and show up a bit early. But whichever one shows up first, it doesn’t matter. We’re just like you are…. Hungry for spring!
Saturday was the perfect day to be outside walking the dog, so we understand why some folks brought their dogs with them to the market. Unfortunately, the Franklin Farmers Market is not the place for the dogs. As much as we love them ourselves, dogs are no longer allowed at the market due to health and safety concerns. We’re asking everyone to please respect the market’s policy – don’t bring your pets to market!
That great sunshine on Saturday is the type of weather that makes you want to play in the dirt. We’re talking gardening. And we’re inviting your kids to play in the dirt and learn a little something about their food and the environment. The class schedule for our Growing Kids Educational Garden is now posted on the Kids section of our website. Classes begin in April and are designed for kids from pre-k to 3rd grade. And the classes are free! It’s a great way for your kids to learn where their food really comes from, with hands-on fun in the garden. Click here to get details and sign up for classes. Learn to Grow – Grow to Learn!
Since the Franklin Farmers Market opened in 2002, we’ve always called the Factory our home. But a lot of things have changed in the past 12 years. Instead of 8 farmers, we have over 70 farms at the market throughout the year plus local artisans, prepared food vendors and food trucks which makes the market a pretty popular place to go on Saturday mornings. It’s great that so many of you support local foods and local farms and we enjoy seeing everybody each week.
We love our home at the Factory. We’ve been there over a decade and it’s been a great place for us to be in. The Factory has been diligently listening to our growth needs along with what improvements can be made to make it the best location for you and our farmers. The market board is in active discussions with Factory officials about extending our lease and what can be done to make things easier for access to the market.
We also have been looking at other possible locations for the market, including the Bicentennial Park location, which is two blocks off the downtown square of Franklin. Some of you may remember it as the old boot factory location on North Margin Street. There’s a lot of activity going on in the area, including the 3rd Avenue extension project, which gives the park easy access from Hillsboro Road as well as downtown routes. We appreciate all the efforts from the City of Franklin in offering us new possible market locations.
But would that be a good home for the market? Is there a better location or is our current home at the Factory the best place for the market?
We’ve listed a few questions below and would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for supporting our Tennessee farmers and Artisans who work hard to bring the best quality produce, meats, baked goods and Artisan Crafts each Saturday to market.
The Polls are now closed, thank you everyone for voting and leaving your valuable comments.
How satisfied are you with parking for the Franklin Farmers Market (FFM) during our peak Spring, Summer and early Fall times?
- Always plenty of parking (9%, 16 Votes)
- I can find parking if I come early or late (52%, 97 Votes)
- It's too congested to get into the parking lot quickly (30%, 55 Votes)
- I've stop coming because of the lack of parking (10%, 18 Votes)
Total Voters: 186
How is your shopping experience during our peak Spring, Summer and early Fall times?
- There's plenty of room to shop among the vendors (2%, 3 Votes)
- It's crowded but I don't mind the crowds (37%, 70 Votes)
- I come early to beat the crowds (45%, 84 Votes)
- I've stop coming because it's too crowded under the shed (16%, 30 Votes)
Total Voters: 187
How long have you been a FFM customer?
- Since the beginning in 2002 (21%, 44 Votes)
- 5 years or more (31%, 64 Votes)
- 3 years or more (24%, 50 Votes)
- 1 year or more (20%, 40 Votes)
- I'm a newbie, less than a year (3%, 7 Votes)
- Never have visited the FFM (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 205
A foodie’s dream – that pretty much sums up how things were at the Franklin Farmers Market last Saturday. Think about it – there were lots of winter vegetables, like butternut squash and potatoes, perfect for tasty, warm soups.
There were tender cuts of beef, chicken and other meats to take home. There were healthy greens too and great fresh breads, muffins and other delicious baked goods.
Great dairy products, such as butter, cream and the best-tasting chocolate milk ever could be found at the market. Warm donuts, yummy Chicago-style hot dogs and delicious crepes could be munched on while strolling around the market too.
And fresh eggs in different shades of color…. There was even a blue egg! Definitely a food lover’s paradise!
One of the best things about the Franklin Farmers Market is getting to know the farmers. Know your farmer, know your food and the market gives you the perfect opportunity to do so. For example, do you know where the lettuce you’ll find in a grocery comes from? Think about it – it’s a guessing game at the grocery. At the market, you know where the food comes from. Talk to the farmers about what they grow or raise on their farms. Ask them about the varieties of vegetables and fruits they have or how they raise their cattle. And check out the farmers profile section of the market’s website for more info on the farms by clicking here.
No matter that Saturday was a little chilly. Lots of sunshine made it all worthwhile to visit the market.
We love to see the smiling faces at the market each week and we make a big effort to capture each smile for our photo gallery.
Did we catch you smiling at the market this past Saturday? Click here and take a look. (insert photo gallery link)
And finally, thanks to everyone who visits the market, whether it’s cold and wet weather or a sunny, perfect day. When you come to the Franklin Farmers Market, you are supporting Middle Tennessee family farms.
After a month of bone-chilling winter weather, suddenly everything changed for the farmers market. Sunshine and a high in the mid-60’s on the first day of February! Weird but wonderful weather for the month that’s typically the coldest of the year and it made it a great day to be at the Franklin Farmers Market. Lots of folks came out to get the best in fresh food and to soak up the sunshine with the farmers and vendors at the market. We saw lots of crunchy carrots and yummy apples from Kirkview Farm being snatched up and delicious sweet treats from the Norton Family Farm too. Those dried shitake mushrooms from Gardner Grove Farm were a hit. So were the Heirloom Tomato soup from Jones Mill Farm and the Potato Gouda Dill soup from Lucy’s Kitchen. Even the little ones got a taste of extra-special yummy food to take home with the fresh organic baby food from Chubby Bunny.
And despite their recent status as TV stars, the Biscuit Love crew was at the market too. They were featured in a recent segment on NBC’s Today show called “Marketing Makeover” that helps worthy small companies to keep growing and thriving. The thing we like best about the Biscuit Love Truck is that they use local and seasonal ingredients from such farms as Beaverdam Creek, Bloomsbury Farm and Bear Creek. We don’t think they were giving out autographs this past Saturday at the market, but they were serving up scratch made biscuit sandwiches like the East Nasty, with buttermilk fried chicken, cheddar cheese and sausage gravy.
And finally, there were a lot of parents on Saturday asking about gardens. When will tomatoes be back in season? When will strawberries be available? What about green beans? The farmers do have all the answers for you, but then so could your kids. How? By being a part of the FFM’s Growing Kids Educational Garden classes. It’s all about teaching kids about where their food really comes from and what it takes to get it from the garden patch to the table. There are lots of new features this year’s program, which gets underway in April. Details on classes and how to sign up will be released at the end of February in the market’s newsletter and website.