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August 24, 2017

10 Signs of Fall at the Farmers’ Market

We’ve noticed 10 conspicuously comforting signs that fall is around the corner at our farmers’ market, as summer begins to wind down after another sweltering stint. There’s a slightly cooler breeze in the air, and a few morning lows have been down-right chilly, yet it’s what our farmers are bringing to market from their fields that really reflect the season’s pending change. So without further ado, we give you the 10 Signs of Fall at the Farmers’ Market that you can find this weekend as you shop for late-summer produce

1)   Mums. Late-summer is when these fall favorites begin to arrive at our farmers’ market. This week, they’re trickling into the Farm Sheds in shades of ruby red, lemon yellow, and harvest orange.  Score yours this Saturday, and get a jump-start on your neighbors.

2)   Farmhand Dinner. Every year, when tickets to our Farmhand Dinner go on sale, we begin to get excited for a cool fall night celebrating our farmers with the city’s best chefs. Purchase your tickets, now, and find out which names will be behind this year’s spectacularly Southern 5-course meal.

3)   Pumpkins and Gourds. The first of these cucurbits that typically arrive in late August are the smaller varieties; a foreshadowing of the great pumpkin boom to come in September. So for now, grab a few for your kitchen table arrangement, and begin to plot where you’ll want to place the larger heirlooms and carvers to come.

4)   Ornamental Corn. These multi-colored, bejeweled ears of corn are a type of flint corn cultivated and eaten by Native American tribes. Today, our farmers grow these varieties for our shoppers to decorate with, and we don’t think there’s a better way to celebrate fall than with a front door adorned with a bushel of these bunches.

5)   Wheat Bundles. Speaking of adorning doors, these bundles of wheat come from the fields of our farmers; not the shelves of major box hobby stores. Make your fall wreaths using these lithesome stems—they’re simply stunning in fall flower arrangements, as well.

6)   Smiley’s Pea Sheller. The arrival of the Smiley’s famous pea sheller at market signifies two important things—it’s peak pea week in Tennessee, and summer is beginning to come to an end. Shop for freshly shelled, local pink-eye purple-hull peas this Saturday.

7)   Hot Chili Peppers. Not only do peas and beans proliferate in the hot, hot heat, so do hot, hot chili peppers! Find the hottest of the chili peppers at our farmers’ market right now, including seranos, poblanos, habaneros, and the world’s hottest chili pepper, the Carolina reaper. If *YOU* love hot chili peppers, don’t miss Nashville’s spiciest international event, the International Pepperfest on September 9, 2017.

8)   Sweet Potatoes. What makes peppers hot makes potatoes sweet—heat! When the weather begins to cool, you know the sweet potatoes are beginning to be harvested from the fields. Grab them now and get ready for a sweet potato roasting party!

9)   Popcorn. Move over, Orville Redenbacher. These kernels are grown and dried locally. Get your farm-grown popcorn this weekend from Simons’ Produce for special movie nights and low-calorie snacking.

10)   Fall Vegetable Plants. Gardens of Babylon is beginning to stock up on all the fall crops from collards to spinach to cabbage and Brussels sprouts. So get your fall garden beds weeded and fertilized, folks. Fall flavors will be at your fingertips before you know it. 

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