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May 15, 2017

Local Spring Fruits and Vegetables Shine

Last Saturday, local spring fruits and vegetables shined on market tables at the Nashville Farmers' Market. Bouquets of locally grown farm flowers went home as gifts for Mother's Day, and more locally grown produce, like buttercrunch letttuces, strawberries, kohlrabi, kale, and lots more arrived for wholesome weekend meals. We're expecting an even larger crowd and more vendors this Saturday, so don't miss it!

May 15, 2017

Grow Local Kitchen Schedule

Curious about what international cuisines will be popping up in the Grow Local Kitchen this week for lunch? Here's your weekly schedule. Today, we're featuring the Southern fusion cuisine of Chef Batts. Try dishes like Chili Salmon, Chili Chicken, Raspberry Cornbread, and Smoked Grits Mac 'n' Cheese.

Mon. May 15 - Legume's Ethiopian Kitchen
Tues. May 16 - Laovin It, Laos cuisine
Wed. May 17 - Chef Batts Catering, Southern fusion
Thurs. May 18 - Chef Batts Catering, Southern fusion
Fri. May 19 - Ate's Filipino Kitchen
Sat. May 20 - Caracasville, Venezuelan cuisine (9am-3pm)
Sun. May 21 - Caracassville, Venezuelan cuisine (9am-3pm)

May 8, 2017

Strawberry Jubilee Nashville’s Largest Strawberry Festival

Nashville’s Largest Strawberry Festival was a sweet success this past Saturday as more than 10,000 festival-goers attended the Third Annual Strawberry Jubilee and purchased more than 5,000 quarts of berries from 10 local and regional farmers. Kids participated in a frenzied strawberry eating contest, and nine local bakers entered their best strawberry cakes into the strawberry cake contest. Most vendors sold out of goods as the sunny day progressed, and shoppers left the market with flats of strawberries and sweet treats like homemade strawberry ice cream in tow.

This year’s Strawberry Jubilee hosted a total of 10 local and regional strawberry farmers compared to last year’s eight. Crowds poured in after all signs of rain had passed, and many vendors sold out of products before the festival’s end. Many merchants claimed it was the best day at the Nashville Farmers’ Market, and the addition of 150 parking spots around Bicentennial Park gave guests easier access to the market.

Nashville’s Mayor Megan Barry made a special guest appearance, along with Councilmember Freddie O’Connell, to ring the opening bell that officially kicked off peak growing season.  The market enthusiastically welcomed “Chopped” champion and executive chef of The Mockingbird Nashville, chef Brian Riggenbach, to the Edible Kitchen, where he demonstrated a strawberry gazpacho with fresh strawberry pico de gallo that audience members thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you to White’s Family Farm for donating their fresh, Tennessee berries for Chef Riggenbach’s demo!

The vast samples of handmade, artisan foods available at Strawberry Jubilee were a tasty highlight for food-lovers. Shoppers grazed market tables of homemade strawberry skillet cobbler, varieties of cheesecakes, double-chocolate strawberry cookies, strawberries-and-cream brioche rolls, and even barrel-aged balsamic vinegars that paired with fresh strawberries.  

Speaking of samples, Strawberry Jubilee 2017 was lucky to have the participation of the Junior League of Nashville’s Kids in the Kitchen program who expertly managed the annual strawberry tasting table. There, shoppers could sample berries from our 10 different farmers. There were many first-time local strawberry tasters which made for many smiles. Plus, kids loved competing to eat a quart of strawberries in the kids’ strawberry eating contest.

Speaking of contests, there was fierce competition amongst our bakers who entered the strawberry cake contest, making our judges jobs quite difficult. Yet, it was Kirbee Miller’s strawberry cake with vanilla cheesecake filling and candied pretzels that took home the first place prize, with Liza Husin coming in second and heather Mckaskle third. Thank you to everyone who participated and to our judges!

The Nashville Farmers’ Market’s next festival, Community Farm Day, is set for July 1st, and will be a down-home, 4th of July celebration at the peak of growing season. Come prepared to participate in the annual corn shucking contest, bring your dancing shoes for Jeremy Holt and the Tennessee Fieldhands, and sample some of the sweetest homegrown tomatoes grown by our local farmers. See you then!

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