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Market Blog

July 19, 2016

Community Farm Day Wrap-Up

More than 10,000 people came together this past Saturday at the Nashville Farmers' Market 2nd Annual Community Farm Day to celebrate the bounty of the season and summertime fun. Over 40 farms were in attendance, selling out of fresh sweet corn and tomatoes throughout the day, and hundreds of people gathered around the Edible Kitchen for live Smoked Corn Pudding demonstrations by chef Mike Arnold. Close to $1,000 was raised at the Community Farm Day Cookout, and over 100 ears of sweet corn were ferociously shucked at the event's Corn Shucking Contest and donated to The Nashville Food Project. It was an outstanding event filled with diversity and smiles, with many merchants claiming it was the best day they'd ever seen at the NFM.

The morning kicked off with two demonstrations by chef Mike Arnold in the Edible Kitchen. More than 300 audience members gathered as Arnold demonstrated a savory Smoked Corn Pudding with Tomato Jam, and enjoyed samples (and seconds) after the show. We'd like to thank Pack Farms, JD Country Milk, Galena Garlic Company, and KLD Farms for their contributions, and our friends at Edible Nashville for executing such an engaging event.

Adjacent to the Edible Kitchen, shoppers perused the free Tomato Tasting Table hosted by the UT/TSU Extension - Davidson County. Children and adults lined up to graze eight different heirloom and hybrid tomato varieties provided by our farmers, including Cherokee Purple, Celebrity, Pink Girl, Ultra Pink, Black Cherry, basic cherry, and Bradley. Athena's Harvest Farm, Howell's Produce, Hancock Family Farm, Swafford Farms, and Smiley's Farm all donated to the tasting table, and many sold out of the varieties at their market table that shoppers liked the best.

The live music corner  sponsored by White's Family Farm kept the bustling crowds lively throughout the busy day. Jeremy Holt and the Tennessee Field-Hands picked bluegrass tunes for an audience of fans who sat on quilt-covered hay bales and enjoyed the show. It was fun way to kick off the newly implemented Music at the Market program that brings more live local musicians to participate at market events.

B&C BBQ owner Ed Smith joined with our local farmers to sponsor the Community Farm Day Cookout that raised money for the Music at the Market program. Farm-raised sausages and Tennessee-grown sweet corn were donated and grilled to perfection by Smith himself who manned the grill throughout the day. Thank you to our participating farms and merchants—Walnut Hills Farm, Tennessee Grass Fed, KLD Farm, Conry Farm, and The Picnic Tap!

Fisher's Orchard brought a heart-warming element to Community Farm Day by sponsoring the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum Musical Petting Zoo. Instead of coming face-to-face with live animals, kids were given the opportunity to tap and strum tambourines, violins, banjos, and guitars. It was wonderful to see so many smiles and budding musicians at the Market, and we look forward to hosting the musical petting zoo once again.

At 12:30 pm, the Corn-Tomato Recipe Competition kicked off in the contest judging corral. Emily Roberts won 1st Place in the amateur category with her grandmother's Tomato and Corn Spoonbread recipe, and Beth Piper of Nooley's Cajun Cuisine took home the gold for the professional category with her Corn and Tomato Gazpacho with Tomato Po' Boy. Congratulations to the winners!

Finally, in the afternoon, competitors of all ages came together to go head-to-head at the Market's Corn Shucking Contest. Cam Conry of Conry Farms gave a quick shucking demonstration before the contest commenced, and husks and silks flew through the air as the clock was counted down. Congratulations to our tiny-but-might winner (and Conry for giving some back-up support). All ears of corn were donated to The Nashville Food Project.

Thank you to all our guests who came out to support our local and regional farmers' at the Nashville Famers' Market Community Farm Day, and to our sponsors The Tennessean and Bells Bend Conservation Corridor. Without your support this outstanding event would not have been possible. We hope you will continue to support farmers and local agriculture at the next farmers' market event, Watermelon Throwdown on Saturday August 6th, 2016, sponsored by Simon's Produce. We'll see you all at the Market!