I decided to take advantage of the local, organic produce sold directly by the farmers.
White tents are set up in a circle next to a church parking lot, and local, organic farmers convene every Wednesday afternoon to sell their produce. It's a "growers-only" marketplace, which means that the growers themselves have to be present to sell their produce. The point is to allow the customer to speak directly to the person who planted and harvested their food.
The connection established at the market is a relationship not only between people, but with the land. The farmers are the intercessors for the earth and the city-dwelling civilian like me -- they have an intimate relationship with the produce until it is mature. This is an enviable task, and I watch my neighborhood catch on as beautiful gardens become the desired front-yard landscape. Tomato hoops are taking the place of the trimmed shrub sculpture, and I relish the exchange. I, however, am so blessed with trees that nothing requiring full sun will live around my home.
The market hosts a variety of local farms and sellers, even including an Amish family farm. It's not all food, either -- I bought a gorgeous pair of handmade mother-of-pearl and silver earrings from Carol at her tent. She also makes wonderful vegan glycerin soaps, and handed me a sample. Ayesha of Angel Radiance also had a tent, but I already own two of her shimmery, hand-poured candles.
I walked away from the market with a huge bundle of kale, two heads of broccoli, a summer squash, two quarts of strawberries and a dozen eggs -- all organic. The eggs were from free-range chickens on all-organic feed. My previous dozen had yolks so deeply yellow and fresh that I can't go back to Kroger brand. They're cheaper than the organic offerings in the grocery store, too. Organic strawberries are so unlike the store-bought that I inevitably eat half the carton of strawberries before I even get home. If you've never tried one, they're well worth the drive out to a farmers market. I mean it. Eating organic and in-season has gained a new meaning for me since I've tried the strawberries!
Hank Delvin of Delvin Farms
is the head coordinator of the East Nashville Farmers Market, and his farm does a CSA program every season along with a tent at all three Nashville-area farmers markets. His CSA is the cheapest one I've found, but I didn't have the money up-front so I didn't join. Instead, I visit their stand at the markets each week. I will be visiting the other two in upcoming posts. I hope to see you next Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the East Nashville Farmers Market!