Yard to Table


The mornings start cool.  The days end warm.  It is May and Farmer’s Market time in east Tennessee.


Call me a kid in a candy store. I love the Farmer’s Market.


The first Farmer’s market of 2014 kicked off its 11th year in Market Square in downtown Knoxville recently.  The Farmer’s market will be a regular event on my families schedule saturdays this summer.  At least I will be there.  My teenagers?  That may be too much to ask.


These must not miss events bring together people of all walks of life.  The young, the old, the single, the married, the dog lovers (sorry, I didn’t see any cats for you cat lovers) come together to meet, to talk, to learn, and to support local farmers and merchants.  I learned so much this past saturday, I thought I would share the people and the new information learned as I meet and develop new friendships at the local Farmer’s Market.

My coffee was still steaming hot when I came across the Kimberlie from West Wind Farms.  She had just drove in from the Farmer’s Market in Memphis just 2 hours earlier.   This family owned, USDA certified organic, farm is located near Deer Lodge in Morgan county.  West Wind farms is pesticide, herbicide, and GMO free.  The passion that is West Wind Farms began in 1996.   Their website is a smorgasbord menu of healthy eating options from their farm.  From 100% grassed beef and lamb, to nitrate free bacon and pasture raised chicken and turkey, the healthy meat options are bountiful.  A wide spread of artisan cheese’s and unpasteurized cow’s milk are available.  If you want vegetables, look no further than the West Wind Farm Veggie CSA.  Other Community Supported Agriculture’s (CSAs) are also available.     In addition to an exhaustive menu, their website is a wealth of information.   Follow the West Wind Family Farm on Facebook, Twitter, Google plus, and Pinterest for more.


Just around the corner was Amy Campbell.  You may have heard her on WDVX previously hosting the Bluegrass gospel show.  Amy Campbell was promoting her new upcoming show—“Tennessee Farm Table”.  This new, exiting show is going to highlight “the local people who grow, preserve, and make” our foods in east Tennessee.  Her new show starts early summer 2014 on WDVX (89.9), saturday mornings from 9 am to 9:30 am.  If you want to learn about the people of east Tennessee behind the food then mark your calendar and listen to learn.  You can bet I will.


My coffee was still warm and barely touched as I stumbled across Alan and Janet DiEva of DiEva’s Herb Farm.  Alan DiEva, a Master Gardener from Rutgers, is from Sweetwater.  Alan and Janet relocated to Sweetwater in 2007.  It doesn’t take long for Alan and Janet’s passion to bloom—it is all about herbs.  Alan and Janet stumbled into owning their own herb farm.  Stop by and here their story.  It is a good one.  Alan loaded me up with Cumin, Lavender, Tarragon,   Cilantro, and Roman Chamomile.  Many more herbs and more information was available, but I only had so much time.   I will be back.


My next stop was breakfast.  Not actual breakfast, but edible plants for breakfast at the GreenBriar Farm & Nursery for Edibles.  These masters of plant edibles are located in Norris, Tennessee.  Their philosophy is “eat your yard, don’t mow it”.  They claim to have one of the oldest blueberry farms in Tennessee.  No annuals or perennials here, only edible plants.  From numerous varieties of blueberries, kiwi and rosebuds; if it is a plant to eat and you can eat it, you will find it here.  A great workshop they offer is “How to Blueberry”.  This workshop will provide the how to of fresh, home grown blueberries from May to September.  Blueberries all summer?  Sign me UP!  Find them on Facebook.


My morning was topped off with a surprise find in the Tree and Vine.  I had followed them on Facebook for a year and I had always wanted to go to the Tree and Vine, but I had never connect the dot.  My exit from the Farmer’s Market made sure I did and my view on Olive oils and Balsamic’s will be  forever changed.  Paul Karlsson’s passion is Olive oil and Balsamic’s.  These are no grocery shelf Olive oil and Balsamic’s.  These come straight from the source.  Paul’s passion is evident in his knowledge of the regions behind these great Olive oils and Balsamic’s.  The Tasting line will allow you to experience the explosions of flavor in person.  Paul will provide the background and experience.  For me, I walked out with the gold medal Laconiko Novello (early harvest, first day pressed) and the Aged Traditional Balsamic—Amazing!  Ginny McCormack, author of “Sunday in the South” was an added surprise and her book was a great Mother’s day pick-up.  The Tree and Vine is my new destination for Olive oil and Balsamic’s.  Find them on Facebook and Pinterest.


I am sure the summer will bring many more people, many more stories, and many more opportunities to live healthy and support our local east Tennessee community—Just not enough time.  But, I guess that is what next saturday is for.  Stay tuned and I hope I see you at the Farmer’s Market.

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