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The Only Local Guide To Food And Farms In Middle Tennessee - Spring 2017
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N estled smack dab in the geographic center of Tennessee, just 34 miles south of Nashville, sits the historic haven-cum-college town of Murfreesboro. The Battle of Stones River, one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Civil War (with nearly 25,000 casualties), was fought right here. Now part of the National Park system, Stones River National Battlefield is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in history. If you come, plan to spend at least two hours visiting the museum and taking the self-guided tour of the battlefield. Civil War history aside, Murfreesboro is probably best known as the home of Middle Tennessee State University, one of the state’s largest and most renowned institutes of higher learning—and its sprawling campus is well worth a look. But those two landmarks are just the tip of all that Murfreesboro has to offer: Visitors will also find some of the finest eateries, shops and craftspeople in the state, many of them located on the town’s Historic Square. More...
N ot far off Tennessee’s first state highway, outside McMinnville, there is a 1400-acre tract of land with waterfalls and bluff overlooks. Its inhabitants constitute the Isha Institute of Inner Sciences. This center is one of a trio in service to the world, with the others located in England and India. More...
Eating the Landscape
By Eric Dorman
I t seems to us that foodscaping, also known as edible landscaping or “front yard farming,” would simply be the logical next step in the homegrown revolution, and that may be mostly true. But it wasn’t always true. While foodscaping is a hot trend now, the practice was revived during the recession of 2008, when people had less disposable income, and companies were charging more to try and cover costs and keep laborers. As a result, a lot of folks realized that choosing between farming and landscaping just wasn’t a decision they wanted to make. So why not combine the two? It saves time and money. More...
F in & Pearl may be the newest venture for restaurateur Tom Morales, but he considers it his flagship. The seafood-centric eatery in the Gulch, which opened in December, uses an app to track when, where and by whom each fish was caught. Water glasses made from recycled wine bottles sit on wooden tables built from sustainably harvested trees downed by a hurricane in Nicaragua. Behind the scenes, employees recycle grease, save oyster shells to be repurposed into gravel and concrete, and instead of throwing food into the trash, an ORCA liquid composter turns waste into water. More...
W hen I set out on my drive to meet Jenny and Darrin Drake, the owners of Peaceful Pastures, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Unlike other farms I had visited that were set up for agricultural tourism, Peaceful Pastures is dedicated to producing the finest all-natural, pastured, grass-fed meat—and I knew this visit would offer a completely different perspective into the daily life and passions of a farmer. More...
Got Garlic?
By Emily McGovern
A Garlic has more purposes than warding off vampires: It was one of the earliest known foods that humans used to treat and manage diseases; it was found in Egyptian pyramids and mentioned in ancient texts; and WWI and WWII soldiers ate garlic to prevent gangrene and rubbed garlic on wounds as an antiseptic to prevent bacterial infections.. More...
Fantastic Food Tours
By Tina Wright
C ulinary tourism, the pursuit of unique and memorable dining and drinking experiences in a given place, is one of the hottest trends in travel. And with Nashville stealing the spotlight as both one of this country’s top travel destinations and an “it” city for foodies, it should come as no surprise that some of the most delicious and informative food tours around are happening right here in Music City. Tourists and locals alike are flocking to sample the breadth of our city’s cuisine and learn more about its rich history; if you are looking to explore Nashville bite by bite, Local Table has done the legwork for you and rounded up three great tours to take now while tourist season is at low tide…and one to pencil in for the future. More...
T he fun and tasty Outside the Box benefit supporting Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee will be returning February 7 with a new lineup of delicious desserts. The tasting event features several local chefs’ unique interpretations of the renowned and ubiquitous Girl Scout cookie. More...
I like to find any reason to celebrate. Whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary, a half-birthday, a half-anniversary, or a national day of you name it - I’m celebrating it. When the United Nations declared last year (2016) as the International Year of Pulses I put on my party hat! More...
E d Harrison—founder and owner of Smarter Gardens, based in Columbia, Tennessee—grew up in a farming environment. Dairy farming was a vibrant industry when he was a boy in the 1960s, and when Ed was 12, he’d move from farm to farm in his area helping milk cows, ship the products and take care of the grounds. Then, he hit a wall. More...
L ocal Table Magazine and the Nashville Farmers’ Market (NFM) are excited to announce they will work together again to host the Third Annual Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair. The event will take place on Saturday, February 25, at the NFM, 900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. The event is free to the public and is a great opportunity to meet one-on-one with farmers and discuss individual growing methods, harvest schedules and pickup locations. General information on what a CSA is and how it works will be available to attendees. More...
Cranberries, Cranberries!
By Maggie Reinhold
A Cranberry bogs and New Jersey just go together. I grew up in South Jersey with a cranberry bog in my back yard! These bogs of “red berries” provided a year-round food source and/or entertainment for my family. During the spring and summer we’d explore the bogs, and then we’d harvest the cranberries in the fall. Finally, the freezing temps of winter turned our “food bogs” into a giant, frozen ice hockey rink. More...
Spaghetti Squash
By Nancy Childers
O ne of my favorite childhood memories are family dinners. Both of my parents worked, so dinnertime was truly a team effort. My younger brother and I would pitch in to help my mom cook and set the table, and when my dad got home from work, we would all sit down together and enjoy good food, rich conversation, and plenty of laughter. One of our favorite go-to recipes was spaghetti; because it was so easy and very kid-friendly. I was much more motivated to help in the kitchen when I knew spaghetti was on the way! More...
Of Produce and Passion Projects
By Eric D. S. Dorman
M ore and more often, people are getting in touch with their passions and discovering that healthy, wholesome, tasty food is right up their alley. They aren’t doing it to make a killing. They’re doing it to make themselves and their customers happy. Thankfully, that approach seems to be working out for a few Middle Tennessee businesses: Twin Forks Farm, Nut Butter Nation and Southern City Flavors. More...
The Treehouse Restaurant
By Leslie Lassiter
T ucked under a canopy of trees in the Five Points area of East Nashville is a restaurant that was converted from a house just a couple of years ago. Co-owners Matthew Spicher and Corey Ladd felt that the home—complete with a custom-built tree house out back—that had been in their family for 25 years was the perfect spot for a restaurant that specialized in “elevated” late-night dining, the type of place that could fill the void between the neighborhood’s upscale anchor restaurant, Margot, and the bars that keep the area buzzing into the wee hours. More...
A Tale of Two Tearooms
By Jessy Yancey
I n today’s fast-paced world, coffee may keep us going, but tea, an ancient beverage enjoyed around the globe, encourages us to pause and savor the moment. In Middle Tennessee, a pair of tea shops are helping people slow down and connect with each other through this timeless tradition. More...
Collard Greens
By Kelsey Cain
C ollard greens, a staple of Southern cuisine, are often part of the classic “meat and three.” “What’s a meat and three?” you ask. You can find this combo at most traditional southern restaurants: a meat with three vegetables on the side. Collard greens are often a requested side item! More...
M iddle Tennessee is a day-tripper’s delight. Our region is blessed with a plethora of small towns filled with picturesque charm, vibrant history and amazing things to eat and drink, see and do. And while locales like Lynchburg, Leiper’s Fork and Bell Buckle may get more ink, few area towns have more charm to offer than Lynnville, Tennessee. More...
Gentry's FARM
By Ursula King
E ach fall, Gentry’s Farm, in the gently rolling hills beside Gentry Lake and the Harpeth River in Franklin, Tennessee, celebrates all the harvest has to offer by inviting the public to visit. This invitation is both the culmination of the growing season and an annual renewal of commitment to running this Tennessee Century Farm* by Allen and Cindy Gentry and their son, Jase, and it allows the family to share with the community the land they are blessed to responsibly work. More...
A long Jefferson Street, indicators of urban renewal projects dot the landscape as Nashville’s development boom creeps westward from Germantown. Sweet Creations founder and co-owner Barbara Toms wants to ensure that as this occurs, the existing community remains involved with the changes. That’s just a small part of the larger mission of Sweet Creations, the pie bakery and café situated on the edge of the Jefferson Street business district. More...
I Can Cook Bruschetta!
By Anastasiia Smyrnova
I t is very rare that I get excited about cooking, but when it comes to bruschetta - the heavenly and nutritious meal on toast - sign me up! The word bruschetta (pronounced “brusketta,” not “bruschetta”) originated in central Italy and simply means a “slice of toasted bread.” Centuries ago, bruschetta was baked in community ovens on the outskirts of Italian villages and small towns. After baking, the warm and crisp bread was rubbed with garlic and dipped into oil. Today’s version of bruschetta doesn't require a set recipe; it can be modified and transformed in many different ways - as appetizers, snacks, or even entrées. Although bruschetta was created as poor villagers’ food, nowadays the popularity of this traditional antipasto comes from amazing taste, simplicity of preparation, and versatility. More...
Some Like It Hot
By Jessy Yancey
I t’s hard to believe in a city now nationally renowned for its hot chicken, but when Ric Ousley and his sister moved to Nashville from Mississippi 20 years ago, they couldn’t find any salsa they considered hot enough. So they decided to make their own. More...
Nashville Area Food Trucks Up the Ante
By Tina Wright and Linda Brewer
W e all love to escape the confines of our kitchens and eat out occasionally, but there is something particularly appealing about a visit to a favorite food truck: debating the mouthwatering possibilities on the menu as we stand in line (even if—like me—you always revert back to your go-to order); visiting with fellow diners; and just soaking in the inherently festive atmosphere that inevitably accompanies a food truck. More...
Big Al's Big Personality
By Margaret Littman
I first went to Big Al’s Deli and Catering on the unorthodox suggestion of another chef in town. I was waiting in line at a popular Germantown eatery. The chef working in its open kitchen said, “When I get off here, I’m going to Big Al’s. I don’t know why y’all are here when you could be there.” More...
M y status as a food adventurist propels me to a favored Martha Stewart recipe: Mixed Chicories with Persimmons. But I can’t find its ingredients around any old corner. Where to begin? More...
Doug and Sue Bagwell find inspiration to farm from Kenyan mission trip More...
T he weather is getting warmer and fresh produce is being pulled from trees, bushes, plants and from the ground. Around this time many of us join CSAs. If you’re anything like me, this can be an exciting yet scary time. You’re making a choice to get healthier, to support the community, or maybe to give yourself a culinary challenge. For those who might not know, CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture.” It is basically an agreement with a farmer where you purchase a “share” in a farm, and in return, as a “shareholder,” you receive a basket or box of whatever produce is harvested from the farm for an agreed-upon number of weeks. The money you pay for your share goes to help with the expenses of the farm, including labor and the purchase of seeds and supplies. More...
Y ou can learn a lot on a farm, so it somehow seems appropriate that one special Middle Tennessee farm was once a school, and now is again—albeit teaching slightly different lessons. More...
The Nashville Farmers Market (NFM) and Local Table Magazine will host the second Annual Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair at the NFM, 900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. in Nashville on Saturday, February 27th from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The event is free and gives the public a chance to meet farmers, discuss individual growing methods, harvest schedules and pick up locations. General information on what a CSA is and how it works will be available. The public will then be given a chance to meet one on one with local CSA farmers servicing the Nashville area. More...
Chago’s Cantina
By Lee Morgan
I If you are looking for authentic Mexican food in Nashville, Chago’s Cantina owner Chad Head says you’ll have to look somewhere else. But, he’s betting, you’ll like what you find on his menu anyway. It’s been going strong and growing stronger since March of 2011. More...
Roast Of The Town
By Lee Morgan
M More than half of the adult U.S. population drinks multiple cups of coffee on a daily basis, according to Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. With annual sales exceeding $40 billion (according to a 2010 study), it is easy to understand why so many coffee companies are staking their claims and finding success in the market. More...
F arm fresh popcorn, like all six types of corn, is a whole grain and originates from a wild grass. The scientific name is zea mays everta, and it is the only type of corn to actually pop! Most of our nation's popcorn is grown in the corn belt states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio, but it can be grown all over the United States. More...
Sugar Rush
By Jessy Yancey
T Talking with Sarah Souther of Bang Candy Co. is a bit like having a conversation with Willy Wonka. Her Marathon Village shop may best be known for marshmallows, but its shelves are also stocked with boozy caramels, hot chocolate on a stick and a whimsical concoction known as Sparkle Bark. More...
W When Clark Griswold—the patron saint of Christmas (and non-nutritive cereal varnish)—loaded his family into the old front-wheel-drive sleigh and hit the road, he had a goal: embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols. No, not a Santa Claus tie, Audrey. A Christmas tree. A family Christmas tree. More...
I f you live in Nashville and you're reading this magazine, you probably already know about the Tennessee Agricultural Museum. Their seasonal family events are local favorites and what kid doesn't love a field trip that involves petting animals? As the museum gears up for its annual Music & Molasses Festival, now is the perfect time to spotlight this indispensable dispensary of history, skills and traditions, and the important role it plays in the preservation of our local foodways. More...
A s a life-long Southerner and native Tennessean, buttermilk runs in my veins. Truthfully, I can speak for myself and possibly many others when I say that a full day’s menu could feature this beloved beverage in just about every way, shape, and form. Buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, and buttermilk pie, all of which beckons to be washed down with none other than a tall glass of…you guessed it…buttermilk. While some may turn their noses to the tanginess, it is this very component that makes buttermilk so functional. The acid aids in both tenderization and leavening, resulting in the moistest fried chicken and fluffiest biscuits this side of the Mason-Dixon. In addition, the intense flavor that buttermilk exhibits serves as a beautiful contrast to sweeter flavors, such as mixed berries and honey. More...
Ripe for the FIG-ing
By Hope Anderson
{I t’s a phone call I anticipate all summer, one that usually occurs sometime in August when the Louisiana heat is inescapable. Being from the Bayou State, the only reprieve from the extreme summer heat comes in the form of a thermostat set to 68 degrees. Comfortable in the air conditioning, I answer and Meme eagerly says, “They’re ripe—come on down.” I am willing to sacrifice one pleasure for another: indoor cooling for the promise of fresh, succulent figs! More...
The Perfect Duet
By Margaret Littman
{F rom "Cheeseburger in Paradise" to "Red Solo Cup" eating (and drinking) and music long have been a good combination. And when it comes to country music, well, let's just make that a double. There's a rich history of country musicians getting into the food business. The above-referenced Jimmy Buffett has Margaritaville (now with a location on Lower Broad) and Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill has his name in the title. Music City-based Fishbowl Spirits LLC makes Blue Chair Bay, Kenny Chesney's rum. More...
{W hile some hipster foodies might be happy to take in their local flavors at the latest fine dining boutique, hardcore locavores are always trying to push the dinner table closer to the dirt their food comes out of and runs around in. Farm-to-table is a foodways philosophy, a nutritional truism and a catchall phrase for the kind of event that combines delicious, nutritious eats with the people and the places that are their primary producers. More...
W hile we hope for a mild season in Nashville every year, summer in the South inevitably means heat and humidity. Of course, that also means river floats, swimming holes, patio umbrellas and cold drinks. While many of us are still finishing up our spring cleaning and getting the last of our gardens in the ground, it’s also the time of year when thoughts of green vines heavy with red tomatoes turn to daydreams about the perfect bloody Mary, and strawberry season inspires decadent daiquiris bursting with the taste of summer. More...
Pizza Across the Seasons
By Taylor Kingston
T here is a wide gap between Perugia, Italy, and Nashville, Tennessee, made up of oceans, miles and time zones, but the gap narrows when the conversation turns toward food, specifically pizza! Pizza is a dish for all seasons, and the secret to pizza “made right” is locally grown ingredients. More...
E very year there’s one question in particular that’s heard loud and clear all over Tennessee, starting about mid-May. It’s heard from kids and adults alike, not to mention on local news programs and in produce departments: “Are the strawberries ripe yet?” The lusciously sweet, juicy, fiber-filled strawberry is arguably the most eagerly anticipated produce of the season. For most southerners, it’s more than just their taste; it’s a flashback to childhood—fresh strawberry pie, homemade strawberry jams, jellies and preserves, strawberry freezer jam, strawberry shortcake, strawberry salad and strawberries just for plain ole finger-lickin’ healthy nibblin’. The berry season starts with the strawberry. More...
W Walking into The Cookery on 12th Avenue South near the intersection of Wedgewood Avenue, you’d never know the journey that owner Brett Swayn took to get the place up and running. More...
Farmer James Gardner
By Eric D. S. Dorman
“I t takes a farm to feed a community, and a community to support a farm.” More...
Barn Sales in Bloom
By Allison Fox
A s the days begin to lengthen and the kiss of spring sets hearts aflutter, barn sale season opens up across Middle Tennessee. Both heaven and haven for lovers of all things vintage, handcrafted and repurposed, these inspired events celebrate the work of makers and the style of southern days gone by. More...
J ason McConnell is a world traveler whose taste in food is inspired by the far-flung flavors he's found in exotic locales in Morocco, Hong Kong and Thailand, and in restaurants and kitchens all over the Southeast. But McConnell isn't just a traveling dilettante gourmand. After working at the City Grocery in Oxford, Mississippi, McConnell attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, before landing at F. Scott's in Nashville, where he served under local legend Chef Margot McCormack, getting his food called out by national publications like the New York Times. More...
W hen you hear the words “man cave,” do images of men gnawing on junk food, chugging beer and giving each other high fives come to mind? I, and any other man reading this post, won’t deny that one or all of those things may occur during a game, but oftentimes our species is a little more refined outside those few hours. One of those times might even be at breakfast. More...
J ust because its freezing outside doesn't mean you shouldn't be thinking about your garden, or next season's crops or that canning project you swear you're really going to do in the spring. Farmers use this time to catch up on reading, learning and sharing information on such things as new growing techniques, new varieties, adding livestock to their operation and much more. When the weather outside is frightful, it's a delightful time to take advantage of the classes, conferences and workshops that are filling Tennessee's winter calendar. There are a multitude of free and low cost learning opportunities available for new and experienced gardeners, urban farmers and consumers interested in making their lives a bit more self-sustainable. More...
W e all know the feeling of hunger—that gnawing rumble signaling to our body it is time to replenish. For most of us, we quickly react by assessing the different options to rid ourselves of the discomfort. Perhaps the solution is leftovers from last night’s dinner, or a hop over to the grocery store for a fresh juice or salad. Regardless of the final decision, we have options. We pick one, we eat, and we move on with our day until the next rumble arrives. While this illustration of modern-day hunting and gathering seems quite obvious and insignificant to most, for 395,770 people in Middle Tennessee, this process could start and end with that gnawing rumble. It could start and end with hunger. More...
B eing a Southern state, Tennessee has had her fair share of plantations, most of which produced tobacco as their main cash crop. But did you know that here in Nashville, we also had a highly successful horse plantation? What started as a 250 acre farm, bought by John Harding in 1806, began with little more than a gristmill and sawmill. The farm continued to thrive and when thoroughbred horse-racing moved from Virginia to the Carolinas, Harding added thoroughbred services to his plantation repertoire. In time, what was now known as Belle Meade plantation, became Tennessee’s most successful thoroughbred breeder and distributor. More...
lot of farmers hibernate for the winter. It’s no secret: biting cold, blustery winds, and blizzards are not friendly to vegetables. It’s hard to find a nice, ripe tomato in December. Onions just aren’t as tasty in January. And February ground simply is not the best incubator for peppers. More...
E dwin Dysinger, Head Winter CSA Farmer at Bountiful Blessings Farm, is a tranquil man, his words measured, his manner courtly. No doubt, such a presence evolves from personal glimpses of creation. He has always felt the pull to improve the lot of others, and his family is unified in that mission. More...
Digging in the dirt!
By Rachel Holder
F all is officially in the air, and while it’s hard to say goodbye to the fresh flavors of summer, autumn ushers in a wealth of healthy and tasty seasonal foods all its own. Among the most bountiful fall produce options are root vegetables, some of which may be familiar (think carrots and sweet potatoes), while others are probably more of a diversion from your usual fall family menu (rutabagas or parsnips, anyone?). Among the root vegetables plentiful in both CSAs and groceries in the fall and winter: turnips, beets, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery root, parsnips, rutabagas, and radishes. More...
T aking it outside, preparing and enjoying a meal in the open air sparks appetites, conversation, and camaraderie. While we often think of summertime as grilling time, the cool, crisp weather of fall is ideal for cooking and dining alfresco. And for Dave and Lisa Gilbert, proud owners of a new custom-built outdoor kitchen at their Brentwood home, that prospect is now year round. More...
Sweet on the Vine
By Katelyn Snow
G rowing up in rural Alabama, I enjoyed the Southern harvest each season produced. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. It brings relief from the stifling summer heat, but more importantly, it yields fresh muscadine grapes from Meemaw and Pawpaw’s backyard. The dark purple fruit grows along a woven vine next to their tattered red barn. More...
T he Germantown neighborhood in North Nashville has established itself as one of the hottest restaurant destinations in the city, but the place’s foodie-friendly trendiness is actually just the latest iteration of a longstanding tradition that’s found the Germantown name to be synonymous with good eating since the 19th century. More...
“I n Europe then we thought of wine as something healthy and normal as food and also as a great giver of happiness and well-being and delight,” Ernest Hemingway wrote in A Moveable Feast. “Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary.” More...
A fondness for goats and a passion for agriculture keep Noble Springs Dairy’s Dustin and Justyne Noble busy on their 233-acre farm in Franklin, TN. A grade-A goat dairy and creamery, Noble Springs produces a variety of all-natural farmstead goat cheeses and other products from their high-quality goat milk. Around 150 goats roam their hills and valleys, and these young entrepreneurs hold a commitment to quality in both the process and products of their dairy farm, which was licensed in 2009. More...
W hat's the difference between an herb and a weed? According to Lisa Bedner, "A weed is an herb that is growing in the wrong place and you haven't figured out what to do with it yet." A certified medical herbalist and member of the Native American Teehahnahmah nation, Lisa is the owner and operator of Pipsissewa Herbs, specializing in medicinal herbs and native species. She lives on and takes care of the farm with her husband and helpmate, Stephen. More...
F or a growing number of people, it has become important to know where the foods they eat come from -- specifically. Local proteins and produce have gradually risen to prominence in communities around the country. For foodies, eating at restaurants that offer local goods has been a priority for years. But in today's nutrition-conscious environment, eating local has become part of many households. A big reason for that is the emergence of the CSA. More...
E ssayist and farmer Wendell Berry says, "Be still and listen to the voices that belong to the stream banks and the trees and the open fields. There are songs and sayings that belong to this place, by which it speaks for itself and no other." More...
T he Nashville Food Project (TNFP) has a problem that most non-profits would love to have. The opportunity to be a part of TNFP’s work is so popular that the volunteers who help them deliver over 600 meals a week to Nashville’s homeless and low-income neighborhoods have to RSVP. Executive Director Tallu Quinn explains what makes TNFP so successful, saying, “We would be nothing if it weren’t for the gifts of our community…people’s time and their energy and their passion and talent for what we’re trying to do.” For TNFP, those gifts range from food that is gleaned from the generosity of local farmers, restaurants, and markets, to the volunteers who turn that gathered treasure into home-cooked meals. More...
I t’s springtime in Nashville and another wedding season is upon us. But, for men, wedding season is sometimes better known as “bachelor-party season.” More...
T he crockery pitcher of raw milk was rounding the table and I steeled myself for what was expected. Earlier that day on a trip to my bad boy Uncle Bruce’s cattle farm in Mississippi, I was prompted in farm etiquette, which included savory responses when tasting what was for dinner. The caveat was that things “fresh from the farm” were a strange—new—world. More...
T he Tennessee Century Farms program is about more than just farmland; it’s about history, people, and a legacy that spans generations and families across our state. According to Tennessee Century Farms Director Caneta Hankins, the program was formed in 1975 in order to recognize and document farms that have been within the same family, and had continuous agricultural production, for at least 100 years. More...
"I hate blueberries," said a customer at "Blueberries on the Buffalo Farm" in Lawrenceburg. "Well then - try this. This is a blueberry." said Dan Eiser, proprietor, offering up a perfectly plump berry. After tasting the berry, the woman became one of his best customers. "She'd only tasted those cardboard things you buy at the grocery store - she had no idea what a real blueberry tasted like!" he says jubilantly. More...
What The Cow Eats
By Stephen Ornes
O n a recent evening at Tayst restaurant in Nashville, two people sitting at the same table ordered the same steak from the same menu. Jeremy Barlow, the restaurant's chef and owner, says the slices of beef came from the same cow and were cooked and prepared the same way, by the same chef, in the same kitchen. The meals were prepared and delivered; the diners dined. Afterward, they delivered their verdicts to Barlow. More...
H ands down, Mike’s Ice Cream Parlor serves the best ice cream flavor—red velvet cake—in all of Music City. Maybe the whole state.

Mike’s is a cozy throwback, nestled among the honky-tonks downtown, lifted by the sounds and scents of a classic parlor. Sweet, with coffee and laughter overtones. And sometimes a line that stretches to the nearest Elvis statue. And…wait. Mike’s Red Velvet Cake is almost the best. Even Mike’s stalwart fans have to admit defeat, however, when they get a scoop of the roasted strawberry buttermilk from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, a relative newcomer with shops in 12 South and East Nashville. Jeni’s takes the cake. Or the cream. Whatever. Everyone agrees: Jeni’s seasonal strawberry offering is superlative. Unrivaled. More...
F armers Markets have long been a way for people to connect with farmers and get the best in local produce. And now, through the miracle of online technology and thanks to Eric Wagoner, creator of the online software LocallyGrown.net, they’re becoming more customer-friendly and more farmer-friendly everyday. More...
M artha Stamps is a native Nashvillian who grew up at her parent’s home near Radnor Lake and graduated from Harpeth Hall. Stamps’ education about food and land began when she was a child. More...
E ver wonder what small changes you could make to raise a healthier family? After becoming a parent, I found it more important than ever to find new and interesting ways to keep my family healthy. One easy step toward health was to grow my own fresh herbs. Nearly every kitchen window holds the power to grow an abundance of sweet, savory, and aromatic herbs to complement any meal and help your family kick the salt shaker to the curb. More...
Summer Thyme & Feelin' Light: Healthy Cool-Off Treats
By Kristen Lazaroff and Lily Taylor
I t's true - there's nothing more satisfying during the summer months than a frozen, healthy treat. Yes, we said healthy. Summer indulgences don't have to ruin a beach body! They taste great also. If it doesn't satisfy your sweet tooth, then what's the point of eating it? More...
I n Tennessee, from June to October, local farms produce tomatoes at their best. It is the aroma of fresh, ripe tomatoes that transports me back to my childhood. I grew up in Scotland and spent summers helping my grandfather in the garden. He was an expert at growing tomatoes, and my grandmother would encourage me to eat them by sprinkling sugar on top. But why sugar? Did she think a tomato was a fruit, dessert worthy?—or is it a vegetable? More...
Gain Health Benefits by Growing Your Own Nutrition Powerhouse! More...
I magine life without grocery superstores, 24-hour drive-thru windows and food delivery apps. Imagine that instead; you had to eat what you or your neighbors could produce. Now imagine; it's February and you haven't had any fresh fruits or vegetables all winter long. You've been eating eggs, dairy and meats and the last of the potatoes and other root vegetables stored in the cellar. All that you canned the growing season before is dwindling. Then March comes along. The days get a little longer, the air loses its chill and those first shoots of green poke their heads from the ground. Spring has arrived, and with it, a new year of fresh produce. More...
I t's a quandary shared by many small farmers today. "We had to find a way to sell the farm, without selling the farm," says Chris Rinehart, co-owner of RiverView Mounds Century Farm, located near Clarksville, Tennessee. Not wanting to sell the land, and not interested in continuing to farm traditional row crops such as corn and soybeans like his father, Chris and his wife, Scarlett Mulligan, set out to find a new way to make a living on their family's farm. More...
D id you ever wonder how Chattanooga, a place that Walter Cronkite described in 1989 as “the dirtiest city in America,” could turn around and become a city known for beautiful green spaces and sustainability? Do you know about the farmers’ market where you can buy fresh produce, sip wine, and enjoy live entertainment all at the same time? Are you curious about the business and fine art of making Tennessee whiskey, bourbon, and moonshine? More...
N ew business owners need friends-and not just the Facebook kind. They need friends who can work collaboratively with them to market their product, solve problems, and provide support. Since 2007, start-up business owners in the Clarksville area have had that kind of friend in Martha Pile and "The Gathering of Homestead Entrepreneurs." In just a few years, this small business incubator has helped over 650 people to create or build a new business. More...
W e’re lucky in Middle Tennessee to have access to so many local products, from handmade chocolate to freshly roasted coffee beans. It’s also now possible to find locally produced personal care products. One such product that’s gaining in popularity is goat- milk soap. More...
Two Takes On MyPlate
By Rachel Wall and Noelia Rivera-Gonzalez
H ave you heard of the great new way to estimate your nutritional needs? No, it's not a crazy diet plan or magic pill. All it involves is using a simple dinner plate. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which includes using your plate to estimate serving sizes. More...
A s recently as thirty years ago, our beloved zucchini was usually called Italian green squash, and was little known in the United States. Today, it is not only widely recognized, but a particular favorite of home gardeners, due in large part to being easy to grow and to its culinary versatility. If you don't have zucchini growing in your garden, visit your local farmers' market for the freshest and the best. You will often find organic offerings, plus unique varieties, from the spring through summer and fall. More...
Food From God Farm
By Annakate Tefft
D riving down Banks Pisgah Road in Smithville, Tennessee on a cold and dreary February day, you might be surprised to see tomatoes already in the ground anywhere nearby. But this is what you would find at Food From God Farm. It's no miracle; it's just one of the innovative and exciting ideas Lori Wright and her family members are implementing on their five-acre farm. More...
V isitors who make the trek to Bonnie Blue Farm aren't drawn by roller coasters or water slides. They're more likely to be looking for a rustic retreat or wildlife, which includes one mule, three Great Pyrenees dogs, a Jersey cow named Eileen, and goats. The kids scamper too fast to be counted. In a clean, tiled studio guests mash their noses against the windows and spy on Gayle Tanner as she makes the farm's signature goat cheese. Gayle's been making cheese for 35 years and has the expert's knack for making it look effortless. Nearby is a recently built, state-of-the- art cheese cave, guarded by a suit of armor. A short hike away, two forest streams converge to create an inviting place to splash and play. "It used to be the country swimming hole," says Jim Tanner. "There's no long distance swimming, but you can get in here, sit in cool water up to your neck, and feel the minnows nipping at your toes." More...
" I have a people personality, a good product, and a giving heart," says Geraldine Bell, cradling a coconut chess pie while lighting up the space around her. Geraldine brings a legacy of culinary caring, as women in her family have been serious cooks for generations. It was her grandmother who presented her with the ticket to charm farmers' market customers in the Middle Tennessee area. More...
I f you drive the back roads through the country in Southern Kentucky and Middle Tennessee in the late summer you might have noticed a strange looking crop growing in the fields. The foliage is tall and green. The stocks with tassels topping the heads resemble corn without ears. It's not a type of corn, but the singular Southern crop of sorghum, 'sorghum bicolor'. Scattered throughout our rural countryside, the old ways are kept alive by the harvesting, the horse drawn milling and the processing of the old-fashioned staple. One such place is the Highland Community just across the state line up the road from Lafayette, TN. Overseen by community member and chief cook Joe Troyer, the sorghum harvest is a community effort, from growing and harvesting to milling and bottling. More...
O ne of Nashville's best restaurants is also one of its most progressive. Boasting what are probably the freshest organic ingredients possible, Miel brings new meaning to good taste. More...
T his January Nashville joined dozens of other cities across the nation in legalizing backyard laying hens in most of the metro area. Eight council members opted to exempt their districts from the new ordinance (districts 12, 20, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33.) For those lucky enough to reside in a hen-friendly district, it is a great time to begin planning your flock. More...
G erald and Patricia Martin didn’t set out to be farmers. Both husband and wife worked as teachers for many years. When they moved to Tennessee from Long Island there was culture shock. However, the Martins were dedicated to make both the farming and the teaching work. More...
N ot so many years ago, having enjoyed the hunt and prep of locally grown produce from farmers' markets and CSAs, I expanded my research into the realm of protein. Little did I know that my quest for a new food system was mirroring the work of many area chefs. I knew that the methodology for distributing homegrown beef, pork, poultry, and eggs was not in place, but I persevered, buying a few pounds of pork chops here, a dozen eggs there, often driving some distance to make contact with the farmer. Ultimately, I would seal the deal for tasty meats, with added bonuses of observing sustainable farming practices and making friends with the farmer. More...
N ear the small community of Coble, Tennessee, the Lingo family spent the winter gearing up for the sixth growing season at Beaverdam Creek Farm. Just over five years ago, the 72-acre piece of land along Sulphur Creek Road in western Hickman County was nothing more than woodlands and pastures. Today a handful of dedicated farmers with a focus on faith, family, and sustainable growing practices have turned the land into a thriving community- supported farm that feeds people across the mid-state with good food grown the proper way. More...
I n Estill Springs, you might say it is tradition to get good things from the land. The indigenous Cherokee and the settlers who came long after them enjoyed the mineral springs that coursed through the town until the construction of Highway 41A dried up the springs in 1940. And generations of inhabitants of Franklin County have taken advantage of the area's long growing season for farming a variety of produce for their own enjoyment and that of the region's consumers. More...
Welcome to the Season of Colorful Eats!
By Dianne Killebrew, MEd, RD, LDN
S pringtime at the local farmers' markets-the colorful variety of fruits and vegetables creates a feast for the eyes and a love affair with your heart. Over the past 30 years or so, researchers have developed a solid base of science to back up what generations of mothers preached-eat your fruits and vegetables. Early on, fruits and vegetables were acclaimed as cancer-fighting foods. There is compelling evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables not only lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke, but also plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight. More...
Hold the Salt
By Kristin Pardue, Dietetic Intern, Vanderbilt University
H ave you heard the phrase, "hold the salt," but never really understood why salt is so bad for you? I wondered the same thing when I was growing up. My name is Kristen and I'm a twenty something health professional who is newly married and starting a career as a dietitian. Keeping my heart healthy means being physically active everyday and making smart food choices. I try to consume low sodium foods and cut the salt when preparing foods by adding more fresh herbs and spices. More...
J ust before Nashville got hit with its worst winter weather in years, we were lucky enough to spend the better part of a Wednesday afternoon at one of the city's favorite restaurants. The Tin Angel is the kind of place that many Nashvillians have a story about: it was your favorite hang when you were going to Vanderbilt; it was the place where you ordered the same irresistible dish for three years in a row because you were absolutely addicted to a certain combination of ingredients; it's the place you had brunch with that girl you went crazy for. In a world full of no-place-specials, Tin Angel is the neighborhood bistro that Nashvillians make their own. More...
A s warm weather approaches, many Tennesseans eagerly await the time when the farmers' markets will be brimming with what is perhaps America's favorite berry, the strawberry. Sadly, the growing season for strawberries in Middle Tennessee is short, lasting only from May to June. The strawberry's short availability period coincides with the season for fresh, local greens, from April through June. Combining these two nutrition stars may seem a little strange at first, but it is well worth the venture. More...
The Inside Scoop On Antioxidants
By Dianne Killebrew, MEd, RD, LDN
A n antioxidant is a nutrient that occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables. To function properly, our bodies need a daily supply of antioxidants. These disease fighting nutrients are like having an insurance policy for your body; providing protection for tissues and when needed, repairing damage that has been done. Some examples include: vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and lycopene. More...
Gain Health Benefits by Growing Your Own Nutrition Powerhouse! More...
Farming and Peace
By Hector Black
G reen is a peaceful color by itself. It awakens memories of peace. So does blue - and in the country there are countless times to contemplate the blue sky. Yes, there are storms and tempests, but they end. It's not like the ceaseless traffic flow in Manhattan. The impatient sounds of car horns honking hardly compares with the honking of geese as they fly south and north on their bi-annual journeys. Nothing impatient about geese. They don't rush about. More...
T he soon-to-arrive holiday season brings out the best in all of us. What better place to enjoy the fall and Christmas season than at J & J Century Farm, where tradition, fun, and family come together. From the lowlands along Big Barton?s Creek to the forest-covered rolling hills, J & J Century Farm offers a real window to the past. The current proprietor, the founders' great-grandson, Johnny Wayne Wall, recently received the 2009 Tennessee Small Farmer of the Year Award for Alternative Enterprises at Tennessee State University?s Small Farm Expo. In presenting the award, Michael J. Turner, Montgomery and Cheatham County executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency, said that J & J's operation "demonstrates how vital farming is to everyone living in Tennessee and offers the public opportunity to learn about the heritage and historical importance of farming." More...
In Defense of the Egg
By Lindsay Smith and Sarah Lewis
O ver the years, eggs and cholesterol have become intertwined. For this reason, many people think that eggs and health can't mix. Actually, eggs are so much more than just a shell full of cholesterol and should be incorporated into a healthy diet. More...
I n Moore County, Tennessee, water flows from a fissure in a rock. You'd never stumble across it, because the rock is deep underground. From the fissure, the water runs about a mile through an underground channel and joins two other arteries. Now it's really moving. By the time the water from these three tunnels reaches the surface in a cave spring at the end of a shady hollow, it is flowing at a rate of about 800 gallons per minute, with a constant temperature of 56 degrees. And because it has been filtered by limestone and minerals, the water has almost no iron. More...
S ince its inception in 1971, The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee has had a reputation for being an innovative community. Known internationally as a training center for lay midwives and as a leading contributor to the art of vegan cuisine and the creative use of soybeans, The Farm is a destination for many who want to learn more about this experiment in intentional community living. More...
W hen enjoying a restaurant meal in Nashville, we expect our chefs to bring their best to the table night after night with fresh, local ingredients, inspired recipes and thoughtful, dedicated service. Usually, this is exactly what we get. For a passionate, creative chef what could be more important than overwhelming the customer's eyes, taste buds and waistline? For many local culinarians the desire to serve also motivates them. They take action beyond the kitchen, past the front-of-the-house and out into the larger community. We count many Nashville chefs and restaurants among those people who try to prepare the perfect dish while working simultaneously to make our city a better place to live. For this issue - which will lead us into the holiday season - we picked three faces unique to Nashville's food community. We applaud their personalities, their well- known menus and, most importantly, their laudable dedication to serving not only their customers, but their neighbors as well. More...
B ob Dylan said, "I was born far away from where I was supposed to be." His words reflect the history of women and farm work until not so long ago. In 1913 the US Department of Agriculture acknowledged the frustrations of American farm housewives with a nationwide survey. They asked: "How madam, can we better meet your needs?" The response was as prophetic as it was specific. In Tennessee a woman responded: "We do not claim all wisdom in doing things, yet our knowledge surpasses our strength to do the many tasks incumbent upon us in farm life." In Arkansas another woman said: "If we had time out of the cotton patch to learn how to can fruit for the market so we could can fruit as it ripened, even if we only got pay for our labor, we would be no worse off and the world much better." What a difference one hundred years makes. More...
I talians love to linger at the table. In the summer they love to stay even longer. I had the chance to linger at a summer Italian table under an arbor of kiwi fruit in the Riviera. At a flower-ensconced Roman restaurant patio overlooking the Pantheon. At a cafe clinging to a cliff in Positano, with grapes and grapevines dripping overhead. At a table canal-side in Venice while the blue lagoon sparkled. And at a private home in the Piacentini hills where a three–story fig tree laden with fruit loomed outside the window. More...
F or over a decade, Jenny Lamb, Director of Interpretation and Education at the Belle Meade Plantation, has overseen the Harding Kitchen Garden, a complement to the log cabin where John Harding began his horseracing endeavors. Two years ago, Jenny was inspired to pair the Weedin' Women and Warriors of the Davidson County Master Gardeners with gardening research gleaned from the 1850s. Harding family letters and ledgers, the Tennessee state archives, and neighbors like the Hermitage shed light on the nineteenth-century plantings that would have graced the Belle Meade Plantation vegetable garden. More...
W ith Dad being out of commission, my brother, Hank, and I have come to realize that he is not only the founder of the operation, but the work he does on the farm is actually the "work of four men," as Hank puts it. There have been many problems or questions that have come up that have made us say aloud, "u;Well, if Dad were here..." And to make matters worse, we have also lost Mom on the farm too, since she spends her days in the hospital with Dad. Luckily, our brother, Eric had come home for a little while to help out. We also have an amazing farm crew that has worked overtime to get us back on track. More...
A pples are, by most standards, the star of the fruit family. Featured in the mythologies and folklore of numerous cultures, apples have been credited as a means to immortality, an emblem of fruitfulness, a love charm, and a cure for every ill. More...
D o you know of a vitamin that helps your body create new cells? This is a job so important, especially during pregnancy when our bodies are making lots of new cells, that low levels of this vitamin can cause birth defects. Since 1996, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has required all enriched grain products in the USA to be fortified with this vitamin. This has helped to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs), a type of severe birth defects. More...
A t first glance, it might seem that two of Nashville’s most happening spots have nothing in common: One staked its claim at the city’s western horizons just one year ago; the other is an established East Nashville pioneer. One menu offers a fresh twist on Southern favorites; the other features French fine dining. One started out as a music venue with food before their neighbors started bringing their kids to dinner; the other had practically established its identity before its doors even opened. More...
F rom goat farms to greenhouses, Hickman County is once again gearing up to show off its hidden gems of the agricultural industry. During the Second Annual Hickman County Arts and Ag Tour, locals and visitors alike will have the opportunity to take to some of Middle Tennessee’s most beautiful back roads for an up- close- and- personal look at farming and artistry. More...
B eer is the third most consumed beverage in the world, ceding the top spots only to tea and, well... water. More...
Cozy Up to Cannon County
By Roben Mounger
Correction: White Oak Craft Fair is Sept. 14 & 15, 9-5 PM - not the 8th & 9th. More...
N ashville's current food trend can be described in three words: local, unique, artisan! From small, organic, specialty farms, to food-crafters producing small-batch, handmade products, mom-and-pop notions about freshness and quality are creating big waves in a market dominated by chain restaurants and industrial kitchen. More...
I Do, Y'all
By Annakate Tefft
L arge or small, rustic or modern, fancy or casual, when it comes to wedding planning, the decisions a couple makes reflect who they are. For some that means a traditional church wedding. For others it means a barefoot ceremony on the beach. But for several gals in Middle Tennessee, it meant heading down to the farm. More...
O n the morning of May 1, rain had already started to fall when trucks packed with fresh produce set out from the Avalon Acres farms near Hohenwald, Tennessee. The season of farmers' markets and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) had begun, with locavores across the state eagerly anticipating months of fresh sustainably grown food. May Day marked the first pickup day for members of Avalon's CSA, as trucks rumbled off to distribution sites in Middle Tennessee. More...
N ot so many years ago, having enjoyed the hunt and prep of locally grown produce from farmers' markets and CSAs, I expanded my research into the realm of protein. Little did I know that my quest for a new food system was mirroring the work of many area chefs. I knew that the methodology for distributing homegrown beef, pork, poultry, and eggs was not in place, but I persevered, buying a few pounds of pork chops here, a dozen eggs there, often driving some distance to make contact with the farmer. Ultimately, I would seal the deal for tasty meats, with added bonuses of observing sustainable farming practices and making friends with the farmer. More...
I t often seems that farmers must concoct a magic formula for creating and sustaining a successful family farm today. Some farms succeed by specializing in unique produce; having a dynamite farmers market stand; or raising the best grass-fed beef in town. More...
Super Easy: Super Foods
By Regine Leger and Augusta Hasse
I f you are confused by the unending stream of news about the latest fad nutrition product or cure-all exotic supplement, you are not alone. Americans spent nearly $27 billion on supplements in 2009, according to Consumer Reports Magazine. More...
D espite the economic challenges, Nashville restaurateurs are still opening imaginative new venues offering creative bills of fare. For some, this has meant taking their food on the road, and it's likely that the popular trend will continue to find a new culinary landscape emerging at a street corner near you. More...
A s the nation continues to strain under the economic slow-down, the local food move- ment is proving to be a prescient prescription for the ills of a struggling market: Spend your money in your local economy, and make it stronger. One group that is taking this move- ment to a new level is an affiliation of inde- pendent, locally owned restaurants called Nashville Originals. More...
Colvin Family Farm
By Rachel Holder
T he Colvin Family Farm, nestled atop Walden’s Ridge near Spring City, Tennessee, is quite aptly named for the one thing most important to those who till its land: family. For five generations, members of the Colvin family have steadily farmed the land with one goal in mind. More...
O ne of the greatest success stories from the hippie movement is the ever-relevant teacher, Jeff Poppen, also known as the Barefoot Farmer. In 1974, after a childhood on a farm outside Chicago, Jeff exchanged a promised college fund for a down payment to help his brother buy a farm in Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee. In the hills of north Middle Tennessee, he found a pioneer base of operation. His farm, Long Hungry Creek Farm, became certified organic in 1987, and has been certified biodynamic for the past 13 years; it produces 150,000 pounds of fresh vegetables each year. More...
N ew Years' Eve is not the only time for an "out with the old and in with the new" concept. Summer is here! Warm weather means more family picnics, cookouts, and ball games. It's time to throw out the old high calorie dishes, introduce new ways to spice up the old favorites with fewer calories, and get in shape with fresh fruits and vegetables. More...
Winemakers in the Upper Cumberland Plateau Forge a New Identity in Vino More...
H ave you ever found a really good deal and wanted to keep it a secret? That's how many of Randy Pendergrass's regular Defensive Eating Seminar participants feel about the free monthly discussions that Randy leads at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville.The "regulars" want to keep it a secret because they can ask Randy questions about nutrition in a relaxed environment.Randy, a licensed sports nutritionist who has worked at St. Thomas Hospital for fifteen years, also provides participants with a free collection of resources. More...
I n the springtime, Bradley Kountry Acres is a Pick-Your-Own strawberry farm. The Portland, Tennessee family farm began life as a Grade A dairy farm, but in 1996, after more than 30 years of milking cows, the couple made the difficult decision to sell their cows and move on to other farm endeavors. The first operation was a crop of pick-your-own strawberries, then a greenhouse was added for bedding plants. Over the past decade, the Bradley's have added two additional greenhouses and increased the strawberry crop to five acres. They now grow a summer crop of blackberries, peaches, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and peppers. They've even extended their season to include a fall crop of mums, ornamental gourds, and pumpkins. More...
I t turns out that there is a thriving - if somewhat underground - network of fiber-centric activity going on in middle Tennessee. Who knew? There are a growing number of farmers who raise sheep, alpacas, and other animals, like angora goats, for their fiber; and all sorts of people who use the natural fiber to spin, dye, knit, weave, and felt. The fiber community is alive and well and growing through a rich network of community events, such as spinning, knitting, and weaving circles, as well as the upcoming 'Fiber in the 'Boro event'- that will be held October 19-20. More...
O n a Saturday morning visit to Kenny and Beverly Mattingly's dairy farm, there is nothing approaching a dull moment. Kenny is able to cut the curds in his 300 gallon milk vat, assist customers, confer with his son about a cow in heat that needs to be bred, and describe his cheesemaking operation, all without missing a beat. Such is the pace of the artisan cheesemaker whose product has become a favorite in the Middle Tennessee area. More...
F armers, restaurateurs, artisans, and activists' Middle Tennessee is overflowing with people who are passionate about where we live and how we eat. But did you know there is a fermentation specialist amid our growing community? Sandor Katz, also known as Sandorkraut, moved to Tennessee over a decade ago, and has been sharing his love and knowledge of fermentation ever since. More...
S trawberry grower Nancy Edwards lets out a tired sigh as she points to what looks to be an alarm clock nested on her bedside table at her historic Wartrace farmhouse. Upon closer inspection, the box is not flashing the time, but the outside temperature. " I don't get a good nights sleep from the first of March through April," says Edwards." As soon as the temperature dips to 35 degrees, the alarm sounds and my brother Bobby and I are up and in the fields." The signal prompts the siblings to head to the fields and activate the overhead sprinkler system that prevents leaves, buds and flowers from succumbing to frost. More...
Grist for Your Mill
By Roben Mounger
M y first perceptions of gristmills were fairytale-like images of giant millstones turning blue waters amid a lush, village green. But I am pretty sure my imagination never concocted the full beauty of gristmills the delicious virgin grain used for baking. Though the massive number of today’s small mills has been usurped by the bravado of bigcompanies, there are still three jewels operating in Middle Tennessee all with hearts big enough to keep the fairytale alive. More...
I t's 8 a.m. on a Monday as Meg Giuffrida furiously stuffs liners into a muffin pan. She quickly drops blueberry cornbread mix into the pastel circles, one after another, until the pan is full. The oven door opens, the pan enters, the door slams shut. Meg has been cooking since 6 a.m., and the kitchen is buzzing with movement. At the moment, there's probably more energy in this unassuming kitchen than anywhere else in Nashville. More...
L ook for a place with at least five hours of full sun each day, otherwise the herbs will become spindly without adequate light. More...
An Ode to Roasting
By Sarah Kraynak and Courtney Smith
F all. The crispness of the air, the anticipation of the leaves turning, the aroma of root vegetables in the oven. Signifying change and a turn of pace, fall is the perfect season to try something new. Fall has more to offer than just apples and pumpkins. Root vegetables are the jewels of fall. Tossed gently with olive oil and simply seasoned, these vegetables are best enjoyed in their most natural state. No need to add more than a touch of salt, as roasting intensifies flavor like no other preparation method. For this, the act of roasting holds a special place in our hearts. More...
M oonshine is the libation that goes by many names: To some, it's white lightning, catdaddy, or Tennessee white whiskey. To others, it's alley bourbon, city gin, rotgut, or ruckus juice. Connoisseurs might wave you away from the stuff called popskull, so named because of the splitting headache it brings. More...
"S ome people grow tomatoes and corn. We grow compost. Our crop is soil," Sizwe Herring, the Executive Director of Earthmatters Tennessee, says with a broad smile. On a 3-acre plot donated by the state, Herring and his team of dedicated volunteers, lovingly dote on organic discards like coffee grounds and leaves that "dont belong in a land fill. Tucked away behind high privets and a chain link fence in Nashvilles Sunnyside Neighborhood this oasis for learning, the George W. Carver Food Park, is where they teach by composting nourishing both the earth and community. More...
O ur family just enjoyed a wonderful holiday together. Thought we weren't all blood-related, by gathering around the dining room table we were all connected by food and fellowship. Some foods like the creamed onions and my Grandmother's corn casserole are always part of the Thanksgiving tradition and this year we added several new dishes like a wild rice mushroom casserole and a sweet potato casserole topped with peanuts which I imagine will become part of the annual gathering. More...
I n 1998 teachers John and Pam Dysinger committed to grow organic strawberries on their Bountiful Blessings Farm in Williamsport, Tennessee. By 2006, after a career in international development work, John's brother Edwin and family joined the already productive winter CSA business that John, Pam and their four children had created. The brothers bring their worldly point of view to farming from growing up in southern California with short stints in Singapore, Tanzania, and Pakistan. More...
Hurricane Hollow Apple Orchard
By Annakate Tefft Ross
L ike asparagus in the springtime, apples are a sure sign that autumn is near. More...
S weet 16th offers baked goods and desserts to suit every taste, from cheddar cheese scones to the "Is it a brownie or is it a cookie?" (Answer: Brookie.) Located at 16th Street and Ordway Place, the bakery's layout makes for a welcoming intimate corner, with gener- ous windows streaming sun- light in on the glass cases filled with freshly baked treats like Heavenly Scones, Hello Dollies layered bars, macaroons, coffee cakes, muffins, and more. More...
A s pointed out in a recent article written by Stephen Ornes (“What the Cow Eats”), local grass-fed beef has many economic and environmental benefits for everyone from local farmers and consumers to local ecosystems and communities. It is important also note that grass-fed beef is actually different from grain-fed beef on a nutritional level. These differences have been examined by many evidence-based research studies and the findings are consistent. Here’s what you need to know: More...
Plant Up Your Plate: Go Meatless Once A Week
By Spencer Anderson and Jenna McClean
M eat tends to be a center staple at mealtimes, and with the growing availability of different sources and varieties of meat, a carnivorous mentality can be hard to break. There are current misconceptions about vegetarian dishes because people view meatless meals as having insufficient protein. But it is possible to have hearty, protein-filled meals that are meatless. Recent studies have demonstrated that lessening meat consumption in favor of more vegetarian fare can have many benefits. You can improve your health, the environment, and even your wallet by swapping meat for plant-based foods at least once a week. More...
B oyd Mill Farm is a Pick Your Own berry farm nestled on the banks of the West Harpeth River outside Franklin, Tennessee. Once home to the Boyd Mill, the farm was a gathering place for the community from the 1800s until the mill closed in 1920. Many Williamson County roads still bear the Boyd Mill name. More...
Apples to Apples
By Jamie Fisher
"U p at the crack of dawn with my apple-picking basket in hand, I vividly remember running out to meet my grandfather under the old apple tree in his backyard. After filling my basket to the rim, I would proudly deliver my morning pickings to my grandmother who was always waiting by the door with her applesauce press in hand?" More...
A nywhere you go, food, friends, and family are found together. In Tennessee, artisans are creating natural and organic food and body care products that go beyond helping us live healthier lives. Nowadays, good eats and good looks are not just skin deep, and these men and women remind us that when we help ourselves to a tasty meal or a luxurious product, we can also help our brothers and sisters who might be having a harder time helping themselves. More...
I 'm Kristina - a twenty-something health professional - who likes to eat healthy on a budget. I love shopping at my local farmers' market and eating fresh fruits and vegetables all year long. Eating fresh in the winter months gets expensive. It makes sense to follow my grandmothers' good examples and can my favorite local fruits and veggies this fall for the cold winter months ahead. More...
W e all have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but what does this mean to you? Does this mean that grabbing a honey bun will suffice for breakfast? Building a well-rounded breakfast is like putting together a puzzle, and the foods you choose are the puzzle pieces. Individual foods are clustered into food groups: dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein. The combination and kinds of food you choose to eat for breakfast have an impact on weight control, how quickly you feel hungry, and energy levels. More...
G reen is the new black. Unlike a lot of trends, this upward swing in consciousness makes people think about their influence on the world around them. Perhaps if we use this surge in environmentalism not as a fad, but as a sincere movement toward the health of the earth, and a willingness to do for ourselves, we really can make a difference on the large scale by starting on the small. More...
Guide to Winter Squash
By Annakate Tefft
E arly fall marks the start of winter squash season, a time when farmers' markets and CSA shares are loaded down with an assortment of these bulbous, colorful gourds. Squash can be intimidating in the kitchen. From the outside, there isn't much indication of what lies within. And when you slice them open, the fibrous, fleshy pulp doesn't immediately look appetizing. With a little know-how and confidence in the kitchen, you can coax out the buttery, nutty and complex flavors of these tasty squash that complement both sweet and savory dishes. More...
I t's all about keeping it small for farmstead goat cheese, says producer Gayle Tanner. More...
Craft-Brewed Beer Is Catching on in Stores, Restaurants, Breweries—and Even at Home! More...
B ursting with vitamins and minerals, winter squash and pumpkins are good for more than just Halloween jack-o'-lanterns and Thanksgiving pies. More...
W ith increasing awareness about food additives and preservatives, health-conscious consumers have been stepping out of the big retail grocery stores to find a larger mix of locally produced goods, made without many of the processes that have made basic nutrition into big business. While farmer’s’ markets have been steadily gaining popularity for their ability to provide local and, often, organically grown produce, there is now more reason than ever to expand the grocery list and realize that area markets now offer quality products for your drinking glass as well as your plate. Two area beverage producers are proving that there is a demand for high-level, healthy beverages in the mid-South. More...
Growing Young Farmers
By Erin Adams
F orget the clichd 'spring chickens.' If anything, these new- comers share an eagerness to break out from the 9 to 5 office routine. They are resourceful and inventive while fac- ing the many challenges of life on the farm, while also building a strong local food community. More...
Flying S Farm
By Lisa Shively
C atherine and Ben Simmons of Flying S Farm are part of a new breed of farmers, changing careers in mid-life to become market farmers. The two met eleven years ago, when Catherine was still working in the optical field. She jokes that Ben's eyeglasses were the hardest pair she ever sold, and after that she had to retire to care for her ailing mother. Catherine and Ben's partnership grew, and the two have now been market farmers for over eight years. Recently, they expanded their 5 acre home place with an additional 10 acres to produce an even wider variety of the heirloom vegetables they love to grow and introduce to their customers. More...
B erries are the summer staple that signal those "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer." Fortunately for lovers of these colorful gems, berries aren't just about flavor. They are bursting with healthy nutrients, too. More...
Managing Food and Mood
By Kristen Pardue - The Dietetic Internship Program at Vanderbilt
H ow do you respond to a bad mood or a stressful situation? If you responded "grab something to eat," then we have something in common! My name is Kristen and I'm a twenty something health professional who is newly married and starting a career as a dietitian. Staying healthy means taking care of myself every day: being active and making smart food choices. I look for ways to respond to stress that won't make me feel guilty the next day! Enjoy these tips for managing food and mood! More...
M any a mundane muncher has been born again, bearing witness to the miracle that is a slice of fresh zucchini bread or the revelation of a perfect chunk of fudge. In Nashville, a number of artisan bakers are spreading the gospel, and preaching a faith based on handcrafted quality, and local ingredients. More...
W hen you buy food locally, you're not only doing something good for you and your family, but you'll also be helping out your local farmer and helping to protect our rural working landscape. More...
Fresh Harvest LLC
By Lisa Shively
" Fresh Harvest is available all year--online," says Tally May, of Fresh Harvest. The local food collaboration is the brainchild of Tallahassee May , of Turnball Creek Farm and John Drury, of Drury Family Farm. Their arrangement is unique in Middle Tennessee. More...
Rocky Glade Farm
By Lisa Shively
R ocky Glade Farm, in Eagleville, Tennessee, is definitely a family affair. Established in 1998, the year owners Jim and Julie Vaughn were married, the farm has already turned into a multi-generation operation. When they started the farm Julie and Jim both had full time jobs, but it wasn't long until they both felt the call to home and farming, and what began as a few custom beef calves for friends and a summer garden is now a full-time job for both. In addition to Jim and Julie and their young sons Dylem and Caleb, Jim's parents and close neighbors Thomas and Peggy Vaughn help out with farming tips, equipment and babysitting, and Uncle Clyde and Aunt Joe Winters step in and help to staff the farm's booth at the Franklin Farmers’ Market. With more than 50 acres on which to raise vegetables, grass-fed beef, and Katahdin sheep, the farm is busy year-round growing produce, cattle, sheep, and two young boys. More...
O n Interstate 40 East, between the Linville and Carthage exits, there’s a billboard among wild overgrowth that poses the question: If you died today where would you spend eternity? Continue to Exit 258, and a rebirth amid the storybook beauty of Defeated, Tennessee might be considered for an answer. Better still, as the road hugs the water, one might ease onto the Kempville Highway, magnetized by the Dillehay Farm. Folks there have made a stand, and not just the vegetable type. More...
E ating foods that are full of fiber plays an important role in your health. So what is fiber? Fiber is a part of plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and grain products. Your body cannot digest fiber - it can only be broken down by the friendly bacteria living in your gut. Eating foods high in fiber will greatly benefit your health, and your body will thank you for it! More...
T he CSA movement in the United States started in the seventies when a group of families took care of a New England farm's financial budget, each giving what they could afford. In exchange, they went to the farm each week and took all the produce they wanted. I first heard about CSAs in 1987, and started one the following year. I love the concept of giving what you can and taking what you need. More...
A re you a mom-to-be and want to avoid getting sick during those extensive nine months of pregnancy? Instead of opening up your medicine cabinet when you sniffle, how about opening the refrigerator door before symptoms start and eating immune enhancing foods? More...
F resh local produce throughout a Tennessee winter? Who figured.... yet there are a few intrepid farmers who, instead of mending fences and planning next season's garden, continue farming during our erratic and unpredictable winter months. Meet farmers Andrew and Reuben Habegger of Eco Gardens CSA. Andrew and his partner/brother Reuben belong to the Old Order Mennonite Community in Scottsville, KY and for the past two years continued to run a CSA straight through the usually barren months of November through April. Which means instead of dealing with hot, humid weather and warm weather pests, the brothers have learned to contend with shorter hours of daylight, freezing days and nights and fluctuating daytime temperatures. More...
A n old way of farming is becoming new again. Local farmers are helping to feed their own communities, many family farms are experiencing new life and young people are starting to consider farming as a lifestyle and career choice. More...
J ohn Dyke grew up on a farm in Greeneville, Tennessee, and knows what food is supposed to taste like. He knows that eating a tomato, for example, should bring a luscious burst of flavor, as opposed to something akin to biting into tasteless cardboard. Dyke has brought his knowledge of healthy food to bear in the creation of his two stores, the Turnip Truck Natural Market and the Turnip Truck Urban Fare, and credits his childhood experience as the thing that really led him to launch the first store, located in East Nashville. "In the summer we grew and canned everything," he says. "There were many months when we didn't even have to go to the store. We lived off the land." More...
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