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The Only Local Guide To Food And Farms In Middle Tennessee - Spring 2017
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Spring 2017


Historic Murfreesboro →


Nestled 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

Eating the Landscape →


It 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.
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. Over the last decade, the awareness of foodscaping and its benefits has escalated. Today, foodscaping isn’t just about pinching pennies during a season of financial difficulty; it’s become an environmental trend, and more and more people are choosing this nontraditional beautification for their homes. More

Sustainability on the Menu →


Tom Morales built a restaurant empire with an emphasis on environmental efforts.
Fin & 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. “We don’t do it to save on our garbage bill,” Morales says. “We do it because it’s the right thing to do.” Doing the right thing helped Morales build his culinary empire. As a young restaurant manager, he figured out he could guarantee fresh seafood year-round by paying fishermen a better price in the summer, when it was plentiful, and they’d remain loyal to him in the winter, when other restaurants had to rely on frozen seafood. “It gave us a competitive advantage in the marketplace, and we take that same philosophy here,” Morales says. “We want local farmers to grow for our needs and the amount of product that we can move.” More

Peaceful Pastures →


When 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. After winding around the country roads of Smith County, I arrived at the base of the property. I turned onto the gravel road and the hills unrolled before my eyes, speckled with small moving dots. Packs of lambs, cows and dogs came into full focus as I parked. The uncharacteristic 70-degree temperature set the tone for what I would discover to be one of the most unexpected treasures of Middle Tennessee farming. More

The Isha Institute →


Not 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. Along the wooded road leading to the 10-year-old Isha USA campus is an unassuming sign directing you through what was formerly a pine plantation. A visitor’s guide, which can be picked up at the welcome center, states that this is “a powerful space for inner exploration and complete well-being.” And I feel it. After all, this is the place where Inner Engineering is taught. The brochure extends an invitation to “a comprehensive program as an overhaul of all aspects of the human mechanism, imparting practical wisdom and powerful yogic practices to manage body, mind, emotions and the fundamental life energies within.” More

Food Tours →


Fantastic Food Tours: Exploring Nashville…One Bite at a Time
Culinary 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

Healthy Table →

Got Garlic?
Eating Garlic for health
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. Garlic is a good source of prebiotics, a special type of fiber that our intestinal bacteria need to grow and function. The gut is the body’s first line of defense against disease-causing germs—keeping our normal gut bacteria healthy keeps us healthy. Probiotics can be beneficial for human health and wellbeing. When gut bacteria eat prebiotic foods, like garlic, they release byproducts that may help to decrease risk for colon cancer. More

Ask Farmer Jason →

Questions & Answers for kids (and others!)
Farmer Jason is the brainchild of rock music legend, Jason Ringenberg of Jason and the Scorchers. In 2002, he created Farmer Jason to educate and entertain children about farm life and the wonders of nature.

If you would like to ask him questions, email him at jr@farmerjason.com

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