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The Only Local Guide To Food And Farms In Middle Tennessee - Spring 2017
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Celebrating The People Who Bring Us Homegrown Food From Tennessee Farms
Welcome to Local Table Our goal is to support a community that celebrates every meal and is thoughtful about where we live and how we eat.
Welcome to Local Table
Our goal is to support a community that celebrates every meal and is thoughtful about where we live and how we eat.

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Spring is a time of renewal and expectation.
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Cover photo by Sarah Gilliam
Over 10 years ago, Marne Duke, Jennifer Hagen-Dier, Scott Weiss and I met together at Southern SAWG and thought about ways we could help effect change in our local farming and food community. Since the first issue came out in the fall of 1997, Local Table Magazine helped coalesce our growing food movement. We've spotlighted farmers, people and organizations in our community doing good things for others, dealing with food insecurity and saving green space. We've featured innovative artisan food producers and entrepreneurs; written about restaurants going the extra step and sourcing from local farmers and producers; shared tips for visiting Tennessee towns and hamlets and food and agriculture-related festivals unique to our area; and so much more! More
Features

Historic Murfreesboro →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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
Special Feature

Historic Murfreesboro →

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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

Restaurant Guide →

Farm To Table Restaurant Guide
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Our readers have requested we publish a farm-to-table restaurant guide. So, kicking off with the spring issue, we are excited to include the new Farm-to-Table Restaurant Guide highlighting the restaurants committed to using local and seasonal ingredients. Restaurants are invited to become a part of the guide by emailing menu@localtable.net. Please support these Middle Tennessee restaurants with your dollars. Restaurants and eateries sourcing local food have made a serious commitment to our local food shed. And, don't forget to mention Local Table when making reservations! More

Farm Guide →

A Guide To Food And Farming
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We want to make it easier to find healthier, and tastier food for you and your family. We offer easy and varied choices. You can choose catagories like farmers markets, wineries, retailers, or products, or select counties, or search the whole database. You can even combine a leisure day trip in our beautiful countryside with a gourmet destination. We hope you can use the guide, along with the magazine, as a resource to the agricultural bounties of Middle Tennessee. More
We are looking for farmers growing crops, or anyone we may have missed. If you are not included in this guide and would like to make sure your farm, farmers market or retail operation is listed in the future, please get in touch. You can call Lisa at 1-615-677-6645 or lisa@localtable.net or use our online form.

Healthy Table →

Got Garlic?
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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 probiotic foods, like garlic, they release byproducts that may help to decrease risk for colon cancer. More

We hope you can use this website, along with the magazine, as a resource to the agricultural bounties of Middle Tennessee. Please feel free to keep in touch with us to pass along news you feel may be of interest to others, recipes, or comments to make Local Table a better place to meet. Thanks for joining us at Local Table.

We make no guarantee as to the quality of any produce or product from a farm or to anybodies growing practices. We're only providing a guide to local farms and invite you to find your favorite.

Local Table is solely owned and operated by Local Table LLC and is not affiliated with any group, organization or government agency. Federal trademark is pending.
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