I was long overdue for a visit to one of the area’s best farmers’ markets — or so I’ve heard it’s the best — right downtown in Knoxville’s Market Square. I marked off this Saturday for my inaugural visit just to see what all the talk was about and to bring home some veggies from the Market Square Farmer’s Market!
My husband and I dined at Pete’s first thing — French toast, eggs over easy, sausage, and piping hot black coffee. Love this little diner.
But we could have had a biscuit and coffee at any number of places, even at the Cruze Farm Milk Bar set up on Union Avenue. It’s all good, or at least looked to be.
It didn’t take me long to realize that our Farmers’ Markets have definitely kicked it up a notch. What I saw that morning were white tents, for the most part; uniquely designed backdrops announcing names, locations and websites (Yes, they now have websites!) of area farms and businesses; ID tags for veggies and fruits with varietal names of produce locally grown; business cards with Facebook pages and Twitter names!
Not like the old days of open truck beds with turned-up baskets spilling the pickin’s of the day. No sirree. This market is first class all the way.
One customer, Donna Redwine, told me that she and her husband come every Saturday — and bring the dog. It’s just the greatest way to end the week. We love it here, she said. And so did others, judging from the shoppers, casual coffee drinkers, and big-time talkers. Dogs do too!
Even Elvis showed up, charming the breakfast crowd at Cafe 4!
It really was a great experience all around. The produce was at its most colorful, the baked goods at their freshest, and the farmers, vendors, and creative crafters –ready to share information with anyone willing to listen.
Here’s what makes Market Square Farmers’ Market so good.
Breads and pastries, too, were in abundance from cinnamon buns to cupcakes to hand-made multi-grain loaves. Perhaps my favorite booth — not for their showiness or for their vast array of offerings — was this simple one from Red Hen Breads.
This mother of two bakes her squshy soft rolls of milled wheat berries, flax seed, honey, free-range eggs, and yeast in a commercial kitchen owned by another vendor on Fridays and then brings them to market. During the week, she home-schools her sons who help her in their booth near Krutch Park.
And I guess that’s what I love about this Knoxville Market. It’s families working to bring us their most creative, very best products. And it’s friends helping friends find a place to bake or set up a booth or just talk about their products. The market has become a family unto itself — both to those who work there and for those of us who visit whenever we can.
Hope you get to any one of the Farmers’ Markets before they close. You’ll be glad you did!
The Market Square Farmers’ Market
Wednesdays from 11 AM to 2 PM
Saturdays from 9 AM to 2 PM
May through November on historic Market Square
Mentioned in this blog:
A Thrifty Girl
1045 JB Swafford Road, Spring City, TN 37381 (1-866-865-8329).
Email: Customer Support@ColvinFamilyFarm.com
3200 Frazier Road, Knoxville, TN
Anthony Carter, 10770 Carpenter Run Lane, Knoxville, TN 37932 (865.230.1630).
Little Red Hen Breads
Anderson County near Norris, TN
1008 E. Woodland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37917 (865.525.9384). Also in Knoxville Visitor’s Center, 301 S. Gay St., Knoxville, TN 37902
230 S. Rushy Springs Road, Talbott, TN 37877 (865.674.7004). http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rushysprings/rushy-springs-farm-world-class-chile-sauces
Spring Creek Farm
668 Red Cut Road, Pioneer, TN 37847 (865.406.1398).
Bob Due, Owner, New Tazewell, TN (865.789.5285)