It’s Family: Knoxville’s Market Square Farmers’ Market

It’s the people swapping stories and socializing that make the Market Square Farmers’ Market so cool.

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.

Folks having breakfast at the Cruze Farm Milk Bar — a make-shift tent set-up right beside the truck.

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.

Adam Colvin of Colvin Family Farm told me to check out their Facebook page. And he’s not the only farmer Facebooking! “My pleasure,” I said. Who wouldn’t like to see these pop-in-your-mouth summertime ‘maters from Bledsoe County?

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!

Some folks admit to sampling everything first, then making a return visit to buy their favorites. Like this shopper/sampler at Sherie’s Garden Salsa.

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.

Mountain Meadows Farm won my prize for picture-perfect red peppers — you had to touch ’em!

7 – S Farms teamed up with Log Yard Dogs, bringing cedar planks for cooking salmon on the grill, baskets of shallots, and a mountain of yellow grape tomatoes that wouldn’t fit into the picture!

Mushrooms — more than I knew existed — were in the next booth over!

Who knew mushrooms could be downright artsy?

One farmer asked me if I thought he should photograph his produce and sell the pictures. I said, “Why not?” With this color and composition, just add a simple white mat and black frame. East Tennessee art, for sure.

“Or,” I said, “look at these fabulous peppers! Naturally beautiful!” I think I’ve talked him into this photography thing. Look for pics AND peppers when you go.

Bob Due of Terraced Garden Farms told me all about how his soil — about 12″ of magnificent loam — produces these All Blue potatoes and Rose Finn Apple fingerlings. Another vendor down the way confirmed: “Bob has the BEST root vegetables, but you need to try his butternut squash, too!”

For fabulous color, my favorite booth was this one: Jim Smith’s chilies from Rushy Springs Farm in Talbott. Look for his website at the end of this blog for his Kickstarter project.

A basket of sunny yellow Trinidad Seasoning peppers from Rushy Springs Farm. Where’s that Southern Living cameraman when I need him?

My vote for prettiest booth goes to Spring Creek Farm for its artful arrangement of produce — and Shelby’s pretty smile, too!

Couldn’t resist a close-up of Spring Creek’s picture-perfect squash — or are these gourds? I should have asked!

This booth offered just what it says: hand-poured coffee — one cup at a time! Cute cups, huh?

Log Yard Dogs piled a table high with sunflowers more than a foot in diameter!

This man drove more than 2 hours from McMinnville to set up his booth and design this bouquet– that I eventually took home!

Anthony Carter brought his Junk-a-New Birdhouses made of recycled materials. Loved this one with the old horseshoe hung upside down for good luck!

Elizabeth Ethridge of A Thrifty Girl winds strips of fabric into rosettes for pinning on a blazer, gluing onto a mirror, or clamping into your hair! Clever! (Her Etsy site is listed below.)

Shyan Strunk of Soy 2 Joy candles told me their best-selling fragrances are Butt Naked and Monkey Farts, but I thought French Vanilla would be just fine at my house!

Sheila sold me two flavors of Ms. Cock-a-Doodle’s Gourmet Chicken Salad: Tarragon and Curry Cranberry Pecan. Their new store in North Knoxville has just opened, so you don’t have to wait ’til Saturday for great chicken salad!

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.

Selling baked goods from Little Red Hen Breads of Knoxville.

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

Website: http://marketsquarefarmersmarket.org/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mktsqfarmersmkt

Mentioned in this blog:

A Thrifty Girl

Elizabeth Ethridge

Website: athriftygirl.etsy.com

Colvin Family Farm

1045 JB Swafford Road, Spring City, TN 37381 (1-866-865-8329).

Email: Customer Support@ColvinFamilyFarm.com

Website: http://www.colvinfamilyfarm.com/index.html

Cruze Farm

3200 Frazier Road, Knoxville, TN

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CruzeFarm

Junk-A-New Birdhouses

Anthony Carter, 10770 Carpenter Run Lane, Knoxville, TN 37932 (865.230.1630).

Email: junkanewbirdhouse@yahoo.com

Website: http://www.junkanewbirdhouses.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Junk-A-New-Birdhouses/110598519011039

Little Red Hen Breads

Knoxville, TN

Email: redhenbreads@gmail.com

Mountain Meadows Farm

Anderson County near Norris, TN

Website: http://www.mountainmeadowsfarmtn.com/

Ms. Cock-A-Doodles

1008 E. Woodland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37917 (865.525.9384). Also in Knoxville Visitor’s Center, 301 S. Gay St., Knoxville, TN 37902

Website: http://www.mscockadoodles.com/#!home/mainPage

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/mscockadoodles

Rushy Springs Farm

230 S. Rushy Springs Road, Talbott, TN 37877 (865.674.7004). http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rushysprings/rushy-springs-farm-world-class-chile-sauces

Sherie’s Garden Salsa

Website: http://sheriesgardensalsa.com/

Soy 2 Joy Candles & Gifts

Email: Soy2Joy@comcast.net.

Website: Soy2Joy.com

Spring Creek Farm

668 Red Cut Road, Pioneer, TN 37847 (865.406.1398).

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/springcreek.farm.7

Terraced Gardens Farm

Bob Due, Owner, New Tazewell, TN (865.789.5285)

Email: rototiller2@yahoo.com

Website: http://www.terraced-gardens-farm.com/

 

About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
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6 Responses to It’s Family: Knoxville’s Market Square Farmers’ Market

  1. Pingback: Eat local, meet local at Boise’s Capital City Public Market | Oh, the Places We See . . .

  2. Pingback: Eat local, meet local at Boise Farmers Market | Oh, the Places We See . . .

  3. Adam Colvin says:

    You did a great job capturing the feel of our favorite farmers’ market! I sure enjoyed this glimpse of Market Square during the dead of Winter–thanks for the post!
    Incidentally I just joined Pintrest this morning lol :/

  4. cmmoxley says:

    Welcome to the Market Square Farmers’ Market, Rusha! Alan and I go every single Saturday we are in town. It is such a magical place that it just makes me smile to walk through. Your photos are wonderful — and a great reflection of what’s available at the best market in Knoxville!

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