12 South Farmers Market haulin oats in jar

Nashville Loves Food: Local Farmers Markets

By Sheri Oneal

My favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning in the summer (other than hitting garage sales) is head to a local farmers market and get my fresh vegetables for the week. After the long winter we have had I can’t wait to get outside and going to the farmers market is a perfect way to start a weekend! While working on the “Nashville Loves Food” project last year with Lithographics, Inc., Melissa Corbin and Joe Smith I was introduced to “Hip Donelson Farmers Market” and “12 South Farmers Market”. I was pleasantly surprised at the size of both and the items their vendors had to offer.

The 12 South Farmers Market located over in Sevier Park came to be after folks from a book club were reading Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” in 2010. They felt the area would be great for a farmers market because of the sustainable, local business landscape. Most of the folks in that community shop at Whole Foods and expect high standards, owner Mary Crimmins makes sure that need is met by doing business with over 30 farmers and artisan. Here are some photos I shot as I walked around…

Ramble Hill Farms, 12 South Farmers Market

Mary Crimmins, owner of 12th South Farmers Market

Bountiful Blessings Farm Scallions, 12th South Farmers Market

Mushrooms, Whispering Creek, 12th South Farmers Market

Kids, 12th South Farmers Market, Nashville, TN

Bountiful Blessings Farm farm eggs and beets, 12 South Farmers Market

The Hip Donelson Farmers Market has more than forty vendors and offers kids activities, non-profit booths and other fun things to make it feel more like a festival. Manager Frank Trew tells the story of how the market came to be after the Hip Donelson Facebook group held a meeting in June of 2012. With people in the room who wanted a farmers market and others who wanted a community garden they decided to create the Hip Donelson Farmers Market two months later. They wanted people to know the farmers and understand exactly where the food was coming from so they created a producers only market. The Hip Donelson Farmers Market averages $10,000 plus in weekly sales! Below are some of my favorite photos from my shoot…

Frank Trew, Hip Donelson Farmers Market, Strawberry vendor

Hummus, Hip Donelson Farmers Market

Local vendor at Hip Donelson Farmers Market

Live Music, Hip Donelson Farmers Market

Local Vendor, Hip Donelson Farmers Market

Cherries, Hip Donelson Farmers Market

Hummus Chick, Hip Donelson Farmers Market

Donelson Farmers Market

Local vendor at the Hip Donelson Farmers Market

Food presentation, Hip Donelson Farmers Market

I live on the West side of Nashville so I usually go to the West Nashville Farmers Market or to the Nashville Farmers Market near downtown. I was surprised to run into people at both of the farmers markets I photographed in this blog even though they are not close to where I live!  Wherever you live there are small farmers markets around the area catering to specific neighborhoods making it easy to get great locally farmed items. Most of the smaller markets are opening back up for the summer in the next week or so and are a great place for all kinds of fresh food as well as meeting people in your community. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be great so why not get out and do a little shopping while supporting your local farmers and artisans!

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