Many of us in the food community have taken note of the adversity surrounding the West Nashville Farmers Market. While this all played out in social media last week, many folks do not know that this has been brewing for quite a while. Sean Siple, manager of the West Nashville Farmers Market, announced last week that Delvin Farms would not be invited back to the West Nashville Farmers Market. In his words, “My hope is that you will consider our point of view and the Delvin’s and be the wiser for the time spent considering how important your food dollar is to the future of food.” Sean also owns Good Food for Good People. Good Food for Good People resells produce bought from Amish produce auctions. While this produce may be cheaper, there is no way to guarantee its origin. So, if price is your only consideration the West Nashville Farmers Market will be a great produce shopping destination for you.
Alan Powell of Nashville Grown and The Barefoot Farmer refers to Delvin Farms as the “First Family of Middle Tennessee Farming Community.” He continues to ask how we can respond without fracturing the community. Corbin In the Dell supports folks that give a damn. So, my hope is to continue a healthy conversation about where our food comes from. In doing so, others will begin to take notice and give a damn. The Delvins’ response to Siple’s decision was, “A farmers market is only successful because of the farmers and vendors who attend it. It is the people who make up a farmers market, the quality of products and the relationships that customers make with their producers.” The Delvins manage the East Nashville Farmers Market. This market is a great option if you are interested in meeting the farmer or artisan that produced your food.
Corbin In The Dell offers content strategy for restaurants, farmers and artisans. One of the most important elements I have seen in this debate is brand identity. In the case of Delvin Farms, organic certification is crucial to their brand. If your brand declares to be organic, do everything in your power to protect that identity. Regardless, make sure your branding strategy includes a plan. That plan will save you time and time again. Delvin Farms is an excellent example of a strong brand. Hank Delvin, Sr. had a plan very early on. His family is self-sustaining by sticking to their plan. They are a small family farm, who has shifted the weight of our food’s future. There are many other producers and farmers who have stuck to a sustainable plan. For the sake of our food’s future, take notice and continue the conversation…..