The Nashville Farmers’ Market held a specially called board meeting January 14th to discuss the new merchant standards and application process. The meeting was open to the public. Folks like Delvin Farms, Smiley Hollow Farms, Nashville Jam Company, Bells Bend Farm, Robertson’s Produce, Picnic Taproom and Crochet by Lily all attended. Nashville Farmers’ Market Executive Director, Tasha Kennard, shared that their vision “is to become a world class, financially self sufficient destination in the heart of Nashville is made possible by helping local and regional farmers, supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs, spurring economic development, raising awareness and providing resources for community health and nutrition education and providing access to fresh, nutritious food.”
To realize the Nashville Farmers’ Market vision commands major change. The Nashville food scene will be “crossing the Rubicon,” as Chef Tyler Brown of Capital Grille and Nashville Farmers’ Market board member explains the shift. Starting February 1, the farm sheds will be closed for construction. During this time, all merchants must reapply to be a Nashville Farmers’ Market vendor. When the sheds reopen for the growing season starting in April and completing in June, shoppers can expect to shake the hand that feeds them. You got it Nashville! The Nashville Farmers’ Market will become a producer-only market. If they make it, bake it or grow it, chances are those producers will have a presence at the market. In support of Nashville’s diverse food entrepreneurs, there will be a host of artisans accepted into the collective. On the flea market end of the spectrum, watch for more international goods such as street food, textiles, spices and other artisan goods. No longer will the flea market shed permit the sale of commercially produced products such as incense, cd’s and brand knock offs. The market board and staff members are working with current merchants who do not meet the new requirements to find an appropriate venue for their sales model. Meanwhile, enjoy a day at the market whether to shop, eat or play. Please visit nashvillefarmersmarket.org for upcoming events and classes. May Nashvillians celebrate such a monumental day as the Nashville Farmers’ Market uphold the loving hands responsible for that which sustains us.