Market Square Farmers’ Market: A Final Tip of the Urban Hat for 2011

Market Square Farmers’ Market, Knoxville, November 2011

The air has turned cold. The ice rink is being installed on Market Square and the crops are diminishing. It can only mean that the end to the Market Square Farmers’ Market is coming soon. There will be an open-air crafts fair between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some of the farmers I spoke to indicated they would continue opening their stalls each week with the random lettuce, kale, beets and tomatoes they have left. The pepper guy, the bread guy and the coffee guy shouldn’t be impacted by the end of growing season locally.

Jeff Scheafnocker, Three Bears Coffee Cart, Market Square Farmers’ Market

I thought I’d run a few, probably final pictures of some of my favorite vendors. I’ve bought great food from each of them. I buy my coffee from Jeff Scheafnocker with Three Bears Coffee Company. He’s pictured in his cart which used to be Just Ripe’s cart before they got all grown up and opened a store front. Jeff’s coffee is available there.

Crosswind Farm, Hazel’s Salad Dressing, VG’s Bakery

Pictured in a row are Crosswind Farm where we’ve bought many tomatoes and mountains of the best lettuce you’ll ever place in a salad. Next to them you see Hazel of Hazel’s Salad Dressing, which is great. My favorite is the Rosemary Lemon, which is also a bit lower calorie so the Urban Guy doesn’t get too rotund. Of course, perennial favorite VG’s Bakery is next in that row.

John Ledbetter and Hines Valley Farm, Market Square Farmers’ Market

This year was the year of okra in my home. I couldn’t get enough. Urban Woman finally protested that we were turning green and pointed on one end, but I kept buying it. We boiled it mostly, but we also fried, baked and grilled it. Our favorite okra came from Hines Valley Farm and was sold to us by the ever-congenial John Ledbetter.

Rick and his fresh-baked artisan bread, Market Square Farmer’s Market

Our trip to Paris this summer only strengthened my love for good, fresh-baked bread. We’ve had some great bread locally from Harry’s Deli and Tellico Grains, both of which do a wonderful job. I always find myself gravitating to Rick’s stand on Saturdays. The sourdough bread is great as are all the other varieties we’ve sampled, but I always come back to a baguette. The first bite as I walk home with my vegetables is always the best.

Flowers at the Market Square Farmers’ Market, Knoxville

I found this year that I often returned home with locally grown flowers, as well. The lady pictured here had some very unusual looking flowers and I bought a bunch from her. There are several excellent flower vendors at the Market this year. I wish we could get a permanent flower stall somewhere in the center city just selling bunches of beautiful fresh-cut flowers. It was one of my favorite things about London this summer and since I’m unlikely to afford another European trip for a long, long time, it’s nice to see so many flowers closer to home recreating that great vibe.

Local Crafts fill Market Square between Thanksgiving and Christmas

So, catch the last bit while you can. Thank these good people for the good they bring into our lives and lets all hunker down for the winter and await their return next spring.

The Pepper Guy – Great Produce and the Most Colorful Display Award