Nourish Knoxville, a local non-profit organization, is the organizing force and sponsor of the first series of Winter Markets that have been held in Knoxville. This is the same group behind the Farmer’s Market operation at Knoxville’s Market Square from spring through fall season…
So Laurie and I decided to check it out on the second Saturday in March…
Knoxville’s Winter Markets were scheduled for the second Saturday of each month, January through April. The Market is held between 10 am and 2 pm at the old Southern Railway Station on West Depot in Knoxville.
The vendors for the Winter Market are limited to farm and food products only. The organizer reached out to them first, only to realize they were so enthusiastic they filled all her available spaces! So what farm products will be available…after all its winter! Well the fact is that plenty of farm products are available at this time of the year.
Here is a list of the participating vendors for the Winter Market. Note: Some of them may not be in attendance on a particular date.
Benefit Your Life - gluten free baked goods; Natural Products Market; Bread of Life; The Breadheads; Buffalo Brad's Steak Jerky – beef, turkey and buffalo jerky; Colvin Family Farm; Dale's Fried Pies; Garden to Gourmet Goodness – jams, jellies, salsas; Granola Naturals; Honeyberry Farm- honey and jelly; Honey Dew Naturals – honey, beeswax products, body care; JEM Farm – pork, chicken, goat and eggs; Jennings Hollow Farm – chicken, eggs, pork and lamb; Kelly's Pasta – pasta and spice blends; Mossy Creek Mushrooms – mushrooms and mushroom grow kits; Musick Mountain Farm - produce; Old City Java – brewed coffee and baked goods; PopCulture - popsicles; Reynolds Farm – jams, pickles, salsas; Rushy Springs Farm – dried and fresh peppers, hot sauce; Shelton Farm – cornmeal, grits, wheat flour; Sherie's Garden Style Salsa – salsa, chow chow; Stone Mountain Alpacas – alpaca wool, knitted items; VG's Bakery.
That list kept us busy, that’s for sure!
The best part…for me at least…was staged outside of the Southern Depot alongside the historic train cars. Its Knoxville’s line up of food trucks, serving up lunch and snacks made from locally sourced ingredients!
Yes…the food truck phenomenon has truly taken root here in East Tennessee! The Tootsie Truck offered such items as Cheese Grits ($4.50); a Breakfast Sandwich ($6.50); Local Cheeseburger ($10.00); Coq Au Vin ($9.00), and: a Horseradish Potato Cake ($3.00). The Tootsie Truck is on the web, with a sample menu and their calendar. Just go to http://www.tootsietruck.com/. They are also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tootsietruck.
This is the Savory and Sweet food truck. Menu items included Shepherd’s Pie ($9.00); Corn Cakes with black and pinto beans plus salsa and chipotle cream ($7.00); Naan with Garlic Hummus plus carrots and celery ($6.00), and Deviled Eggs (2 for $3.00). The website for the Sweet and Savory food truck is found at http://savoryandsweettruck.com/. They are also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/savorysweetfoodtruck.
Laurie bought these deviled eggs from the Savory and Sweet food truck… She really liked these deviled eggs…although she makes great ones herself!
I checked the Sweet and Savory website and found that another specialty that they make is deep fried deviled eggs! The boiled egg whites are washed in more egg white and then dipped in corn meal before putting them in the deep fryer and filling them with the egg yolk mixture. Then they dress them up with a little chow chow…
Bull’s BBQ food truck featured such items as a Pulled Pork Parfait ($8.00); ¼ lb. Pulled Pork Sandwich ($6.00), and Smoked Chicken Wings ($1.25 each). Bull’s BBQ can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BullsBBQtn.
They also have a Twitter site at https://twitter.com/bulls_bbq. When looking at the Twitter site, I saw another of their creations… The Pulled Pork Stuffed Pretzel Pockets looked pretty interesting!
I didn’t get a photo of HOOF’s menu but as you can see, they feature local grass-fed beef. I checked them out on their website, (http://www.hoofknoxville.com/), and learned that they have a constantly evolving menu which includes vegetarian offerings and salads.
Of course, I’m a carnivore and I’d snatch up one of their Classic HOOF Burgers. The burgers are made from Century Farms’ Grass Fed Beef with Tomato Jam and Arugula. Burgers come with an order of HOOF’s seasoned French Fries with Garlic Aioli. ($12.00) HOOF can also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HoofKnoxville.
Then there was the Farm to Griddle Crepes food truck… I found their menu on-line. There is a breakfast crepe and there are vegetarian crepes. Two offerings listed under Savory Crepes were as follows: Smoked Sunburst Trout – smoked trout, arugula, spinach, red onion, avocado, capers, Swiss cheese and Crème Fraiche ($10.00), and; Asian Pork Loin – house smoked pork loin, ginger slaw, sprouts, a blueberry-balsamic reduction and feta cheese ($9.00).
Farm to Griddle Crepes can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Farm-to-Griddle-Crepes/379697042064392. To jump directly to their menu, you can go to https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=705750189459074&set=a.479848915382537.117569.379697042064392&type=1&theater.
The Three Bears Coffee Company was quite busy… As I understand it, they sell some baked goods along with top notch coffee. Three Bears Coffee Company is a coffee roasting operation that is devoted to offering coffees from the most conscientious growers in the world. They wholesale to retailers and restaurants as well as selling whole beans and freshly brewed coffee directly to consumers at East Tennessee farmers markets.
You can check out The Three Bears Coffee Company on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Three-Bears-Coffee-Co/166012890076804.
Now I was gobsmacked by this food vendor at the Winter Market! Good Golly Tamale makes the very best tamales that I’ve ever eaten… It’s all about the masa! Instead of being made with corn meal, these tamales are made with masa…dried corn treated with lime. They are fluffy, fairly light and satisfying. The tamale’s fillings are all sourced from farmer's markets and Three Rivers Market Food Co-op. As much as possible, the ingredients are organic, local, and free-range.
The tamales are sold from a heated compartment that is fitted on the back of the Tricycle in the photo. They struggled to keep up with the demand and there was a sizeable line… First I ordered a Thai Chicken Tamale with roasted green chile, coconut and Thai basil. Spectacular! I went back for another one but they were out for the moment. Another customer recommended that I try the Vegan Tamale…with black-eyed peas, collard greens and sweet potato in a blue corn tamale. It was also excellent! Laure tasted both of them and she liked the blue corn tamale the best… Sorry – No photos – I ate the Tamales without slowing down to think!
These terrific tamales are prepared in the Public House Restaurant's kitchen, and then they’re wrapped in foil for transport to the site. They aren’t unwrapped until they are sold. Good Golly Tamale can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goodgollytamaleknoxville. To learn more about the Public House Restaurant and its own quirky and interesting menu, go to https://www.facebook.com/knoxpublichouse.
There was plenty of action indoors as well… A plethora of farm and food vendors were set up inside the original dining room of the former Southern Train Depot. They were selling an amazing selection of local farm products, including meat, winter produce, baked goods, coffee, specialty foods, and more!
It's hard to tell by our photos, but even outdoors the Winter Market wasn’t all about the food trucks… There was a big selection of plants for shoppers to peruse…plus a big booth for VG’s Bakery selling baked goods as fast as they could take the money!
As you can see, it was a sunny and comfortable late winter day for the farmer’s market… Everyone was in a great mood! These flowers added a bit of cheer and color to the event…
Laurie bought these 3 plants…Polemonium Stairway to Heaven, aka Jacob’s Ladder. (With our unusually cold spring weather and repeated frosts and freezes, they’ve been repeatedly covered and uncovered to protect them)
We also purchased a variety of baked goods from VG’s Bakery’s booth…bread, scones and Danish sweet rolls… We failed to take a picture but they were excellent! FYI…VG’s Bakery’s store is located at 11552 Kingston Pike in Farragut Tennessee. VG’s website can be found at http://vgsbakery.com/.
I almost forgot! Laurie loves brown eggs and in this case the ones that she purchased from Spring Creek Farms at the Winter Market ranged from brown to pastels…
Good News! If you live in the Knoxville area, there are 2 more Winter Markets scheduled! The first one will be tomorrow, Saturday, 4/12/14. Due to the popularity and success of this event, one additional Winter Market has been scheduled. It will be on Saturday, 4/22/14. Don’t miss it!
Following the final Winter Market at the old Southern Railway Depot, the weekly Farmer’s Market events will resume in Knoxville’s downtown Market Square. To learn more and to check the list of participating vendors and products, just go to www.marketsquarefarmersmarket.org.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave