Farmers Market Update: Memphis

by | Sep 25, 2011
Flowers

Flowers

I’m Sharon Steed and I’m a freelance writer from Chicago. I go to Memphis a few times a year to visit some family I have down there, and this was the first time I went to the farmers market there. I lovecooking, reading, Housewives (the ladies from Beverly Hills are my favorite) and wine. You can follow me on Twitter @sharonsteed.

Farmers Market Update: Memphis

by Sharon Steed

99 degrees. That’s how hot it was at 10:00am when I got to the Memphis Farmers Market. I was in town visiting family for Labor Day weekend, and I wanted to explore something more than the Memphis night-life for this trip. The farmers market was a good way for me to see what else the city had to offer, and it helped me not gorge on yummy southern food for four days.

Memphis is known for a few things including the enormous contributions to American Music (Graceland is a little south of downtown), the Beale Street bars and good old southern hospitality. It’s not, however, known for being a hub for healthy, locally grown food. And that’s where the Memphis Farmers Market (MFM) comes in.

Memphis Farmers Market

Memphis Farmers Market

The MFM is a non-profit corporation in the State of Tennessee. They’re dedicated to providing local food choices, improving public health, educating the community on nutrition and serving as a community gathering place.

Peaches

Peaches

This was my first time venturing out during daylight hours while in Memphis, and I was pretty surprised at how much the city had to offer. The market is in the heart of downtown Memphis, and only a few blocks away from the Mississippi River and Beale Street. It was miserably hot that day – especially for someone from a cooler city like Chicago. But that didn’t stop the smiling faces and perky families from getting healthy eats.

Beets

Beets

I love cooking, but I rarely take time out to do it on vacation. Since I was in town for a long weekend, I figured this was a good opportunity to change that up. Spaghetti squash is a little bit time-consuming to cut and carve, but it’s so worth the energy. And I figured I could convince some of my family to have a few bites since it looks like linguini.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

I’m obsessed with tomatoes; I put them on pretty much everything. Sometimes I even just eat them alone with maybe a little dressing. They’re a perfect vacation food because you can always find a simple greens to mix them with and it only takes a minute to cut up a couple.

Summer Tomatoes

Summer Tomatoes

Apples are a good travel food since they’re sturdy and don’t leak. I picked up some for the eight-hour drive home.

Apples

Apples

About half of the vendors there were selling artwork. This steel heart caught my eye.

Steel Heart

Steel Heart

I also saw some beautiful wood tree houses and I spent a few minutes talking to a really sweet man who made them by hand.

Gas Station Bird House

Gas Station Bird House

The granola vendor was the first one I stopped at when I got to the market, and I’m glad I did. Finding good granola is pretty difficult as I gather it’s quite challenging to make. This granola from Groovy Foods was probably the best I’ve ever had.

Granola

Granola

My mom and I have been enjoying baked stuffed peppers lately, and these were so vibrant and flavorful that it was immediately on my list for an easy vacation meal.

Green and Purple Bell Peppers

Green and Purple Bell Peppers

I was really surprised to find out that the MFM was non-profit solely focused on bringing together area farmers to sell healthy foods. The farmers market has its own outdoor facility and is run by a board of directors. The sense of community was so refreshing, and, as an out-of-towner, I was blown away by everyone’s hospitality. Memphis is a special place for me, and the MFM is now a go-to spot for all of my future visits to one of my favorite cities.

Onesie!

Onesie!

What I bought:

  • Apples
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Dark Star Granola from Groovy Foods
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Green and Purple Bell Peppers
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One Response to “Farmers Market Update: Memphis”

  1. Adam says:

    Glad you enjoyed your visit! There are a few other weekly(?) farmer’s markets here as well. This city has a lot to offer, though the summers are, as you noted, pretty brutal.

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