Have you developed a serious habit of buying fresh vegetables, honey and various farm products each weekend?
Then Sunday afternoons at Lane Agri-Park in Murfreesboro is the place for you.
On Sunday, managers of Rutherford County’s Lane Agri-Park Community Center launched the first winter market on a Sunday afternoon, and the turnout was exceptional.
Between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., hundreds of visitors perused the products of more than 25 vendors offering fall greens, winter squash, sweet potatoes, grass-fed beef, fresh eggs, herbs and local honey.
Many came in their Sunday best after attending church and having lunch with their families.
Customers were greeted with live music, and the Maupin family will provide old time music and dancing at the Nov. 27 market.
Samples of gourmet dishes made from fall harvest root vegetables, such as sauteed turnips and sweet potato hashbrowns, were provided by Five Senses Restaurant owner Mitchell Murphree.
“This is the largest turnout I have seen for any farmers’ market here at Lane Agri-Park,” Mitchell said, adding that his restaurant will also provide samples of dishes made from seasonal products, such as turnip greens, kale, and mustard greens, at the Dec. 4 market.
Manager Janie Becker was more than pleased with the success of the first day of the Rutherford County Farmers’ Market extended season.
She said the extended season was an attempt to bring fall and winter farm products, as well as seasonal products such as Christmas trees and poinsettias, to customers and to encourage traditional vendors to “think outside the box” when considering what to grow and sell from their farms.
First-time vendors Kennedy Ferris and Linda Kennedy said they decided to plant a garden of winter vegetables on their Compton Road farm after learning of the opportunity to sell during extended fall hours.
Their products also included handmade dry goods, firewood and bamboo grown along creek banks at the farm.
Cooking demonstrations are planned for the first Sunday of December.
Beginning in 2012, the market will also be able to accept EBT, debit and credit cards, due to a grant from the USDA.
Vendors who wish to sell only self-produced, unaltered products and who meet state guidelines can participate for a minimal fee by calling Janie Becker at 615-898-7710.
The market’s extended season will continue each Sunday afternoon through Dec. 18 at Lane Agri-Park Community Center, located at 315 John R. Rice Blvd., in Murfreesboro.