Thompson’s Station Farmers Market (TSFM), now in its 5th year, will kick off its 2016 season with new management when it re-opens at the charming but elegant Homestead Manor Barn on May 11th.
After months of planning and preparation, this wonderful farmers market will support & nurture 24 vendors who Grow It, Raise It, Make It, or Bake It — all to provide shoppers the very best in a Farm-to-Community market experience.
We had the pleasure of recently speaking with the TSFM Market Manager and Homestead Farm Director Steven Bailey, who has helped lead the new additions and changes that are on tap for the upcoming market season. Vendor spots have already sold out very quickly, and there will be a great mixture of farmers and vendors, offering everything from locally raised grass-fed meats, fresh farm eggs, locally grown vegetables, fruits, fresh flowers, natural soaps & candles, jams & jellies, baked goods, honey, hand-made goods and more. In addition, the Puckett’s Trolley and other artisans will provide goods such as shaved ice, kettle corn and freshly prepared to-go salads and sandwiches.
Steven also shared with us the overarching vision forÎ¾TSFM, which stems greatly from his clean eating journey and experiences.Î¾Like many in our area, Steven relocated here from Dallas, TX with his wife, who was from Tennessee, and their two children looking for new opportunities in creative, sustainable farming. While in Texas his interest in local food systems started with his personal chef business and the sourcing of foods he prepared for his clients. After discovering the documentary Food Inc — and hearing Joel Salatin expose the America’s industrialized food system and its effect on our environment, health and economy — heÎ¾began to seek out organic and sustainable farming in his area and discovered it at local Mennonite farms. Soon he was bringing back his finds from these Mennonite farms, products like raw milk, fresh eggs and non-GMO grown produce. Very quickly, he soon found others families were wanting access to these farm fresh foods too!
As a result, Steven began taking orders from families and became so popular he ended up creating his own CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) which grew to close to 2,400 families! It didn’t end there though. He became a student of Joel Salatin, who has pioneered processes that allow small farmers to grow food in an efficient, sustainable manner, and helped devise effective marketing strategies to connect small farmers and consumers using modern technologies. This led him on to creating a local movement to champion clean eating and sustainable farming enterprises; through having an urban farm, conducting workshops, entrepreneurial incubators, teaching profitable farming and community awareness, to support local grown. This entire effort became very successful in every way and was eventually acquired by a large organization to expand it on a greater scale.
Steven’s wealth of knowledge and experience in assisting the growth of profitable local food systems are at the center of the directions and plans for the TSFM. Their goal is to not only assist in growing the market, but also to position it so that it can evolve into its own non-profit organization that oversees its well-being.
The community, homeschool-ers, and groups are encouraged to come out to shop and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, and engage in the educational opportunities that further add to the enjoyment of the market.
The TSFM will open with a huge celebration event, The Homestead in Bloom festival on May 11th and open every Wednesday thereafter from 10:00 am to 2 pm.
Thompson’s Station Farmers Market
Homestead Manor , 4683 Columbia Pike
Thompson Station, TN 38402