Mixed Blessings

We are already half way through the year and the weather has been a mixed bag for our local growers. The early spring and warm temperatures gave us some early crops, but the early growth spurt also meant tender growth was susceptible to the mid-April freeze. Many of our area fruit growers lost most or all of their crops! I've tried to make note of crop damage in the farm guide listings, but please call first before visiting any peach, apple, or berry farms. Both of the apple orchards in my area had a 100% crop loss - it's bad news for us apple lovers, but disasterous news for our farmers.

The good news is that many crops will be as much as a month early - so if you are waiting for blueberries and summer squash - check at your farmers market or with your farmer and ask about harvest dates. You don't want to miss out on your favorite summer fruit or veggie!

Farmers and artisans in Middle Tennessee continue to amaze me with both their hard work and creativity. In our summer issue we look at some of the new artisan food producers at the Nashville Farmers Market, as well as a group in Clarksville called The Gathering who are helping bring new entrepreneurs' visions to life.

It's also wedding time in Tennessee and we thought it would be fun to look at putting on a farm wedding. Turns out there are lots of great farms and caterers to make the day as unique and special as every couple tying the knot.

We are also lucky to live in a state with a rich cultural history and part of that history is the making of moonshine. Tennessee was one of the top producers prior to Prohibition and now that it's legal again, small distilleries creating handcrafted 'shine are popping up all over the place. It's also fair time and there's no better way to sample a bit of our state's rich agricultural heritage than to visit your local county fair.

Summer is also a great time for festivals celebrating much of our food heritage - from RC and the Moon Pie to banana pudding, tomatoes, hot chicken and more!

I also want to put in a word for our advertisers who help make Local Table possible and hope you can thank them as well by giving them your business and letting them know you saw them here!

Eat well and eat Local!
Lisa Shively