What’s in Season? PUMPKINS!

October is Farm-to-School month, and pumpkin season is HERE! Make sure you and your family celebrate by visiting pumpkin patches all around Northwest Tennessee for the whole family to enjoy and support our local farmers!

Check out our list of local pumpkin patches…

A Pumpkin-filled Village of Fairytales
Pumpkins sourced locally from Nanney Farms!

Discovery Park, Union City, TN “Once Upon a Pumpkin” – Pumpkin Village
830 Everett Blvd.
Union City, TN 38261
731.885.5455
info@discoveryparkofamerica.com

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Pumpkin Village is returning to Discovery Park this October for the entire month. 

“Once Upon a Pumpkin” at Discovery Park features an entire village created from more than 40,000 pounds of pumpkins enhanced by hay bales and fall flowers like chrysanthemums and pansies. All your family’s wishes will come true as you explore this magical land filled with classic children’s stories. “Once Upon a Pumpkin” is open the month of October and is free with park admission.

Donnell Century Farm

3720 Hwy 70 East
Jackson, TN 38305
Get Directions: 3720 Hwy 70 East Jackson, TN 38305 (Spring Creek Community)
(731) 424-4526
Andrew Donnell: Farmer@DonnellCenturyFarm.com

HOURS: Friday & Saturday: 10am- 6pm
Sunday: 12-6pm

Outdoor Fall Festival September 25th – October 31st
Pumpkin Destruction Day Weekend – November 6-7th

Agri-tourism: Our attractions include a 250 ft. Zipline, an epic Corn Maze, the infamous Candy Cannon, Gemstone Mining, Farm Animals, and so much more. Come one, come all and enjoy the day on the farm!

Dixie Chile Ranch
3159 E. Union Grove Road
Kenton, TN, 38233
Timothy D. Brady & Terri Jenkins-Brady
(731) 225-0456
dixiechileranch@gmail.com

Freshly locally grown variety of specialty pumpkins

HOURS: The Farm Stand is open to you when you can come. Call ahead, if possible. Pay at the stand, you can also sell at Soleil (Union City), Kenton Food Rite

Future Vision Farms
3830 Whitlock Road Paris, TN 38242
Tyler Smith
(731) 336-4892
futurevisionsfarms@gmail.com
@futurevisionsfarmstn

HOURS: Saturday 10am -5pm, Sunday 1-5pm

Green Acres Farm
158 Medina Highway, Milan, TN 38354
Denton Parkins
(731) 686-1403
greenacresfarmmilantn@gmail.com
Greenacresmilan.com

U-Pick: Pumpkin Patch, Corn Maze, Zinnia Patch, Pumpkinville and more!

HOURS: Sun-up ‘til sun-down until October 31st

M&R Produce
Sells locally grown pumpkins out of Dyer County
Malcom and Ruby Harris
(731) 445-4043

https://www.facebook.com/ruby.morganjohnson

Holt Family Farms
357 Woodruff Road Dresden, TN 38225
Andy & Ellie Holt
(731) 364-3459
Ellie Holt (731) 819-2261
email@holtfamilyfarms.com

Pumpkins, Mums, fall décor, jams, eggs, local honey, all-natural bath and body products, goat milk soaps and Hayrides. Open to hosting students and groups for field trips

HOURS: September 25th – October 30th
Fridays 1 – 7pm, Saturdays 10am – 7pm

Kemp Family Farm and Seed
4571 Sharon Highway, Dresden, TN
Keith Kemp
(731) 588-3934

Agri-tourism: Pumpkins, Gourds, Mums, Straw, Hayrides (appointment only)

HOURS: Sun-up to sundown until sold-out

Nanney Pumpkin Patch, Sharon, TN 
1767 Sharon Road, Sharon, TN 38255
Cody Nanney
(731) 514-2431
nanneyfarmspumpkinpatch@gmail.com

Agri-Tourism: Pumpkins, Mums, Cornstalks, Straw, Hayrides (last ride leaves at 5:30pm)

HOURS: Monday-Friday: 7 am – 7 pm, Saturday: 10am – 6pm, Sunday: 1 pm – 6 pm

Pa’s Pumpkin Patch
420 Little Road Martin, TN 38237
Mark Baker (Pa)
(731) 514-9103

Agri-Tourism: locally grown pumpkins, gourds, mums, straw, & corn stalks, playground.

HOURS: Sun-up to sundown, 7 days a week, until sold-out

The Pumpkin Barn, LLC 
2557 S. Bluff Road, Obion, TN 38240
Alan Shirley
(731) 442-0644
alanshirley49@yahoo.com

Agri-tourism: Hay Bales, Pumpkins, a petting Zoo, a playground, and inflatables

HOURS: Monday – Sunday, 9 am – 6 pm

Todd Family Fun Farm, Yorkville, TN 
101 Tom Austin Road, Yorkville, TN 38330
James and Martha Todd
Barn: (731) 643-6720
Martha Todd: (731) 234-1568
toddfunfarm@wk.net
toddfunfarm.com

Agri-tourism: Corn maze, pig races, gemstone mining and geocaching.

HOURS: Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm, Sunday: 1:30 pm – 5 pm

Post your family fun pumpkin patch photos using this hashtag: #GetItLocal
and then say that 10x fast!

~ Samantha Goyret
Local Food Network Team

Join Our Board

Meet Samantha Goyret, Executive Director of the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network. Take less than 2 minutes and learn why we need YOU! https://vimeo.com/618100440

We want you to consider joining the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network’s nonprofit Board of Directors. Nonprofits all across our region are dedicated to find passionate people, just like you.  The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for a thriving and equitable local food system that is accessible to ALL.

Think you don’t have time to join our board? We meet quarterly and virtually, but we know you can make the time because you care that much about where your food comes from and helping educating children and the community about the benefits of supporting local food projects.

Do you think you have to be rich or know somebody who is rich to be a part of our Board? Can we bust that myth right here and right now?  NO and NO. All you have to do is to care enough to talk about the organization to people – to invite them to know more and do more. And that doesn’t take money to do it all.

So, do us a favor, if you know somebody who would be an awesome board member, could you share this opportunity to make a real difference? And if you think it is you, take a few minutes, do a little homework, and please, for yourself and for the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network, join our Board of Directors – Please.

Harvest of the Month Artists Receive Calendars

The Weakley County Farm to School Project in collaboration with the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network and Weakley Arts Can organized a Harvest of the Month (HOTM) poster challenge during the spring 2021 to create a 2021-2022 school-year calendar.  The Harvest of the Month program’s goal is to encourage healthy food choices by increasing Northwest Tennessee residents’ exposure to seasonal foods while also supporting local farmers and building excitement about home cooked meals.

“This project is well-rounded in that it combines awareness of the seasonality of food, art, and connection with our local food system,” commented Samantha Goyret, Executive Director of the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network. “The entries showed great artistic skill and knowledge as to how the selected locally grown item was depicted.”

14 winners were selected from a total of 55 entries from Weakley County School students. The winning artwork is featured in a 12-month school year calendar starting in September 2021. The Calendar has been designed by Weakley Arts Can Member Katie Mantooth.

(top row, left to right) Maci Jo Buckley, Dresden Elementary; Ellie Dodson, Westview; Lilly Beth Nevil, Westview; (bottom row) Madison Brewer, Martin Middle; Tegan Stout, Dresden Elementary; AhLee Mae Burton, Sharon.

“Weakley County Schools is very fortunate to have such great supporters of both ag and the arts in our area,” said Randy Frazier, director of Weakley County Schools. “Our rich farming heritage deserves to be celebrated and we are grateful to the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network and Weakley Arts Can for highlighting our students’ talent and producing such a practical tool for us.”  

The calendar will be distributed throughout the Weakley County School System and featured in each school cafeteria.

The following student artists won the poster challenge (grade levels are from the previous school year 2020-2021):

  • The cover winner with a colored pencil drawing of an apple tree: Scarlett Lovell – 1st grade.
  • September apple collage: Kimberly Mendenhall – Kindergarten
  • October pumpkin drawing in marker and crayon:  Annslee Weatherly – 3rd grade
  • November sweet potato drawing in colored pencil: Annabelle Lovell – 6th grade
  • December turnip greens drawing in colored pencil: Cara Webb – 2nd grade
  • January greens drawing in marker and crayon: Kiya Davis – 4th grade
  • February: Honey drawing in marker and crayon: Maci Jo Buckley – 3rd grade
  • March herbs drawing in colored pencil and marker: Ellie Dodson – 10th grade
  • April asparagus drawing in colored pencil and marker: Annabelle Lovell – 6th grade
  • May strawberries caricature drawing: Lilly Beth Nevil – 8th grade
  • June berry drawing in colored pencil: Madison Brewer – 7th grade
  • July tomatoes in colored pencil: Tegan Stout – Kindergarten
  • August cucumber drawings in colored pencil – Maci Jo Buckley – 2nd, and AhLee Mae Burton – 2nd grade

Students received local food and produce prizes from the following farms: Barefoot Gardens, Blackberry Pond Farm, Dixie Chile Ranch, Parham Family Farm, Purrfectly Homemade, and Turnbow Family Farm.

(top row, left to right) Scarlett Lovell, Greenfield; Kimberly Mendenhall with NWTN Local Food Network Executive Director Samantha Goyret; Annslee Weatherly, Martin Elementary; (bottom row) Annabelle Lovell, Greenfield; Cara Webb, Dresden Elementary; Kiya Davis, Dresden Elementary.

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network’s mission is to catalyze actions that are increasing access to locally grown and produced foods.  

This program’s material is based upon work that is supported by the Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Weakley County School District and Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network.

For more information about the Harvest of the Month program, recipes, how to purchase a calendar and/or download informational posters, visit the Local Food Network’s website at: nwtnlfn.org/taste-of-tennessee.

~ Karen Campbell
Communications Director
Weakley County Schools

Applesauce Day 2021! VIDEO

Thank you to University of Tennessee at Martin Students, Amber Meeker and Jacqulyn Laycock, and Professor Lori Littleton for helping produce the Applesauce Day 2021 Cooking Video.

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network (LFN) is celebrating the changing of the seasons on Sunday, September 19, 2021, by encouraging individuals, families, students, and seniors to make applesauce.

Apples are the featured Taste of Tennessee Harvest of the Month product during the month of September.

Source your apples locally from:

~ Northwest Tennessee Local Food Guide 2021 Magazine

~Pick TN Website: www.picktnproducts.org/listview/apples

Nourishing Connection Parent Newsletter

The goal of the Nourishing Connection program is to nourish the connections children have with healthy produce, gardens and farms by providing hands-on agricultural and nutrition education experiences through hanging and onsite gardens, training teachers to access and implement Farm to Early Childhood Education curricula (including Ag in the Classroom) and conducting educational outreach to parents and educators in pre-schools. This program is funded through Farm Bureau’s Agriculture in the Classroom mini-grant.

Download the Nourishing Connection Parent Newsletter Here.
Download the Nourishing Connection Parent Newsletter HERE.

Celebrate Applesauce Day!!

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network (LFN) is celebrating the changing of the seasons on Sunday, September 19, 2021, by encouraging individuals, families, students, and seniors to make applesauce.

Join us for a Facebook LIVE cooking class at 2pm on Sunday, September 19th.

Apples are the featured Taste of Tennessee Harvest of the Month product during the month of September. Source your local apples locally from:

~ Northwest Tennessee Local Food Guide 2021 Magazine

~Pick TN Website: www.picktnproducts.org/listview/apples

“We wanted to create a Tennessee tradition to celebrate the beginning of fall, broaden people’s knowledge about local apple varieties, encourage families to cook together, and to embolden culinary skills,” stated Samantha Goyret, Executive Director of the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network.

Applesauce Recipe

Ingredients

4 medium local apples (2-3/4″ diameter) – peeled, cored and chopped (Visit Pick TN Website)

¾ cup water

¼ cup sugar 

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

Peel and core the apples. Slice apples in quarters or sixths. In a saucepan, combine apples, water, and cinnamon (You can add other spices like ginger or cardamom if you like). Cover the pan and simmer over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the apples soften fully. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher. Add sugar to taste, but often none is needed.  

Click on image to print recipe.

Share your applesauce stories with us on facebook by tagging @NWTNLFN #APPLESAUCEDAY or share this blog post!

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving as a catalyst for a thriving and equitable local food system that is accessible to ALL.

Happy applesauce cooking!

Digging into the Past to Inspire the Future – The Story Behind the Cover

Adolphus Peery’s family lived in Weakley County, TN. The 2021 Northwest Tennessee Local Food Guide Magazine cover photo of Mr. Peery’s family with their harvest of strawberries was taken around the 1920s.

During this time period, in 1918, what was known as the Spanish Flu epidemic was prevalent across the states. This photo proves the resiliency of agricultural practices in our communities especially as we continue to face the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Nearly 1,000 children ages 2-12, participate in the Nourishing Connection Program in Weakley County.
The West Tennessee Strawberry Festival is an 80-year tradition in Humboldt, TN
  1. On the cover of this year’s Northwest Tennessee Local Food Guide Magazine is the Adolfus Perry Family cerca 1920s, Weakley County, TN. The photo was provided by the President of the Genealogy Association in Weakley County, Mike Rae.
    #Get It Local

Little is known about Adolphus Perry except that he raised his family and farmed his land in Weakley County which was part of the then known “strawberry belt” in the West Tennessee region.

Strawberries were a major source of income during this time for many small farms mainly due to truck farming and access to railway transportation. Humboldt was the center for fruit and vegetable production at this time, including the growing of okra in Haywood County, and lima beans and turnip greens in Dyer County. Gibson County, home to the oldest county fair in the country, became an important area for producing green-wrap tomatoes, cabbage and strawberries. (Source 1)

In April 1934, the first West Tennessee Strawberry Festival was held in Humboldt to promote the region’s high-quality strawberries. Locals claimed the festival as the “Greatest Strawberry Show in the South.” (Source 2)

Now the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival is an 80-year tradition in Humboldt, TN, an opportunity for a classic West Tennessee homecoming as people travel from across the country to enjoy the events, the food, and the fellowship of family and friends. This year the festival will be held from May 2 – May 8, 2021. To find out more visit strawberryfestivaltn.com/

Additional news for #TNFarmtoSchool Initiatives in our Region:
Schools and Kids want local strawberries!
#Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food
#Get It Local

~ Samantha Goyret
LFN Team

Sources:

  1. University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station; Martin, Joe A.; and Luebke, B. H., “Types of Farming in Tennessee” (1960). Bulletins. http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agbulletin/481, pg 47
  2. http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/legacies/loc.afc.afc-legacies.200003538/)
  3. History of Strawberry Cultivation and Art – pg 137-138