For farm-fresh vegetables, bluegrass music and community spirit, Williamson County turns to the Franklin Farmers Market. The market at The Factory at Franklin is open year-round on Saturdays. With rising demand for fresh food from local farms, there are two market days each week through the summer season. More than 70 family farms from Middle Tennessee are part of the market, which is a a non-profit agricultural organization that brings farmers and consumers together. Shoppers throng to the outdoor pavilion that houses the market to stock up on organic meats, vegetables, eggs, milk, cheese, herbs, plants and baked goods.
The market features only organic farm produce grown within Williamson and neighboring counties. “Locally grown food is more important now than it was back when I went with my father with baskets of tomatoes to the Nashville Farmers Market,” says Factory founder Calvin LeHew, who was inspired to launch Franklin’s market by the Los Angeles Farmers Market. “Newcomers in our area are sophisticated and up-to-date, from places where people are into holistic health. We feel very strongly that we want locally grown and organic food to predominate in our market here.”
Local efforts like the farmers market not only provide consumers with high-quality food, says Dewayne Perry of the University of Tennessee agricultural extension office in Williamson County. They also create a bond between farmers and the public. “It really lets them see the face behind that gallon of milk and realize that this is an important part of their lives,” Perry says. The Hatcher family, for example, has been raising dairy cattle on their College Grove farm since 1831. The family has learned firsthand the value of creative marketing and now sells Hatcher Family Dairy milk at locations around the county, including the Franklin Farmers Market.
The Franklin Farmers Market is open every Saturday. The Winter Market, from November - April, is open 9am - noon. The Summer Market, from May - October, is open 8am - 1pm. The market is located behind The Factory, 230 Franklin Road at the corner of Franklin Road and Liberty Pike.
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