What does local food mean to you? It’s often a term we use to describe something that wasn’t shipped across the country by truck. Over the last 10 years, farmers markets have popped up all over Nashville. We live in a great city, and we have great markets in most all of our communities. When we started growing The Bellevue Farmers Market, a unique thing happened…we discovered we had local growers right here in Bellevue.
As our market developed, we put an emphasis on being as local as we possibly could be. It can be a challenge for sure. There can be several reasons…maybe nobody in the immediate area produces or grows a specific food or item, so you have to search more regionally. It could be that there are local folks, but they are committed to other markets. Pulling together a market that is as Bellevue-centric as possible has been, and continues to be challenging, but the reward is worth it.
How do we define local? We define it as community.
We are proud to be one of the few, if not the only, markets in the Nashville area in which a majority of the produce sold is grown less than 5 miles from our market. Even more, the majority of our artisans and food merchants live in or near Bellevue. From a community stand point, that means when you purchase goods at The Bellevue Farmers Market, you are giving back to the community. Our vendors represent Bellevue families. These families live and shop here. When we go to local stores, we see them shopping in the same stores. When we attend our children’s event at schools, we see these families at the same school with their children. When we go to vote, we see these families at the same voting station. For us, it’s about knowing where our food comes from and eating healthy, but it goes far beyond that. We have a special thing happening here in Bellevue.
As you shop the market this year…we encourage you to get to know the growers. Ask questions! If you don’t see something that you are looking for, feel free to ask them why. Locally grown means what is in season for the local region. They can let you know when to expect to see certain foods. Ask where the food was grown, and the methods used to grow it. This is your market, Bellevue! We look forward to serving you in 2016!
The 2016 season of The Bellevue Farmers Market will feature more produce growers than ever! Over double from last year! We will tell about our other growers and farmers in our next blog!
The Bellevue Farmers Market returns May 6th to Red Caboose Park. The market is held every Friday from 5pm to 7:30pm, May thru October. Click here to see our events schedule.