On Saturday, May 5th, the downtown Memphis Farmers Market kicks off its second season. More than 50 vendors, both old and new, have signed up, including the market's first certified organic-produce vendor, Windermere Farm. This season, vendors were chosen more selectively to keep the quality up or improve it. Potential vendors were juried, and a percentage system was used to create a balance between produce, crafts, and value-added foods such as jellies, baked goods, and nuts.
"Agriculture will make up about 70 percent, value-added goods 20 percent, and crafts 10 percent," says Ellen Dolich, chair of the market's vendor committee. To provide as much variety as possible, artisans are on a rotating schedule and will only offer goods designed for use in the kitchen or garden.
On opening day, you'll find the first crops of the season: lots of strawberries, lettuce, arugula, and micro-greens; spinach, radishes; broccoli and broccoli rabe; goat cheese, beef, chicken, pork, eggs, fruit trees, and shrubs. Jeff Golightly, Ken and Robyn Greene, and the Desert Rose Belly Dancers will perform. Michael Patrick of E.P. Delta Kitchen and Felicia Willett of Felicia Suzanne's will share their knowledge during the "Farm to Fork" chef demonstration. In addition, the market will have a new feature this year: a café offering breakfast and lunch.
Memphis Farmers Market, Pavilion at Central Station (Front and G.E. Patterson). Every Saturday, May 5th through October 27th, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (rain or shine). For more information, visit www.memphisfarmersmarket.com.