Local TableLocal Table

The Local Guide To Food And Farms In Middle Tennessee Since 2007
Get Our News Letter

Features

Food Labels →

Photo

What Does It Mean: Food Labels
Tennessee has a rich culinary history with far-reaching influence and ating healthy can be a complicated endeavor—too many labels, but still not enough information to help you make an educated choice. Local Table has compiled a list of some of the most commonly used national and local food labels and what they mean. If you’ve got further questions on a particular label, we’ve listed a website where you can find out more. The most commonly seen labels at your local farmers’ market include: Certified Organic, Certified Naturally Grown, Certified Humane and PickTN Products. The labeling of eggs has become extremely complex and somewhat controversial. Still confused? Buy from your local farmer! *Animal Welfare Approved (dairy, eggs, chicken, goose, duck, turkey, beef, bison, lamb, goat, pork and rabbit) This is the only USDA-approved third-party certification label that supports and promotes family farmers who raise their animals with the highest welfare standards, outdoors, on pasture or range. More

Diners Worth The Drive →

Photo

Here are a few local favorites that you might not have heard of.
It’s always easy to go somewhere familiar with mass-produced menu items—these eateries are plastered across our televisions and computer screens. But if you take a chance and stroll along some of the more historic parts of town sometimes you can stumble upon some of the best food that you never knew was there—in local diners, cafes and mom-and-pop shops. Such places are the true heroes of the “dine-out” world and what makes the food so special is that it was made by local people who care enough about their communities to share good food that means something to them. Here are a few local favorites that you might not have heard of. More

Artisan Foods →

Photo

Artisan Foods Abound in Middle Tennessee
Tennessee has a rich culinary history with far-reaching influence and continues to grow as a hot destination for food lovers. But long before tourists flocked to the Nashville area to dine at award-winning restaurants, producers from all across the Middle Tennessee region were making foods that were popular both locally and around the world. Today, more and more entrepreneurs are joining the artisanal food scene and making our state all the tastier. More

Farmers' Market 411 →

Photo

Top 10 Tips for Shopping at the Nashville Farmers’ Market
The Nashville Farmers’ Market, located in the center of the downtown urban core, has been feeding Nashville and the surrounding area since 1801. The market is home to more than 150 vendors throughout the year, and is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Here are the top 10 tips for shopping at the Nashville Farmers’ Market, no matter what the season may be. More

Historic Murfreesboro →

Photo

Nestled smack dab in the geographic center of Tennessee, just 34 miles south of Nashville, sits the historic haven-cum-college town of Murfreesboro.
The Battle of Stones River, one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Civil War (with nearly 25,000 casualties), was fought right here. Now part of the National Park system, Stones River National Battlefield is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in history. If you come, plan to spend at least two hours visiting the museum and taking the self-guided tour of the battlefield. Civil War history aside, Murfreesboro is probably best known as the home of Middle Tennessee State University, one of the state’s largest and most renowned institutes of higher learning—and its sprawling campus is well worth a look. But those two landmarks are just the tip of all that Murfreesboro has to offer: Visitors will also find some of the finest eateries, shops and craftspeople in the state, many of them located on the town’s Historic Square. More

Eating the Landscape →

Photo

It seems to us that foodscaping, also known as edible landscaping or “front yard farming,” would simply be the logical next step in the homegrown revolution.
That may be mostly true. But it wasn’t always true. While foodscaping is a hot trend now, the practice was revived during the recession of 2008, when people had less disposable income, and companies were charging more to try and cover costs and keep laborers. As a result, a lot of folks realized that choosing between farming and landscaping just wasn’t a decision they wanted to make. So why not combine the two? It saves time and money. Over the last decade, the awareness of foodscaping and its benefits has escalated. Today, foodscaping isn’t just about pinching pennies during a season of financial difficulty; it’s become an environmental trend, and more and more people are choosing this nontraditional beautification for their homes. More

Sustainability on the Menu →

Photo

Tom Morales built a restaurant empire with an emphasis on environmental efforts.
Fin & Pearl may be the newest venture for restaurateur Tom Morales, but he considers it his flagship. The seafood-centric eatery in the Gulch, which opened in December, uses an app to track when, where and by whom each fish was caught. Water glasses made from recycled wine bottles sit on wooden tables built from sustainably harvested trees downed by a hurricane in Nicaragua. Behind the scenes, employees recycle grease, save oyster shells to be repurposed into gravel and concrete, and instead of throwing food into the trash, an ORCA liquid composter turns waste into water. “We don’t do it to save on our garbage bill,” Morales says. “We do it because it’s the right thing to do.” Doing the right thing helped Morales build his culinary empire. As a young restaurant manager, he figured out he could guarantee fresh seafood year-round by paying fishermen a better price in the summer, when it was plentiful, and they’d remain loyal to him in the winter, when other restaurants had to rely on frozen seafood. “It gave us a competitive advantage in the marketplace, and we take that same philosophy here,” Morales says. “We want local farmers to grow for our needs and the amount of product that we can move.” More

Peaceful Pastures →

Photo

When I set out on my drive to meet Jenny and Darrin Drake, the owners of Peaceful Pastures, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Unlike other farms I had visited that were set up for agricultural tourism, Peaceful Pastures is dedicated to producing the finest all-natural, pastured, grass-fed meat—and I knew this visit would offer a completely different perspective into the daily life and passions of a farmer. After winding around the country roads of Smith County, I arrived at the base of the property. I turned onto the gravel road and the hills unrolled before my eyes, speckled with small moving dots. Packs of lambs, cows and dogs came into full focus as I parked. The uncharacteristic 70-degree temperature set the tone for what I would discover to be one of the most unexpected treasures of Middle Tennessee farming. More

The Isha Institute →

Photo

Not far off Tennessee’s first state highway, outside McMinnville, there is a 1400-acre tract of land with waterfalls and bluff overlooks.
Its inhabitants constitute the Isha Institute of Inner Sciences. This center is one of a trio in service to the world, with the others located in England and India. Along the wooded road leading to the 10-year-old Isha USA campus is an unassuming sign directing you through what was formerly a pine plantation. A visitor’s guide, which can be picked up at the welcome center, states that this is “a powerful space for inner exploration and complete well-being.” And I feel it. After all, this is the place where Inner Engineering is taught. The brochure extends an invitation to “a comprehensive program as an overhaul of all aspects of the human mechanism, imparting practical wisdom and powerful yogic practices to manage body, mind, emotions and the fundamental life energies within.” More

Food Tours →

Photo

Fantastic Food Tours: Exploring Nashville…One Bite at a Time
Culinary tourism, the pursuit of unique and memorable dining and drinking experiences in a given place, is one of the hottest trends in travel. And with Nashville stealing the spotlight as both one of this country’s top travel destinations and an “it” city for foodies, it should come as no surprise that some of the most delicious and informative food tours around are happening right here in Music City. Tourists and locals alike are flocking to sample the breadth of our city’s cuisine and learn more about its rich history; if you are looking to explore Nashville bite by bite, Local Table has done the legwork for you and rounded up three great tours to take now while tourist season is at low tide…and one to pencil in for the future. More

Healthy Table ❯

Salt, Find Your Flavor
Photo
Tasty Homemade Salts Add More, For Less!
hile salt may be an original ingredient and common kitchen staple, it is anything but basic. This mighty crystal has the ability to add a superb burst of flavor to any dish or balance sweetness in a delicious dessert recipe. Salt is also used for creating firm texture, enhancing vibrant colors and aiding in food preservation. Salt occurs naturally in many foods, including meat and milk; however, packaged and canned goods often contain an overabundance of salt for shelf-stability and taste. Recently published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting daily salt intake to 2,300 milligrams daily. For individuals with prehypertension or hypertension, 1,500 milligrams is recommended to help lower blood pressure. More

Ask Farmer Jason ❯

Questions & Answers for kids (and others!)
Photo
Farmer Jason is the brainchild of rock music legend, Jason Ringenberg of Jason and the Scorchers. In 2002, he created Farmer Jason to educate and entertain children about farm life and the wonders of nature.

If you would like to ask him questions, email him at jr@farmerjason.com
More

Recipes ❯

Browse or Search Our Recipe Database

Article Archives ❯

Browse All Local Table Articles

Seasonality Chart ❯

When Is It In Season Locally?
*