The Kingston Springs Farmers and Artisans Market opened for its tenth season last Saturday, boasting 18 vendors in a newer, bigger space that promises to hold more families and fun throughout the summer.
The market will be held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon through Aug. 25. The city is incorporating more Friday Night markets this season that will take place of that week’s Saturday morning market – Friday, June 30, July 28, and Aug. 25.
The opening day of the market had its seasonal regulars – like Harpeth Moon Farm and Bonnie’s Lasses – and some new faces too, including Earthwhile Collective.
Harpeth Moon Farm is a certified, organic flower farm tucked away on the banks of the Harpeth River off of Hwy 70 in Kingston Springs. The couple, Hayley Roberts and Max VanderBroek, started Harpeth Moon Farm eight years ago.
They’ve been selling their flowers and produce at the Kingston Springs market for eight years.
“It was our first market when we started really small,” Bruce Roberts said. Roberts is Hayley’s father, and holds down the fort at the Kingston Springs market during Saturday mornings in the summer. The three of them are forced to divide and conquer while the couple sells their produce and flowers at a Nashville farmers market.
Roberts said he loves the local market because “Kingston Springs is home and it’s just more than selling dollars and cents. It’s kind of a spiritual thing for me – community and getting to know people.”
“This is home, and we’ll keep coming while they keep doing it,” he emphasized.
The town hosted its inaugural farmers market on May 10 in 2014 at the greenway along Harpeth View Trail where three houses were washed away when the Harpeth River rerouted itself, overtaking Muddy Branch between Harpeth High School and Harpeth Middle School during the historic flood of May 2010.
As it expanded and grew, the market eventually moved to the parking lot across the railroad tracks in downton Kingston Springs. City officials said they made this strategic move in an attempt to generate more traffic to local businesses downtown. Last summer, the town purchased the green space the market is currently held on – shifting the event a few hundred yards more to the other side of the railroad tracks off of Main Street.
The new space can hold up to 20 vendors, and leaves plenty of room for picnic tables and games – like cornhole – in the shade. The additional green space for this year’s market was made possible by moving an unused, but historical, house sitting in the lot onto land on West Kingston Springs Road.
The additional open area allowed for a better, larger stage for live music during the market – as well as other events the town will hold in the space, like Food Truck Mondays.
“This season we’re excited we have a new stage, which will allow us to have bigger musical groups,” City Manager John Lawless said. “We have a lot more room. There’s a lot more shade for us to put family-friendly games like corn hole and frisbee and more picnic tables for people to come over and relax.”
“This is never going to be a really big like 30, 40 vendors farmers market. We just don’t have that amount of growers here,” Lawless explained. “We don’t have a lot of large farms in this area, so it’s going to be a quaint market, but we try to make sure that it is something that is fun for people to come in to.”
“I like to say that we throw a party every Saturday morning, and that’s the kind of vibe that we look for,” Lawless said. “You come in, we’ve got live music, we’ve got games for the family and for the kids to play. People can come, shop, hang out, enjoy some coffee, listen to some music, have some games on a pretty Saturday morning.”
This year's opening day of the market season saw 18 different vendors – from fresh produce and flowers, to baked goods, and dog treats, this year’s market season is sure to offer a wide variety of goods.
Bonnie’s Lasses has been a staple at the downtown farmers market since 2021. Run by Avery, 15, and Raina Foster, 12, the dog treat business was started in memory of the girls’ dog, Bonnie, who died at 14-years-old in 2020.
“When we would walk [Bonnie] on the street, [the girls] would always feed treats to the other dogs on the street,” Avery and Raina’s mother said. “When Bonnie died, we didn’t have a reason to walk the dog, we still walked on the street to give the other dogs treats. So our youngest daughter then wanted to make her own treats for the dogs.”
The natural treats are $5 a bag, and made out of ingredients like parmesan and chicken. The six different types of treats are named after different dogs on the Foster’s street.
Market visitors can also find T. Webber Pottery at the weekly farmers market. Timothy Weber has been a skilled pottery craftsman for the last 50 years. He moved to Kingston Springs in 2018, and has been a vendor at the market for the last couple of years.
“It’s nice to meet the people that are here, and I want people to know that I live here,” Weber said.
John Paul Daniel has lived in Kingston Springs since 1988 and has been making folk art since the early 90s. Bebo Folk Art has been at the farmers market since it started 10 years ago.
“I love to come down here,” Daniel said. “I get to see all my neighbors.”
The Kingston Springs Farmers and Artisans Market vendor application is open year-round, and city officials are always looking to expand the portfolio of goods offered every Saturday morning. However, Lawless – who is spearheading the market every week this season – said he likes to keep tents of more things you can eat versus hang on your wall.
Earthwhile Collective is the market’s newest vendor. The woman-owned, local business is a multidisciplinary, collaborative effort focused on reusing discarded and man-made materials. Earthwhile Collective’s tent at the market has everything from jewelry to wind chimes.
“I love this town – it’s just very quaint and very inviting,” Co-Founder Angel Fowler said. “I just wanted to get to know other vendors around the area … and just kinda see how I might get to know people.”
Fowler said she is most excited for her first market season in Kingston Springs because of the opportunity it presents for “meeting new people – that’s the biggest thing.”
Hal Holden-Bache, resident of Kingston Springs and executive chef at Lockeland Table, provided the Gazette with a recipe chock-full of local ingredients. Head down the the farmers market on Saturdays to get the locally grown and baked ingredients to make this delicious Poached Egg in Caramelized Spring Onion Cream with a Fresh, Locally Grown Garnish and Warm, Crusty Bread:
Cedar Hill Homestead Farm Fresh Eggs
Harpeth Moon Farm Spring Onions, Celery, Radicchio, and Frisée
Your Favorite Hot Sauce (optional)
Your Favorite Fresh, Local Bread
CARAMELIZED SPRING ONION CREAM:
In a cast iron skillet, begin to caramelize your fresh Harpeth Moon Farm spring onions (be sure to save the green tops to use in the garnish!) When the onions are about 80% done, hit them with garlic and shallot. Next, add a quart cup of white wine. Add cream and oregano.
Reduce the heat to thicken the cream and enhance the flavor. Add kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and a dash or three of your favorite hot sauce.
When the cream is thick to your liking, throw it in a blender (but keep the cast iron skillet for poaching the egg!) and zap into a good consistency. You don't want it thick; it should be soup-like so when you poach the egg, it's dip-able.
"It's a get in there with your bread kind of sauce."
After you make the cream, pour it back into the cast iron skillet. Crack the beautiful, farm-raised eggs from local Cedar Hill Homestead into the cream.
If you have a wood-fire oven, poach the egg for 5-7 minutes. Otherwise, pre-heat your conventional oven to 375 and poach the egg for 5-7 minutes, or until the egg is done to your likeness.
"I'm a big fan of the runny yolk, and the idea of the dish is for the egg to be runny."
LOCALLY GROWN GARNISH:
"This part of the recipe is nothing but nice knife work on otherwise well grown products."
Quarter Harpeth Moon Farm's fresh and vibrant radicchio. Slice up Harpeth Moon Farm's locally grown and certified frisée. Grab the green tops of Harpeth Moon Farm's spring onions and chop. Add leafy part of Harpeth Moon Farm's celery.
Love that green mixture up with kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, good quality olive oil, and some sherry vinegar. Toss that salad together while your egg is poaching in the over, and garnish as soon as the egg comes out hot out of the oven.
FRESH, LOCAL BREAD:
Finally, I recommend an everything bagel flatbread to serve on the side, but any warm, crusty bread will be great for dipping. A rustic sourdough, tuscan, pita, tortilla, or naan.
"I can get down with supporting a local bakery."