A farmers market you should visit in the south

A farmers market you should visit in the South
Posted on 09/26/2023
Lenexa Farmers Market Manager Jenny Doty with Nashville Farmers' Market Executive Director Darrell Lane

By Lenexa Farmers Market Manager Jenny Doty

Most people take a break from work on vacation. But when you manage a farmers market, you can’t help but gravitate to other markets while traveling. Connecting with people and enjoying great food is what reenergizes me. Last week, I had the chance to visit Nashville Farmers’ Market, which is ranked as one of the best in the country.

I love visiting farmers markets because they tell a story about the community through the people, food, music and art. You can sense local food trends and discover different varieties of produce. My favorite part was chatting with farmers and market staff, who gave me the real scoop on what’s happening in Nashville.

Nashville hot chickenDuring my visit, I met Darrell Lane, executive director of Nashville Farmers’ Market. He was gracious with his time, and his passion was evident as we shared our successes and challenges. He also explained to me what the local specialty “Nashville hot chicken” is all about.

The Nashville Farmers’ Market is situated in the middle of downtown. The city is going through a massive revitalization, with many new apartments added each year. This growth is quickly changing the market’s demographics. Nashville has a neighboring food hall — like the Lenexa Public Market — that is open year-round and features local food merchants.

Lane and I discussed the future of farming and programs that each metro area has in place to support farming as a career path for the future. The Nashville Farmers’ Market is supplied by six large farms. Learning about this made me grateful for graduates and trainees from the New Roots for Refugees and Johnson County Community College Sustainable Agriculture programs. At the Lenexa Farmers Market, we currently have 12 small farms serving our customers. The future looks bright as we continue to grow our group of farmers.

One of the biggest takeaways in talking to Lane was how he strives to listen to the public and meet their demands in Nashville just like we do in Lenexa. Being able to offer what our customers want and need can be challenging with a seasonal market. Since we both strive to meet customer demands, it will be nice to have Lane to reach out to in the future. 

Before leaving for the day, I snagged some of the famous Nashville hot chicken from Lilly’s Hot Chicken. It didn’t disappoint. 

As you travel, I recommend stopping by a farmers market to taste the flavors of the community. If you happen to visit a great one, I’d love to hear about it. Drop me a line [email protected].

Published Sept. 26, 2023</p