Behind the Brand: Arrowhead Farms

Ben, with his set up and ready to sell at our market. Thanks to our friends at Spring Hill Fresh for the photo!

Ben, with his set up and ready to sell at our market. Thanks to our friends at Spring Hill Fresh for the photo!

This week on the blog we want to share with you the story of one of our dearest friends from the market, Ben Seaborn! Ben is the friendly face you will see working the Arrowhead Farms booth each Wednesday in the Barn at Homestead Manor.

Ben is a seventh generation farmer in Middle Tennessee, and his daughter will make the eighth. He’s been farming his whole life, but Arrowhead Farms has been a certified business for about four years. The farm is located in Centerville, Tennessee and is run by Ben and his wife Emmy, his daughter, and his younger sister and her children. It has been in the family for 25 years, dating back to when his mother and father purchased the land. Ben eventually moved back home and bought a house on land adjacent to the farm.

Ben describes a typical day on the farm to begin around 6am. The family begins with chores, they feed and water the livestock, and then they spend most of the morning picking produce and tending the fields. During the hot summer months, the afternoons are spent playing in the creek! The peak seasons for the farm happen during the Spring and the Fall. However, they are producing a variety of products year round like tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, green beans, garlic, blue potatoes, corn, lettuce, squash, baby carrots, radishes, pumpkins, melons, and berries. Eventually, the public will be able to visit the farm themselves and pick their own berries! The family also raises pigs and chickens, so they sell chickens and meat. Additionally, Ben’s father has been a commercial bee keeper for 30 years, so you can also find some local honey at their booth!

Are you wondering… where did the name “Arrowhead Farms” come from? We were wondering the same thing! According to Ben, you can find actual arrowheads on the farm that they pile up and collect every year! If you want to learn more about the business and see pictures, updates, and exciting news, be sure to follow Arrowhead on Instagram here, and check out their Facebook here!

Behind the Brand: Spring Hill Bakery

There are some strong, delightful smells at our market and we've figured out why. Meet one of Spring Hill’s finest, Spring Hill Bakery!

Sarah, owner of Spring Hill Bakery and her husband Corey.

Sarah, owner of Spring Hill Bakery and her husband Corey.

Every week, you can find Sarah at the Thompson’s Station Farmer’s Market. The business started out in their home kitchen in April of 2015. Corey took care of the marketing, accounting, and the website so Sarah could take the orders and run the business. That summer, Spring Hill Bakery did their first farmer's market, and after a very successful season, they started getting more orders and regularly selling out at local events. For the business’s second year, they decided to take on more farmer’s markets, and they set their eyes on Thompson's Station in the market's first year.

Eventually, an opportunity arose for Sarah to rent commercial kitchen space. In March of 2016, their capacity grew, and they were able to take on more work and hire staff to meet demand.  Corey contacted the Thompson’s Station Farmer’s Market early in the season and asked for an application, and of course we were more than happy to oblige! Since then, Spring Hill Bakery has baked bread for Homestead Manor and Scout's Pub, participated in Homestead Manor’s Holiday Village, and had their products in other awesome restaurants in the community.

Handing off a bag of deliciousness to a customer, Sarah always has a big smile on her face.

Handing off a bag of deliciousness to a customer, Sarah always has a big smile on her face.

We love our friends at Spring Hill Bakery and also love hearing about their success story and how our market has impacted it. This is just one of the many exciting stories of the vendors that show up. And by the way, we are taking applications to be in our market throughout the rest of the season! Happening every Wednesday from 10a-2p through the end of August, we are looking for vendors who Grow It, Raise It, Make It, or Bake It. And don’t forget our last night market of the season happening August 2 from 4-7p! In order to be eligible for this market, you must submit photos with a list of the products you intend to sell. No direct sales companies may participate.

WHY DON'T YOU JOIN US?

If you are interested in applying to be a vendor, you can register here! If you have questions, please contact us. We love the passion and talent that this community breeds, and we’d love to have you at the Thompson’s Station Farmer’s Market.

We look forward to seeing you this Wednesday from 10a-2p, and don’t forget to pick up some of Spring Hill’s Bakery DELICIOUS freshly baked bread!

Behind the Brand: Kelley's Berry Farm

Berries, berries, and more berries, please! This week on the blog we're sharing the background on a family business that's been passed down through the generations. We spoke with Hunter at the market representing Kelley’s Berry Farm.

Here's Hunter selling the last of his blueberries for the day.

Here's Hunter selling the last of his blueberries for the day.

The farm is located in Castalian Springs, TN (just North of Lebanon). The business was started in 1978 when Hunter’s grandfather bought the property located on the riverbanks of the Cumberland River. The farm began as a nursery for trees and plants, but Kelley Sr. eventually planted berries and blueberries came first. Eventually, more berries were added as Hunter’s father and uncle took on the business. The plan is for Hunter and his cousin to take the reigns when they're ready. This business will continue to pass down through the Kelley generations.

These fresh strawberries are a hot commodity at our market. Get there early because they go fast!

These fresh strawberries are a hot commodity at our market. Get there early because they go fast!

A Day In The Life...

A typical day on the berry farm starts around 5:30am. They start by picking all of the berries until around mid-morning. Next, they sell the harvest at farm stands and markets. Did you know you can pick berries yourself? If you head out to see the Kelleys, you can pick all the berries you’d like for $3 a pound.

The farm itself is 180 acres, including 8 acres of strawberries, 12 acres of blueberries, and 5 acres of blackberries. The Kelleys offer multiple fresh products, including berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. The planting of the produce begins in September, then come May, it's time to harvest the strawberries. During the first week of June, the blueberries start to peek through, and finally, the blackberries are harvested in mid-June through the end of July. The Kelleys also have beehives and peach trees, allowing them to sell honey and peaches. To avoid waste, all the berries that aren’t used go into homemade jams that they sell - strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, and peach jam. Yum!

We thrive off of homegrown stories such as these, and we love having Hunter and the Kelley family as a part of our market. Come see the berries for yourself next week at the market and don't forget to head out to Kelley’s Berry Farm to pick some!

 

Behind the Brand: Ms. Maggie V. Sweets

This week, we want to share with you some more insight on the story of the famous Ms. Maggie V. Sweets! Since every true Southerner has a sweet tooth, we're filling you in on the backstory of what led to her (tasty!) business, which appears weekly at the Thompson’s Station Farmer’s Market.

Ms. Maggie’s passion for baking developed when she was a young girl. At the age of 8 years old, her grandmother began teaching her how to make biscuits and she never stopped baking after that. Her grandmother had peach trees, apple trees, pecan trees, and more, and she would make delicious pies with her mother and grandmother. She grew up in South Carolina and eventually married her husband of now 49 years, Franklin. They made their way to New York, and in 2005, work brought them right here to Middle Tennessee where they ended up retiring. And we're sure glad they did!

The special thing about Ms. Maggie’s sweets is that everything -- and we mean everything -- is made right in her home. This is her third year participating in the Thompson’s Station Farmer’s Market, but she has had her business for nearly five years. She has a variety of delicious products such as her famous chocolate brownies with walnuts, zucchini bread with pineapple and walnuts (plus a touch of coconut), and more. Her favorite just so happens to be her zucchini bread (and we have to agree!) We asked her why baking is a lifelong passion, and her answer is simple: baking is her way to express her joy.

Here's what her famous zucchini bread looks like!

Here's what her famous zucchini bread looks like!

When she’s not baking, you can probably find Maggie and Franklin on the golf course together. They have two daughters and five grandchildren and are simply enjoying their life together while pursuing Maggie’s passion. Catch Ms. Maggie V. Sweets and our other vendors every Wednesday from 10am to 2pm!

Maggie and Franklin doing what they love together.

Maggie and Franklin doing what they love together.

Behind the Brand: Chickpeas Inc., and it's not what you think!

We love that our vendors are selling unique products that are grown, baked, raised and crafted within a 50 mile radius of our grounds. One vendor in particular, new to our market this year, shared with us the inspiration behind her products and how she is able to benefit folks from a completely different part of our world.

Meet Jamie, founder and owner of Chickpeas Inc. Three years ago, she went on a mission trip to Haiti to get involved in third world missions. While there, she helped open up a medical clinic and got involved with an orphanage. She immediately fell in love with Haiti and its people and decided she wanted to continue to help support their community. Jamie has always been creative and decided to use her talents to help further this mission. By combining her passion with her gifts, she created Chickpeas Inc., which you can check out every Wednesday this summer at our market!

Here's Jamie working her booth at one of our markets!

Here's Jamie working her booth at one of our markets!

Products you’ll find at her booth include metal ornaments, metal art, and Haitian necklaces, and the coolest part is that all the metal is made from barrel tops! She also makes and sells international coin bracelets and earrings, vintage silver spoon hand stamped necklaces, and funny Southern-charmed t-shirts, (she just added men’s sizes!). How does this tie to her passion for third world missions? Jamie buys all of the metal used in her handmade jewelry from Haiti, and in addition to this, whenever there is a purchase from her Haiti collection, a portion of the sales goes back to the mission in Haiti. Most importantly, 100% of these proceeds actually go straight to the orphanage there where she first got involved. How cool!

Not only do we love our vendors, but we love our vendors’ stories. This example of a local who crafts and sells her product right here in our backyard while benefiting folks from around the world sure does put a smile on our face! The source of Jamie’s inspiration comes from Matthew 25:40 which says, "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”

Not only can you find Jamie’s unique products at the Thompson’s Station Farmer’s Market, but they are also available online at https://www.chickpeasinc.com/. Be sure to follow her on social media, too! We love to hear cool stories from our vendors, and we thought this one was too special not to share. Be sure to check out her products to support the community of Haiti!