Having a one-day holiday in the middle of the week is confusing me. I didn’t get into the swing of things early enough, or I would have noticed that Nashville had a new “hot chicken festival” in east Nashville from noon until 2. (For those not familiar with this delicacy, one of the most life-changing meals you can ever enjoy is at the North-Nashville eatery called Prince’s Hot Chicken. It will give you an entire new appreciation of life, liberty and the pursuit of anything to put out the fire in your mouth.)
My personal “food festival” today consisted of a drive out Highway 100 to Howell’s Farm (located a couple miles southwest of the Loveless Hotel and the entrance to the Natchez Trace, here’s a Google map showing the location) where I spent some time marveling at what 100,000 tomato plants look like compared to the 32 plants in my back yard. I spoke some with the farmer-in-chief, Johnny, who informed me local watermelons are about a week from going on sale. Howell’s, which I would guess is one of the few family-owned, direct-to-consumer farms operating inside the city-limits of Nashville, sells its produce in several locations (a tradition since 1938), including the Farmer’s Market and a tent behind Hillsboro High School (see this recent Tennessean article for more information). However, I like to go out to the stand on their farm at least once a summer to see all those tomato plants. I asked about irrigation, as this summer has been rather dry. Johnny — who wears a trucker’s cap with his name printed on it — told me that a fire hydrant next to the farm has a meter on it — and that’s where his water comes from. It’s been an expensive growing season.
One last thought: Over the past decade or so, Nashville’s Riverfront Park has became home to a humongous nationally-televised concert, fireworks display and celebration of the freedom one has to hang out with 100,000 other sweaty people. However, unless it’s to purchase some new gadget or to watch an NFL football game, I’m not a big fan of being in a big crowd, so I’ll be spending a more laid-back evening eating fresh vegetables and wondering why tomorrow isn’t Sunday. Then I’ll stroll a few blocks to see the small but satisfying fireworks display I witness nearly every year.
(Photo: Shot at Howell’s Farm with my iPhone, from a set I’ve posted on Flickr.)