Growing Together

Learning as a Collaborative Community

Though the days are short and the winter air is cold, TNFP garden participants are busy planning and training for the season ahead. Regular garden trainings with our Community Garden and Growing Together programs provides space for learning and knowledge-sharing.

Learning Together

We often say that food has the power to transform lives, and we see this so clearly in our Growing Together program. Growing Together is The Nashville Food Project’s agricultural micro-enterprise training program. Through it, we work to expand farming access and opportunity to a group of growers who are originally from Burma and Bhutan.

Food Crosses Cultural Boundaries

It’s a warm day in early October at the Nashville Farmer’s Market, I’m sitting at our table, assisting customers and rearranging the produce as the hours pass. The crowd has just picked up, and I observe some curious onlookers eye the assortment of unique vegetables on our table: from spikey bitter gourds to long, curling beans…

Growing Together at the Nashville Farmers' Market

The Nashville Farmers Market hosted record-breaking crowds this month to kick off the warm season, and we’ve been thrilled to be a part of it as "Growing Together," the new name for the Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program, a partnership between The Nashville Food Project and the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee.

For the first time, the farmers of Growing Together harvested produce they’ve been growing since early March to sell at the market. Baskets have been overflowing with vibrant komatsuma, a Japanese mustard spinach, and several additional varieties of mustard greens such as sueling and giant red leaf. The farmers also harvested crops like joi choi (a type of bok choy), arugula, cilantro, dill, hakurei turnips and daikon radish.

Each week, two farmers in the collective attend the market to represent the group such as Thomas Piang of Burma and Chandra Paudel of Bhutan, pictured above. We’ve been providing profiles of the farmers along with recipes for featured produce.

Thank you to all the customers who have visited with us so far such as Chef Sam Tucker of Village Bakery & Provisions inside the Market House. He picked up an armful of joi choi during our first market.

Chef Sam with our farm shed neighbor Victoria of  Lucy Bird Kitchen .

Chef Sam with our farm shed neighbor Victoria of Lucy Bird Kitchen.

We were delighted to see it in subsequent weeks on his menu sauteed with brown butter, chili and lemon.

Come see us this season at the market. We’ll be there every Saturday through September.  We look forward to showing you this gorgeous produce!

Refugee Growers Prepare for Nashville Farmers Market Season

We're so excited to continue our support of the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee's Refugee Agricultural Program this growing season! This year, we have an exciting new aspect of the program, which will support a number of growers as they work to sell some of the produce that they grow. Below is a post from our partner CRIT on the progress thus far.

The farmers of the Refugee Agricultural Program of Middle Tennessee arrived early Monday morning at the Nashville Farmers’ Market to imagine their new space under the Farm Sheds.

Beginning in May, they’ll be selling the produce they have been working hard to grow off Haywood Lane in South Nashville to the thousands of customers who browse the downtown market on Saturdays.

“This is the first time this has ever happened at the Nashville Farmers’ Market,” said Tasha Kennard, the executive director of the market who spoke with the group. “You can inspire the community and teach the community that you want to be a part of it and inspire others to do what you’re doing.”

Many in the group have grown food or worked farmers markets in their native countries of Bhutan, Nepal and Burma. Here, they’ll join a group of about 150 merchants at the market from Tennessee and nearby states like Kentucky and Alabama.

Tasha offered tips to the group through translator Siddi Rimal about how to successfully sell at the market, but she also congratulated the group on opening doors and showing community members how to provide food, create jobs and support families.

“We are here to support you,” she said, “and our fellow farmers are here to support you and help you have a good time.”

We hope you’ll visit our farmers’ market booth on Saturdays from May through September. The Nashville Farmers’ Market is located at 900 Rosa L Parks Blvd.