The Nashville Mom Chats with Dottie Beasley of 12 South Farmer’s Market

Author: The Nashville Mom 
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Meet Dottie Beasley from 12th South Farmer’s Market

TNM: How did the 12th South Farmers Market get started and how long has it been around?

DB: 12 South Farmers Market began in 2011 as a small gathering of vendors in Sevier Park. I wasn’t involved with the market until a few years later, but I can imagine it was born of Nashville’s love for supporting local business and a desire for fresh, quality, food. I’ve lived in quite a few cities, but never one that shows such big appreciation for local food and agriculture like Nashville!

TNM: What can the community expect to find at this year’s market?

DB: Since 2011 the market has grown significantly. But at our core we are a community focused market and keep our eyes and ears open in the neighborhood to find out what folks want to see on Tuesdays. This season expect to see lots of fresh produce, meat, dairy, baked goods, bread, honey, coffee, and so much more! We’ve also seen that folks like to enjoy meals at the park, so we have increased the number of prepared food vendors and brought back some of the best food trucks in town!

TNM: In addition to the amazing vendors you have, there’s always something for children to do. What are some of the expected kid-friendly activities?

DB: We love our neighborhood families and definitely want to have fun things to do at the market, besides eat all the delicious food! This season we have brought back favorites like live music and story time, thanks to our amazing sponsors Martins BBQ Joint and Sitting Made Simple! Crafting has always been a favorite as well, and we are so happy to have Little Art House join us this season with art making for all ages! New this season we will have our neighbors Outdoor Voices come on board for family friendly fitness starting in June! They will be organizing stroller jogs, yoga in the park, and other kid friendly activities! We are also planning a new take on our Kids Cook class – we are still working out the details on this but should have it ready to roll out by the official start of summer!

TNM: Each year, you all host special themed markets such as the Peach Festival. Will there be any of those this year?

DB: Absolutely! Thanks to our friends at The Peach Truck, Peach Fest will be back Tuesday June 25th! We will also be hosting monthly Puppy Play Dates the second Tuesday of each month, a Back to School Bash on August 6th, Food & Arts Festival on September 17th, and our season closer Halloween Harvest Market on October 29th!

TNM: What are the benefits of shopping locally?

DB: This is a great question and one that has MANY answers. I would say for someone raising a family, some of the most significant benefits are related to health. Local food is more fresh, which not only improves flavor, but also nutritional content. Farms selling locally have no need to treat their food with harmful pesticides or preservatives. In relation to meats and dairy, smaller agriculture is much more likely than big industry to have safely and humanely raised animals – free range, grass fed, and hormone free – which in turn is better for the health of the natural environment and the consumer. Another major benefit is the good shopping locally does for our community and the families who have invested their lives in their farms and food they bring to market every week.. One of my personal heroes is Mister Rogers and I think he sums it up pretty well in this quote – “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”  Supporting local farms and business makes you a hero in my book! 

TNM: Any other tidbits you’d like to throw out?

DB: I could talk about the farmers market all day long – haha! For me, it’s a place of celebration, community, family, dreams thriving, and love. It’s a relationship in motion. A relationship between the farmers, the Earth, the shoppers, the neighborhood. It’s a place where love lives, and that is something we want to share with everyone! We want you to experience good food and community the way we do – with joy!

Follow along with 12th South Farmer’s Market on Instagram @12southfarmersmarket to stay up to date on special activities!

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