Yay! The salad days are back!

Adam Colvin from the Colvin Family Farm in Cumberland County had an impressive assortment of produce Saturday.

Adam Colvin from the Colvin Family Farm in Cumberland County had an impressive assortment of produce Saturday.

Although the Market Square Farmers’ Market doesn’t officially open until this week, several of the regular farmers showed up this past Saturday to give us a kind of “sneak peek.”

The weather was iffy, which was unfortunate because it also was the day for the Dogwood Arts Festival‘s annual Chalk Walk when artists of all ages spread over Market Square and Krutch Park creating amazing works of art on the sidewalks. When the rain did come in a torrent without much warning, many works of art were ruined because the downpour swamped the plastic folks hurriedly taped over their fragile chalk masterpieces. It was sad. But many came back on Sunday to finish them — or start over.

Even the rain couldn’t dampen spirits this weekend, though. The return of the Market Square Farmers’ Market just heralds such good things that I couldn’t get the smile off my face for two days. I noticed many others in the same frame of mind. So here’s a look at just of few of the wonderful weekend activities in my favorite place — downtown Knoxville.

Bob Due was back, thank goodness. We bought some of his green onions and used them on a salad for lunch.

Bob Due was back, thank goodness. We bought some of his green onions and used them on a salad for lunch.

Aren't they beautiful?

Aren't they beautiful?

Rick Rickerman had a wide assortment of loaves from which to choose. We selected an asiago with sun-dried tomatoes and herbs. It is awesome.

Rick Rickerman had a wide assortment of loaves from which to choose. We selected an asiago with sun-dried tomatoes and herbs. It is awesome.

The Cruze Farm girls had a cute "milk bar" set up and were doing a brisk business.

The Cruze Farm girls had a cute "milk bar" set up and were doing a brisk business.

Folks were raving about the biscuits available at the Cruze Farm booth. "It's like India on a biscuit," Charlotte Tolley said describing a curried concoction they were selling.

Folks were raving about the biscuits available at the Cruze Farm booth. "It's like India on a biscuit," Charlotte Tolley said describing a curried concoction they were selling.

We bought strawberries from Janet King of King's Hydrofarm in South Knoxville.

We bought strawberries from Janet King of King's Hydrofarm in South Knoxville.

Lucy Wisner of Wisner Farms has the most amazing focaccia. We bought this one and had it for lunch on Saturday and Sunday. I can't wait to get more next week.

Lucy Wisner of Wisner Farms has the most amazing focaccia. We bought this one and had it for lunch on Saturday and Sunday. I can't wait to get more next week.

Napping Cat Flower Farm is back with these sweet bouquets. I'm so glad.

Napping Cat Flower Farm is back with these sweet bouquets. I'm so glad.

This is the best thing I've had all year! Shannon Meadows of Mountain Meadows Farm told me how to cook it: Warm a little olive oil in a pan, throw in a minced garlic clove and the broccoli rabe with a little salt. Saute five minutes -- at most. It was delicious.

This is the best thing I've had all year! Shannon Meadows of Mountain Meadows Farm told me how to cook it: Warm a little olive oil in a pan, throw in a minced garlic clove and the broccoli rabe with a little salt. Saute five minutes -- at most. It was delicious.

Gregory Blankenship of Gregory's Greenhouse offered to repot the herb garden I bought from him last year.

Gregory Blankenship of Gregory's Greenhouse offered to repot the herb garden I bought from him last year.

Isn't it beautiful?

Isn't it beautiful?

Sad sign. Every year the Farmers' Market commissions a poster by Yee Haw Industries. This is the ninth and last year. Yee Haw is closing.

Sad sign. Every year the Farmers' Market commissions a poster by Yee Haw Industries. This is the ninth and last year. Yee Haw is closing.

After the shopping spree, I strolled around to check on the progress at the Chalk Walk. It looked like they were off to a good start.

Ivan Cornejo had started with a beautiful eye.

Ivan Cornejo had started with a beautiful eye.

And then — boom! — the downpour!

Everyone scrambled to cover thier work. But the sky had just opened up with buckets of water coming down.

Everyone scrambled to cover thier work. But the sky had just opened up with buckets of water coming down.

This one was ruined.

This one was ruined.

I watched the artist draw tears on this one. I'm sure he felt like crying, too.

I watched the artist draw tears on this one. I'm sure he felt like crying, too.

But, in a few hours, the rain stopped and folks stayed outside enjoying themselves. The Dogwood Arts Festival said for the artists to come back on Sunday, the original rain date.

Some folks passed the time watching the marimba player in Krutch Park.

Some folks passed the time watching the marimba player in Krutch Park.

Others strolled around looking at the new art installed as part of Dogwood's "Art in Public Places" program. This piece by Mark Krucke is called "Fortitude." I like it.

Others strolled around looking at the new art installed as part of Dogwood's "Art in Public Places" program. This piece by Mark Krucke is called "Fortitude." I like it.

I went back on Sunday to check on the Chalk Walk and saw some amazing things. See if you don’t agree.

I loved this portrait of Pat Summitt by Lauryn Darby.

I loved this portrait of Pat Summitt by Lauryn Darby.

This one is by Chris Bell.

This one is by Chris Bell.

This colorful piece is by Kalyn Smith, Erik Vass and Emily Hoffman.

This colorful piece is by Kalyn Smith, Erik Vass and Emily Hoffman.

Here is Ivan Cornejo finishing up his piece.

Here is Ivan Cornejo finishing up his piece.

I liked this cute octopus by Leah Davis, Haley Stephens and Natalie McQuicken.

I liked this cute octopus by Leah Davis, Haley Stephens and Natalie McQuicken.

And this adorable fairy by Meiling Finn.

And this adorable fairy by Meiling Finn, which won the first place prize in the middle school by a single artist category.

This portrait of Albert Einstein by Anna Simanis was impressive.

This portrait of Albert Einstein by Anna Simanis was impressive.

So was this portrait of a woman by Keith Anders.

So was this portrait of a woman by Keith Anders.

Andrew Tyler, who is only six years old, created this Spider Man.

Andrew Tyler, who is only six years old, created this Spider Man.

All in all, another great downtown weekend.

Here are some links to the farms mentioned in this blog post. Just click on the name. Colvin Family Farm. Bob Due’s Terraced Gardens Farm. King’s Hydrofarm. Mountain Meadows Farm. Gregory’s Greenhouse. Cruze Dairy Farm. Wisner Farms.

5 Responses to “Yay! The salad days are back!”

  1. Loved the chalk walk. I was there with my 90-year-old mother-in-law and a friend from Santa Fe on Sunday afternoon. Chilly but enjoyable afternoon.

  2. Thanks so much for including the pictures of the chalk art on Market Square! I was unable to get downtoen this weekend, so you brought the art to me! You’re right about Pat’s likeness — incredible!

  3. So glad the farmers’ market is back–and that it’s strawberry season.

  4. Rusha: You need to move downtown! I think you like it as much as we do. Gay: Amen to that! Annette: Sounds like a fun outing with your mother-in-law!

  5. Hey! Thank you for the extra publicity! I really enjoyed the farmer’s market too; they have great strawberries. Please e-mail me at ldarby@utk.edu if you have any questions about my art!

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