West: Farmers Market, White Oaks Fair
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By MIKE WEST

Have you visited the Cannon County Farmers Market lately?

Located next to the Arts Center of Cannon County, the Farmers Market continues to grow. It offers more than the typical “taters” and “maters” most often associated with enterprises of this type.

My advice is take your time and look at all the fruits and vegetables freshly picked for your enjoyment. While there are tomatoes galore, there is also a variety of veggies ranging from watermelons to shiitake mushrooms.

Pepper fans should be on the lookout for everything from tasty bell peppers to hotter blends like poblano (perfect for chiles rellenos), cayenne and jalpeno. They even have some that are scorching hot. (I got the Boss a bag.)

But you’ve got to get there early to partake of Irene Hollis’ fried pies. They go quickly.

But you shouldn’t forget the salsa and pesto made at Half Acre Farms. Tasty!

And let us not forget Joe Patterson’s honey available in sizes ranging from a shot glass to a quart jar. Delicious!
So in other words, bring your bushel basket and load up. Don’t forget to say “hey” to UT-Ag Agent Bruce Steelman who heads up the market.

The Cannon County Farmers Market is located in the pavilion at the Arts Center of Cannon County every Saturday beginning at 6 a.m. Most Saturdays the market is open until noon or until the farm fresh fruits and vegetables have been sold.

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Speaking of the Arts Center, that’s where the Cannon County Chamber of Commerce has its office.

The Chamber is stepping up its efforts to entice industry (and that includes tourism) to Cannon County.

“The Chamber Board has contracted with a marketing company, Adams Mabry Swann on a six month trial basis, to showcase all Cannon County has to offer to the surrounding counties and states. Marketing strategies include website enhancement for the county website http://www.cannontn.com, ad design, media, social media management,”said Carolyn Motley of the Chamber.

“Tourism may be an industry that brings dollars into our community without demands for additional infrastructure, buildings etc,” Carolyn said.

Do you watch “Antiques Road Show” on WCTE Channel 22? A series of commercials highlighting Cannon County are being shown twice a week during that show.

And don’t forget the Chamber’s biggest fund-raiser, “The Color of Fall Car Show.” which is set for Saturday Sept. 27. That annual events attracts thousands to Woodbury’s Square.

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Speaking of major events, The annual White Oaks Craft Fair kicks in Saturday Sept. 13, and Sunday, Sept. 14. Fair hours are 9:00am to 5:00pm both days. This year marks the 25th year of the fair.

One of the most prestigious craft shows in Middle Tennessee, the fair is held along the river behind the Arts Center. Some 75 top artisans will offer for sale their original textiles, jewelry, woodcarving, metalwork, pottery, photography, chairs, baskets, ironwork, stained glass and much more.

Of particular interest are the handmade white oak baskets and chairs. Cannon County has a long tradition of fine crafters.

Many local families turned to making white oak baskets and chairs as a means of survival during the Depression. They traded them for lamp oil, sugar, coffee, cloth, thread and other things they couldn’t grow or hunt. The stores hauled the baskets and chairs to major cities like Detroit, Miami and New York, and peddled them on the streets.

It’s a showcase event. Contact the Arts Center at (615) 563-2787, for further information.

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