Blackberry Blossom Farm goes to the Joneborough Farmers' Market
Update for 2010
Janice has gone back to school for a year to become a Massage Therapist.
I will be concentrating on getting the Campground up and running, so you may not see much of us at
the Farmers' Market this year! We do plan on returning to the market next year. Don't let our absence
stop you from enjoying all of the great eats and crafts the market has to offer! It truly is a wonderful experience!!
Joining area farmers in bringing local
food to the table.
Jonesborough Farmers' Market
which started in the
Spring of 2008 saw a successful first season of local buyers and
sellers joining in for a Saturday of good food, music and
fellowship. This way of life is catching on like wildfire across
our nation as people become concerned with food safety and health
issues. Also spurring the trend is the environmental impact of
having our seasonal produce shipped across hundreds or thousands
of miles and the impact of irresponsible spending as buyers weigh
whether eating out of season is worth the sacrifice in quality.
The Farmers Markets of today are becoming the new gathering spot
of days gone by, taking the place of community centers, stores
and grange halls. Every walk of life is accepted and respected at
the Farmers' Markets, some catering to a more upscale
clientele while others are deeply rooted in the 'maters and
taters' crowd. The Jonesborough Farmers' Market has
the unpretentious ability to cover it all.
Our humble beginnings at market
Notice our tent was a van hatchback! Our first week there, it poured rain and the
Sausage Guy gave us refuge under his tent. Nice people and
neighborly help like that kept us coming
Falling in love…
We joined the “marketeer” side of the Jonesborough
venture midseason in July, but quickly fell in love with both
fellow market vendors and buyers alike. We paired up with our
cove friends, Ian & Janel from Silverleaf Farm and shared
pre-market preparation, the hour ride to market and booth space
every other week through October. It was exhilarating to find
such a receptive audience every Saturday we attended. Regular
customers came back week after week to see what new product we
were highlighting and to re-purchase the old stand-bys
they’d come to love. We learned as we stumbled along,
taking mental notes from our failures or taking sound advice from
fellow vendors who willingly offered education without
Our signature crop, sweet, delicious BLACKBERRIES!
Friends that come to visit get pulled into the act. Ana
helped prep, sell and count the proceeds. That's a true
Financial profit aside, relationships with fellow farmers,
musicians and buyers were the most rewarding part of our first
year experience. We loved arriving early to set-up, many mornings
in the dark, sometimes in the rain, and later in the season, in
the cold early morning mountain weather. But like spring
promising a warmer summer, our fellow vendors started arriving
one by one, each bringing their specialty to the market space.
The market would come alive!
Summer enjoying the music by Roy and Ryan, some of
our favorite musicians!
Blackberry Blossom Canned Peaches, open these in
February for instant summer.
Water Buffalo, Goat Cheese and eggs... OH MY!
A coffee booth manned by the market manager's young son
provided us with fair trade coffee to help jolt us into the
selling frenzy that would follow as the morning wore on.
A bread booth opened across the aisle with sweet cinnamon buns and Amish
friendship bread, an appropriate accompaniment to the coffee for
There was the Scratch Bakery guy arriving with wood
fired pizzas topped with shop-smoked meats and homemade hummus.
Then there were the multiple vegetable vendors of all ages,
including a young entrepreneur whose voice hadn't changed
yet but he knew his vegetables because he lovingly grew and
Heather with her gorgeous garlic and blue potatoes,
the sausage guy, the artisan chocolate lady.
The family business who raised Water Buffalo, the cheesecake lady, the goat cheese
man, the candle woman, the egg guy.
Jane, with her beet and chocolate cakes, Ingrid and her beautiful painted river rocks,
the soap gal, and the sweet loom rug lady and her husband who
were selling years worth of her rugwork. They also sold the loom,
which now sits in our studio waiting to be worked again.
The fun eclectic plant people, many part artist, part growers. The names
of all these fabulous people we still don't know, but they
are ingrained in our brains and in our hearts. We see their faces
clearly and recognize them for the quality products they produced
on their own homesteads and brought to market week after week
with smiles on their faces. We appreciate their willingness to
share trade secrets with novice vendors like us.
Savannah and Mom, note her Moravian and Amish Quilt
Wild Plum Jelly, ready for labels
and calico fabric toppers
By market's end we'd seen a variety of vendors pass
through the parking lot spaces, some stayed all season, some only
for a few weeks until their product was shared and inventory
exhausted. The customers also varied from week to week, regular
faces showed up with market basket in hand to see what looked
good each week, and some, just tourist visitors passing through
town for the day. Marilyn always brought her winning smile and
basket, daughter Summer brought cheer, and her husband Curtis,
always brought encouragement. The talented musicians brought
variety and atmosphere. Somehow hearing a banjo, fiddle and
guitar plucking a mountain ballad just makes you want to purchase
apple butter. The numerous visual craftsmen and artists brought
food to feed the soul.
Making our famous Blackberry-Jalapeno Jelly
Silverleaf Farm’s yummy Pears
Success is measured in more than money...
For all of the financial reasons we originally went to market
for, we feel we gained far more profit from the memories of our
customers. We enjoyed the bragging about our famous
Jalapeno-Blackberry Jelly. Many requesting a case for Christmas
gifts, then sheepishly admitting half of the case was for their
own devouring. Or the weekly requests for products we'd
come up with out of necessity, and gallons of wild plums, hence
our Blackberry-Wild Plum Chutney was created. We sold cucumbers
by the bagful but got more requests for quarts and pints of my
mother-in-law's 100 year old recipe for Appalachian Sweet
Lime Pickles and pickled dilly beans and okra. Janel had the
winning recipes of Caramel Spice Apple Butter and Pear-Pepper
Relish. We sold bags of farm-dried mountain herbs for herbal teas
and dried heirloom tomatoes. But our signature crops were clearly
Silverleaf's blueberries and Blackberry Blossom
Farm's blackberries. It's what we originally went to
market to sell, shocked that we had so many other value-added
farm products to bring to our market and our customer's
Wild Plums which came into the farm kitchen by the gallons!
Janel and sis Linda manning the booth as we progress,
we now have a tent and tables. Woo-hoo!
Also note Janel's very cool Flower Paintings and our added
Taste it before you buy...
We pride ourselves on having an extensive tasting table so you
can try our market items. Not all items appeal to everyone, as I
recall one tasting customer's screwed up face after popping
a sweet lime pickle in her mouth. The word 'sweet'
also means a vinegar tang, it IS a pickle, but clearly not her
favorite! As this year opens, we'll include our
children's handmade items like their quality handmade
Quilts, Moravian Star jewelry, Spool Dolls, Sis Linda's
handmade Cards, cherry pit and wheat heating pads and more.
Janel's primitive painted flower boards will also be
You're a Treasure!
We hope to see you this season at the
Jonesborough Farmers' Market
and hope we'll all add to the experience and life memories of each other's
journey. We truly treasure every one of you!
This is the view at Blackberry Blossom Farm and
Campground. Come visit us for an experience away from traffic,
noise and stress. Breathe some cool mountain air and renew your
What's in a name?
We know it's important for people to start seeing where
their food is grown, and how it's grown. Our farm is open
for inspection from our customers. We never use chemicals not
approved for organic production, and although the cost and record
keeping is too intensive for a small farm like ours to be
certified organic, you can come see for yourself, it's our
only method of operation. We are certified "Naturally Grown".
One of our dairy goats, Fawn. They don't provide us with milk anymore, just love
and manure for the gardens.
Get Current Farm Information on the Website!
Check our website for weekly offerings for
in-season produce and farm times for pick-up, and don't
forget our U-Pick Blackberries in July and August! You
can't get much fresher than picking food a few hours before
it hits your table, freezer or canner.
Our Back to Basics Steam Canner; no more
filling my kitchen with hot boiling water bath canners. Steam
canning does the job with less water, less heat in the kitchen
and quicker. Get yours at Lehman';s and you'll never
use your water bath canner again!'
Check it out here: