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Locally grown foods make for delicious Farmer’s Market dinner last weekend

By:  Paula Walter

Assistant Editor

The Johnson County Farmer’s Market held their first annual Johnson County Harvest Celebration Dinner this past weekend. Approximately 110 people packed the Roan Creek Church Fellowship Hall, ready to enjoy a scrumptious meal prepared with foods grown locally in Johnson County.
Richard Calkins, president of the Johnson County Farmers Market, welcomed all to the annual dinner. “I hope each year the dinner gets bigger and better,” Calkins said. He introduced Tennessee State Senator, Jon Lundberg, who made a brief appearance before leaving to celebrate his son’s 21st birthday with his family.
Craig Cox and his high school culinary students prepared and served the meal from foods grown locally in Johnson County, provided by the farmers of the Johnson County Farmers Market. The menu included an organic salad greens with fresh herbed Italian dressing, a Moroccan stew made with grass-fed beef, braised leeks, carrots, chickpeas, raisings and olives. French bread with herbed olive oil was served, along with French Ratatouille over Spanish inspired saffron rice. Dessert included French butternut brownies with pumpkin spice chocolate icing or a mixed berry crumble.
Thanks to a silent auction, $710 was raised for the farmers market. According to Johnson County Market Manager, Jana Jones, it takes approximately $12,000 a year to run the market and the organization is dependent on grants and donations. Some of the items in the silent auction included, among others, a basket full of jams, 10 hours of free companion donated by Silver Angels, a cabin valued at $250 donated by Brookside Rentals, a gift certificate from Chestnut Grove Farms, wooden bowl, essential oil starter kit, pottery and iris bistro glasses.
Jones recognized the many volunteers of the Johnson County Farmers Market. These include: Susan Kopacka, Dennis Shekinah, Eric Nordmark, Jeremy Boulanger, Mike Keefer, James Smith, David Jones, Sonnie Keefer, Fran Boyette, Chris Dandurand, Mary Ellen and Kevin Golding, Sita Ogle, Denise deRibert and Patty Sanfillippo.
Music was provided by Aaron and Jenna Ames.