East Tennessee -Hidden Gems and Fun Discoveries

One of our favorite moments in East Tennessee is when we find places that are off the beaten path, hidden gems or local secrets. I’m not so sure that the place I’m going to write about today is a “secret” but it is not a place with a bill board on I-75, or a TV commercial to advertise its products.

Our focus for our diet is fresh, local and home grown food. Vegetables have taken on new life for us since we started eating low carb and low sugar – Finding really nice quality veggies can be a challenge. East Tennessee is not a “food desert” but we knew that finding the right supplier of the best and freshest produce would go far beyond the local Food City or Super Wal-Mart. Last summer we discovered our go to place for all our veggies and today we visited them for the first time this spring. (Update to my post – The address is 1492 Fairview Rd, Tellico Plains TN. If you put it in your GPS (Google – Waze etc) the device will tell you that you have arrived – but keep going another 1000 ft straight on the road and you will see a sign that says FARMER MARKET – that is the driveway that you turn into. About .5 mile up the driveway is the market – you drive right into the parking lot. Enjoy!)

Mennonite Community Tellico Plains Farmers Market

In the town of Tellico Plains Tennessee there is a community of old order Mennonite families. These are families that live off the land, there are no I-phones, devices, computers or other distractions that we all seem to be tied to for them. Their simple focus is God, Family, Community and Work, they are kind hearted, easy to talk to and bring artisan wood crafts, rugs, baked and canned goods to the Farm Market as well as all those great vegetables.

Hand loomed rugs – $45 Saw similar rugs at an artisan fair a few weeks ago for twice that price.

When I’m missing my Aunt Syl’s cinnamon rolls – these are a yummy treat!

The hand made items were so unique and priced very reasonably considering the work it must have taken to build these. I did not get pictures this trip of the handmade porch swings. They had 4 foot and 5 foot versions for $195 – $225. I wanted one – maybe next trip!

Adorable little wood stool – this was handmade and cost $28

Cutting board and Wooden cooking tools. Hubby said those would be for decoration – I said I think that they were made to be useful!
Every kind of Jelly, Jam an Sorghum Molasses too!
Fresh delicious varieties of breads.
Coconut Blondies (hubby’s favorite) and Chocolate Chip Cookies for our visitor this weekend – You are welcome Kate!
Fresh Banana Nut Bread
Zucchini Raisin Bread – YUM!

All of these items are wonderful, but wait! There’s MORE!!!

When we discovered the Farm Market last year we were absolutely sold on the quality, freshness and noticed that so many of our veggies stayed fresh for much longer than produce purchased at the grocery store.

Of course we can figure it out. Taking produce from mass growing -picking, packing, trucking -sorting all of it at a warehouse – then trucking again, does not deliver the same quality from store shelves as products that are planted, grown and harvested then sold on the same land. The Mennonite way gives us more time to enjoy these wonderful vegetables and fruits. Take a look at some of our finds today and we can’t wait to visit each week to try all of the wonderful and tasty delights from this wonderful East Tennessee hidden gem.

Need Herbs for your garden – They have those!

Tomatoes! Large – Medium – Small or Teeny – What’s your pleasure??

Radishes – Green Onions – and so many kinds of spring lettuce.

Cucumber varieties with a glimpse of the craft corner in back – It holds handmade Lye soap – natural mosquito repellant and a variety of other cleaning solutions – All Natural of course

Check out this Sweet Potato! That would make 3 pounds of Sweet potato fries!

Its Strawberrry Season in East Tennessee – Spoke to a nice local man who told me he was back for the third time in 2 days. His wife was at home making pound cake – I’d say he has some Strawberry Shortcake in his future.

Peppers! By end of Summer there are so many varieties of peppers you can’t even believe it.

Fresh Spinach and Baby Lettuce for Salad – Lasts for Weeks!

Broccoli – Roasted it is so amazing!

White AND Purple Cauliflowers – A chef’s dream!

Fresh Eggs – If you bring a buggy you park it and your horse around the back.

We will continue to explore East Tennessee and the area around our home in Tellico Village. Loudon TN is between Knoxville and Chattanooga and just west of the Smokey Mountains National Park. There is Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Dollywood and so many other interesting places to see and experience I hope you follow me at Vagablondtravels.com

3 thoughts on “East Tennessee -Hidden Gems and Fun Discoveries

Add yours

  1. Thank you! We moved here a year ago and haven’t had a chance to get to the Farm Market there yet. It looks great. We’re definitely making a trip down. Did you happen to note the days and hours they’re open? Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for reading this post – and keep an eye out for more fun places! Would love to hear about your adventures as well!


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