Oscar-winning filmmaker James Moll gives a glimpse of young farmers and ranchers who feed the world in his new documentary, Farmland.
“This film isn’t just about what it’s like to be a farmer – it’s about a way of life,” he says. “It’s also about a subject that affects our lives daily.”
Moll met with farmers and ranchers across the nation and narrowed it down to six. Though the average age of the U.S. farmer has risen to 58.3 years old, Moll wanted to feature those in their 20s to tell the story of the next generation of farmers. He carefully chose farmers and ranchers who represent different types of crops and livestock, diverse production methods and various locations around the country.
Through the farmers’ stories, moviegoers will learn more about the time and effort spent raising the nation’s food while experiencing the ups and downs that go along with farming.
Several public screenings will take place in Tennessee, including one at the Malco Paradiso Theatre in Memphis on May 1, and one at the Regal Hollywood Cinema (100 Oaks) in Nashville on May 8.
For more information on the movie and screening times, visit farmlandfilm.com.
View the trailer below:
Expert and novice gardeners alike can make their way to the UT Gardens this May for the 11th Annual Blooms Days Garden Festival & Marketplace.
Garden lovers can explore the HGTV Home Showcase Garden, the lively marketplace, the insect zoo in kids’ corner and more. The event features also informative workshops and demonstrations, including bonsai and rose shows.
The event takes place May 11-12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, rain or shine. Tickets at the gate are $6 per day. For more information, visit utgardens.tennessee.edu/bloomsdays.html.
Dolly’s Homecoming Parade – May 2, Pigeon Forge
Nearly 50,000 people line the Pigeon Forge Parkway to watch this annual parade. Dolly Parton is the grand marshal, and the parade includes floats, local entertainers, marching bands and much more. This will be the 29th year for this spring tradition in Pigeon Forge. CONTACT: mypigeonforge.com/parade
Bledsoe Fort Colonial Fair – May 2-4, Castalian Springs
Experience life as it was in the late 1700s. Re-enactors, traders, merchants, demonstrations, music, food and entertainment. CONTACT: (615) 206-9777
Memphis in May International Festival – May 2-24, Memphis
This monthlong celebration includes events like the Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. CONTACT: (901) 525-4611
Clinch River Spring Antique Fair – May 3, Clinton
More than 100 antique dealers come to Clinton’s Historic Downtown to present a fantastic Antiques and Collectibles Show. Representing more than 7 States, the antique dealers line Market Street and its side streets and alleys. On Friday evening, there will be a kick-off party from with food and live entertainment. The fair is held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturday and is one of the best one-day antique shows in East Tennessee. CONTACT: (865) 463-8699
“Cuatro de Mayo” Fundraiser for Oaklands Historic House Museum – May 4, Murfreesboro
West Tennessee Strawberry Festival – May 4-10, Humboldt (pictured)
Celebrating its 75th year, this fun festival includes parades, live entertainment, a barbecue cook-off, concerts, fireworks, and of course, strawberries! CONTACT: (731) 784-1842
Storytelling Live! – May 6 – Nov. 1, Jonesborough
Storytellers from across the country make their way to Jonesborough to share their stories and entertain visitors. CONTACT: (800) 952-8392
“Days of Washing, Churning & Learning” Educational Field Days at Oaklands Historic House Museum – May 8-9, Murfreesoboro
Visitors will experience the chores of the mid-1800’s through period crafts, demonstrations, games and hands-on activities as well as visit the Historic House Museum. CONTACT: (615) 893-0022
73rd Annual Running of the Iroquois Steeplechase – May 10, Nashville
Spend a day at the races! This event is the nations’ oldest continuously run, weight-for-age steeplechase. CONTACT: (866) 207-2391
Wilson County SpringFest & Garden Tour – May 10, Lebanon
Master gardener plant sale takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. Admission and parking are free. Mother’s Day is that Sunday, so bring your mom for a day of flowers, food, fun and fresh air. CONTACT: (615) 444-9584
Tennessee Strawberry Festival – May 13-17, Dayton
Celebrate the strawberry at this family-friendly festival. Guests can enjoy crafts, delicious food, a parade and more. CONTACT: (423) 570-0105
International Biscuit Festival – May 15-17, Knoxville
Named one of the country’s top 10 food festivals, this popular event will rise again in downtown Knoxville at Market Square. Guests can enjoy food, fun, music and more throughout the three-day festival. CONTACT: biscuitfest.com
Buford Pusser Festival – May 15-17, Adamsville
This annual festival honors the famous “Walking Tall” sheriff and features good music, food and family fun. CONTACT: (731) 632-4080
Sevierville’s Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass – May 16-17, Sevierville
Make your way to this exciting event, which features the Tennessee State Barbeque Cook-Off, bluegrass concerts, kids’ games, great food and authentic mountain crafts. CONTACT: visitsevierville.com/vsevents.aspx
18th Annual Verona Road Yard Sale – May 16-17, Lewisburg
This annual community yard sale on Verona Caney Road (Highway 272) runs from Highway 31A in Lewisburg to Highway 99 in Caney Springs. CONTACT: (931) 246-9257
19th Annual Iris Festival – May 17-18, Greeneville
This fun arts and crafts festival features food, entertainment and more surrounded by the history of Tennessee-born President Andrew Johnson. The annual Woodcarving Show is held each year in conjunction with the festival. CONTACT: (423) 638-4111
Americana Music Festival – May 22-25, Crawford
Enjoy this three-day camping and music festival that coincides with the taping of an episode of the “Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s Americana Music Series” on PBS. CONTACT: (931) 445-2072
Cajunfest 2014 – May 24, Hampshire
Spend the day in the picturesque setting of Amber Falls Winery and support the Boys and Girls Club of Maury County. Enjoy authentic Cajun music, crawfish races and lots of Cajun food including boiled crawfish, fried alligator, jambalaya and boudin. Family fun day from 12 to 8 p.m. CONTACT: (931) 285-0088
Tennessee State HOG Rally – May 28 – June 1, Cookeville
An event for the Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s “Harley Owners Group”. Enjoy some of the best motorcycle riding in the U.S. right in the heart of the Upper Cumberland! 2014 will mark the second year Cookeville has been honored with hosting privileges for the state rally. With record attendance and hosting privileges for 2015 as well, Cookeville and the Upper Cumberland are a dream destination for motorcycle riders. CONTACT: (615) 255-3442
Memphis Italian Festival – May 30 – June 1, Memphis
This community celebration demonstrates the values of family, faith and fellowship in the Italian-American tradition. Guests can enjoy music, food, games, arts and crafts, and more. CONTACT: (901) 767-6949
Mother’s Day is right around the corner! This year’s holiday falls on Sunday, May 11, and we’ve got just the menu to show mom how much you appreciate her. Dazzle her with your cooking skills by making any of these easy and delicious springtime recipes. She’s sure to love them!
Still want more? Take a look at more Mother’s Day recipes here.
Spring has officially sprung! We were more than ready to be done with the winter blues. And what better way to celebrate the arrival of this new, fresh season than with a roundup of tasty recipes featuring seasonal ingredients? See below for some of our favorite breakfasts, side dishes, entrees and desserts to welcome spring.
Spring Greens and Country Ham Tart – A filling tart, perfect for breakfast or brunch, featuring seasonal spring greens, country ham and Gruyere cheese.
Fresh Strawberry Muffins – Strawberries are a spring staple. The bright berries star in this sweet muffin recipe, which is great for kids. Pick your own berries for the muffins at Batey’s Berry Farm in Murfreesboro.
Goat Cheese Frittata with Fresh Greens – Fresh greens, sweet onions and creamy goat cheese are the players in the hearty frittata recipe.
Overnight French Toast Casserole with Fresh Berries – Make the batter for this simple french toast casserole the night before. Bake it in the morning, then top with fresh spring berries.
Ginger-Orange Spring Vegetables – The flavors of fresh broccolini, asparagus and snap peas scream spring in this easy side dish, which gets a punch from grated ginger root.
Turnip Greens and White Beans Saute – You’re sure to get your fill of greens with this substantial side dish.
Roasted Asparagus and Spring Greens with Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette – A light, yet flavorful salad, this side dish features fresh in-season asparagus and a zesty vinaigrette dressing.
Crunchy Cabbage Peanut Slaw – Peanuts add a satisfying crunch to this cool slaw, which features spicy jalapenos and a creamy dressing.
Greek Chicken Lasagna – A twist on traditional lasagna, this Mediterranean version contain black olives, grape tomatoes and feta cheese. Delicious!
Korean Pork Sliders – Soy sauce, ginger, Asian pear and Chinese cabbage accompany mini pork sliders for a satisfying hand-held meal.
Asparagus Pizza Bianca – Fresh spring asparagus is the highlight of this healthy, family-friendly pizza.
Pecan-Crusted Cajun Chicken Fingers – Light and crunchy, these kid-loved chicken fingers get a kick from simple and tasty Cajun dipping sauce.
Strawberry-Coconut Tres Leche Cake – Sweet spring strawberries and three types of milk come together for this lusciously moist cake.
Strawberry Chiffon Pie – Light and airy, this sweet pie is a crowd-pleaser perfect for spring.
Banana Pudding – This yummy nostalgic recipe features vanilla wafers and ripe bananas topped with fluffy meringue.
Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake – Light, sweet biscuits are topped with juicy, sweet strawberries and fluffy whipped cream in this classic recipe.
Discover the natural and cultural beauty of East Tennessee at the Annual Dogwood Arts Festival.
For the entire month of April, this festival features a mix of blooming gardens and more than 60 miles of trails that feature some of the most beautiful dogwood trees of all kinds and colors. Festivities kick off April 4-6 with the Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival on downtown’s hip and emerging Jackson Ave.
The monthlong festival’s events also include arts and crafts as well as performances in theater, dance, music and literary arts.
For more information, a complete festival calendar of events, and ticket information, visit www.dogwoodarts.com or call (865) 637-4561.
Do you live in the Tennessee towns of Milan or Santa Fe? If so, you can probably recognize a visitor just by the way they (incorrectly) say the name of your hometown. And you’re not alone – there are many places in our great state that only true Tennesseans know how to pronounce. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Milan (pronounced MY-lin)
- Santa Fe (Santa Fee)
- Maury County and Maury City (Murry)
- Poga (Pogee)
- Lebanon (Leb-nun)
- Finger (Fanger)
- Ooltewah (Oo-da-wah)
- Lafayette (Luh-fayette)
- Shelbyville, Fayetteville, Nashville and other “villes” (-vul)
Do you live in a town that most people mispronounce? Leave a comment with others we may have missed.
You know the feeling: You’re late for work (hair appointment, golf date, piano lessons), and you’re sitting behind a monster tractor, whose driver clearly has nothing more to do than creep down a country road at 15 miles per hour.
You tap the horn. Nothing. You nudge up a little closer behind him. Nothing. You tap your fingers on the wheel and mutter underneath your breath. Nothing. Finally, frustrated and annoyed, you drop back, gun it and start to pass – just as another car races toward you at 80 mph from the opposite direction.
A familiar scenario? Of course. More and more of us are driving on Tennessee’s rural roads, as more and larger farm equipment needs to use those same roads.
The result is an increasingly dangerous situation for farmers and drivers alike, and the solution may be something as simple as a little patience and consideration. “I experienced angry drivers more times last year than ever before,” says Rickey Black, who farms 3,200 acres in four West Tennessee counties and knows all about the perils of moving large farm equipment from one farm to another. “I think we’ve become such a fast-paced society that we’ve become a little selfish – we only think about what’s important to us.”
Black’s situation represents a trend seen around the country, says John Woolfolk, associate director of commodities for the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation.
“If you go back to the early 1900s farmers rarely left their farms,” says Woolfolk, who farms 800 acres in Madison County. “Now farmers may farm in several locations.
The narrow profit margin per acre these days and the higher cost of production mean that to support your family, you have to have numerous acres, often not adjacent, for which you have to buy bigger equipment. Today’s farming requires much more time on the road than in years past.”
Larger farms and bigger equipment are half the equation. The other is increasing traffic on rural roads. A study by The Road Information Program (TRIP) found that travel on the nation’s rural roads increased by 27 percent between 1990 and 2002. The number of people living in rural communities increased 11 percent during those same years.
At the same time, 94 percent of rural roads are two lanes and far more likely to “have poor roadway design, including narrow lanes, limited shoulders, sharp curves, exposed hazards, pavement drop-offs, steep slopes and limited clear zones along roadsides,” according to TRIP.
The problem of more and bigger farm vehicles versus more traffic on roads not designed for it becomes clear. In Tennessee, the state Department of Safety reports 405 crashes involving farm equipment in 2003-2005. Six of those crashes resulted in fatalities and 125 in injuries.
No wonder country singer Craig Morgan’s tune “International Harvester” sings of “Three miles of cars layin’ on their horns, fallin’ on deaf ears of corn, lined up behind me like a big parade.”
Black says he fears little notice will be paid to rural road safety until a major tragedy occurs. He pleads for a little understanding from the non-farming public.
“I know people get frustrated,” he says. “They’re headed to a big office somewhere, a big desk, a lot of paperwork, but they don’t realize that I’m already in my office. I have to be on the road to get to where my job takes me too. We have to educate people to respect this equipment and understand why it’s on the road.”
For his part, Black suggests drivers stay at least two car lengths behind him so that he can see them. Tennessee state law dictates that equipment drivers must pull over if five or more vehicles are behind them. And farmers will do just that, as soon as they safely can – which may take a few minutes. Don’t drive him into a ditch, he asks, and don’t expect him to wave you around.
“If you pull up behind me, I will do everything I can to let you pass me, but I am not going to get off the road on a double yellow line and motion for you to come around beside me,” says Black. “
Problem is, I have a 25-foot-wide vehicle, so where am I going to pull off the road? The first safe place I see, I will do it. But be patient with me – I don’t want to have you back there any more than you want to be there.”
Safety Tips While on the Road
- At 55 miles per hour, it will take only five seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between you and a tractor going five miles per hour.
- Watch for hand signals that a tractor driver may use to signal he is turning or stopping.
- Do not pull out in front of farm equipment. It cannot stop or slow down as easily as a car, especially if pulling other equipment.
- If an oversized farm vehicle is coming your way from the opposite direction, make sure you can pass it safely. If not, pull over and wait for it to pass.
- Remember that if you must slow down to 20 mph behind a tractor for two miles, you will only lose six minutes.
52nd Annual Dogwood Arts Festival – April 1-30, Knoxville
Since 1961, Dogwood Arts has celebrated the natural and cultural beauty of East Tennessee by producing a dynamic festival featuring blooming gardens and trails, visual arts, music, crafts, theater, culinary arts, dance, film, and literary arts. Enjoy upcoming events, exhibits, and performances during the entire month of April. CONTACT: (865) 637-4561
Awesome April – April 1-30, Nashville
Enjoy this monthlong event, which pays musical tribute to the city and promises a major event each weekend. CONTACT: (800) 657-6910
Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration – April 4, Memphis
The National Civil Rights Museum offers this special program in Memphis to commemorate the late Civil Rights leader. CONTACT: (901) 521-9699
Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival – April 4-6, Knoxville
The annual Rhythm N’ Blooms celebrates the crossroads of Knoxville’s varied musical history. This American Roots music festival spotlights storied songwriters and rich performances from jazz to world-class bluegrass to indie – and everything in between. CONTACT: rhythmnbloomsfest.com
Granville Genealogy Festival – April 5, Granville
Genealogy Festival featuring great genealogy speakers, seminars, genealogy family booths, craftsmen, historical town tours, music, cemetery tours, museums and great food. Celebrating the history of Sutton General Store and the sixth anniversary of Sutton Ole Time Music Hour. CONTACT: (931) 653-4151
Lawn & Garden EXPO – April 5, Brighton
Hosted by Tipton County Master Gardener, this FREE event takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Brighton High School. The agenda features dynamic speakers, and attendees will have the opportunity to visit many vendors and garden displays. In addition, there will be demonstrations on composting, plant propagation, making rain barrels, herb and vegetable gardening as well as a children’s workshop. CONTACT: (901) 476-0231
2014 Perennial Plant Sale – April 5, Nashville
Doors open at 9 a.m. at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. This event features more than 450 varieties of plants for gardens big and small, plus expert advice on choosing and growing the perfect plant from PPS gardeners. CONTACT: (615) 804-9050
4 Bridges Art Festival – April 11-14, Chattanooga
Approximately 150 artists will be selected from across the country to sell paintings, glasswork, jewelry, textiles, furniture, sculpture and more. Artists also compete for $10,000 in merit awards through onsite jurying April 12 In addition, the festival features live entertainment from talented local and regional performers; artisan foods from local restaurants, and a special art creation area for kids. CONTACT: 4bridgesartsfestival.org
Sumner County Bluegrass Jamboree – April 12, Gallatin
Visit Volunteer State Community College for their annual bluegrass festival. The event features fun competitions in bluegrass instruments including mandolin, guitar, fiddle and bluegrass dancing, as well as exciting concerts. It’s fun for the whole family! CONTACT: (615) 452-8600 ext. 2936
Nashville Film Festival – April 17-26, Nashville
With genres from drama to comedy to foreign documentaries, this exciting festival has something for all film lovers. CONTACT: (615) 742-2500, nashvillefilmfestival.org
Rock Island Easter Egg Hunt – April 19, Rock Island
A day of family and fun celebrating spring and Easter at Rock Island State Park. Activities include themed games for all ages, tie dye in spring colors and an Easter egg hung including a visit from the Easter Bunny. CONTACT: (931) 686-2471
World’s Biggest Fish Fry – April 23-27, Paris
Don’t miss this delicious event, as more than five tons of catfish are served to thousands of visitors. There’s also a rodeo, parade and catfish races. CONTACT: (731) 644-1143 **This event was listed incorrectly in the print magazine. April 23-27 is the correct date.
Windrock Park Spring Jamboree – April 24, Oliver Springs
Guided ATV rides, mud bog, drag races, poker run, kids scavenger hunt, pole bending and barrel racing are just a few activities for ATVers and this fun event. You don’t have to be a rider to enjoy. Spectators can watch the competitions then jump in the Dash for Cash. Windrock Park is also the perfect place to see the Tennessee Valley Authority’s windmill farm, which consist of eighteen 392 foot windmills on 210 acres. CONTACT: windrockpark.com
Rivers & Spires Festival – April 24-26, Clarksville (pictured)
This famous annual festival features more than 100 entertainers, a kids area, car shows, delicious food, jazz and more. Don’t miss it! CONTACT: (931) 245-4344
Sheep Shearing Day – April 25, Norris
The Museum of Appalachia will renew the annual ritual of sheep shearing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The wooly animals will be trimmed by Kentucky native John Cooper, who will explain the process to onlookers while using vintage hand-cranked shears. Spinning, weaving and quilting demonstrators will show how wool was used to make yarn and quilt batting. CONTACT: (865) 494-7680
Dixie Line Days – April 26, Wartrace
An all-day train show featuring operating model railroads, swap tables, how-to clinics, contests, food and live music in downtown Wartrace located on the CSX Railroad mainline with 25 trains per day. CONTACT: dixieflyertrains.com
Squarefest – April 26, Gallatin
Gallatin’s Annual Squarefest draws more than 12,000 visitors each year. The event includes arts and crafts, live entertainment, a kids area and food vendors from throughout the mid-south. Held on the historic downtown square, this event has become a signature event in the spring for Gallatin. CONTACT: (615) 452-5692
National Cornbread Festival – April 26-27, South Pittsburg
Enjoy this Southern staple at the annual South Pittsburg festival. Visitors can enjoy the National Cornbread Cook-Off, art, a beauty contest, a carnival, pancakes breakfast and more! CONTACT: (423) 837-0022
Looking for antique farm equipment? Head to the Sardis Antique Farm & Home show in rural West Tennessee this spring.
The free event features antique tractors, farm machinery, cars and a variety of home items, including a quilt show. There will also be children’s games as well as a parade.
The event takes place May 17, 2014, at Sardis City Park (the Old Sardis School), located in Henderson County about 20 miles south of Lexington on Hwy. 104.
To learn more, call (731) 206-0858.
Editor’s note: The date for this event has changed since our magazine published. The date above is correct.