Put on your party hat, Memphis Farmers Market turns ten. The birthday bash will be held on Sunday at Tennessee Brewery.
Agricenter International, 7777 Walnut Grove
Starts Sept. 18
If there is one thing I can count on it's the Old Farmer's Almanac. And according to Old Farmer, the autumnal equinox falls on September 23. That's just a fancy way of saying "it's finally fall, y'all." Fall in Memphis is so glorious that the Agricenter is getting a head start by opening the Mid-South Corn Maze a week before autumn officially begins. I don't want to frighten you fine folks, but the Haunted Maze will begin in October on Fridays and Saturdays. This is also the first weekend for the Scarecrow Display at Lichterman Nature Center. A good time to see this display would be on Sunday during Stomp in the Swamp, a fun event for the whole family. I would say that scarecrows are for the birds, but that would be corny.
Doubletree Hotel, 5069 Sanderlin
Fri., Sept. 18, 5:30 p.m.
I just couldn't help recommending this event, in part, because I have never heard of this particular auction style. Admittedly, the only Chinese person I know well is named Jeffery—you do the math. This Chinese auction is Greek to me. As described, it seems a cross between a popular drinking game called quarters and live auction. If I understand the directions correctly, parties interested in an item can toss a quarter into a bucket and hold up a numbered paddle. An auctioneer calls out the numbers on the raised paddles. The last number called at the sound of a gong wins the item. There will also be a silent auction for those less adventurous. But the good news is that the proceeds benefit Memphis Child Advocacy Center, HSMAI Mid-South Student Chapter Scholarship Fund, and Chapter activities.
Germantown Performing Arts Center, 1801 Exeter
Sat., Sept. 19, 11 a.m.
This family art day is in conjunction with the current art exhibit in honor of National Hispanic Heritage month. Area Hispanic artists Maritza Davila, Vanessa Gonzalez, Richard Lou, Rubén Garnica, Sylvia Martinez, Juan Rojo, Bienvenido Howard Romero, and Yancy Villa-Calvo have work on display. Families will meet the artists, enjoy interactive demonstrations, and create themed crafts. If you miss this special day, artwork will still be on display through September 27.
Cooper-Young Historic District and Memphis Made Brewing Company, 768 S. Cooper
Sat., Sept. 19, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
I just couldn't choose one. And since they are on the same day and at the same time, I decided not to choose. You shouldn't either. Spend the day just meandering down Cooper on Saturday. You are sure to land right dab smack into a good time. One festival is a long standing tradition and the other turns two this year. Something tells me that each one will have that Midtown charm.
Tennessee Brewery, 495 Tennessee
Sun., Sept. 20, 5-8 p.m.
When I first returned to Memphis to open my restaurant, the first question I asked was, "Where do I go to get my produce?" After a round of frustrated questioning I finally got the answer, "I guess Scott Street. But....." I didn't wait around for what came after the 'but' and went straight to Scott Street where I found one produce warehouse and no people. Calling out to anyone who might be manning the building, a lone figure wandered out of a back office. I learned there were no produce markets that catered to local chefs. I had always gone to a warehouse district and hand picked my own produce from hundreds of vendors between midnight and 6 a.m.—along with thousands of other chefs and food service employees. Buying produce from a middleman, sight unseen, did not sit well with me, but there were no options in Memphis back in 2000. No options until I met Tinker Talley, that is. Talley was a local farmer experimenting with a variety of odd fruits and vegetables and he wanted to sell them in front of my restaurant. Local chefs and Memphians were hungry for more, better, and local produce. Soon, Talley was selling in Midtown and East Memphis as well. Business was good, so good in fact that the Downtown Memphis Commission saw the opportunity for Downtown Memphis. I feel very grateful to have been asked to be a founding member of Memphis Farmers Market. Nevertheless, in the market's second year, the economy and world events made it impossible for me to keep my doors open and I had to bow out of the project. But very dedicated and capable individuals and organizations pushed forward with results that have changed the way Memphis eats for the better. Ten years of healthier food options, in fact. That is truly cause for a celebration.
For a full list of what’s happening this weekend in and around Memphis, check out our calendar of events. Also, be sure to tag your favorite Instagram photos of Memphis while you are out and about with the #memphisflyer hashtag. I hope you have a great weekend.