We had unseasonably cold weather over the weekend. And it was raining to boot. After several days of being stuck inside due to weather, we decided to brave the patches of sun on Saturday morning and GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!
My husband, my little, and I started the morning at the Market Square Farmers Market. I never feel more international than when I shop at the farmers market. I want to stroll by the booths, conversing with the vendors while carrying my fresh bouquet of flowers, crisp baguette, and heirloom tomatoes in a basket. Add to that scene a lively rendition of Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and that about covers it.
I’m sorry…I drifted. Where was I? Oh, yes, the farmers market.
In reality I carried my 3 year old son around rather than a basket of produce because it was cold and windy. When your kid asks for warm hugs, warm hugs it is. He was so excited to talk to every vendor and his first question – “Mommy, is that a farmer?” Ok, so maybe only half of the folks at the market are farmers, the rest are bakers, artists, bee keepers, craftsmen, or performers, but I’m happy to see my boy asking people questions and learning their stories.
We stopped by a booth for Lisa Clow, a Knoxville artist with an eye for vibrant, children’s designs. We purchased the cutest alphabet poster and will frame it for our kitchen. Any alphabet poster that includes avocado, leeks, and tofu is a winner for me! We had a little trouble with the square reader and had to come back. It’s an inconvenience for sure (see above about carrying my 3 year old) but part of being a supporter of local folks is accepting their challenges. When my husband and I returned to the booth to attempt to purchase the poster again, the artist and her husband were shocked that we came back. Of course we did!
We also snagged a loaf of focaccia bread sunning at the booth for the Bread Shed Cafe. I want to go back for orange spice tea cakes. They looked like Christmas and childhood memories with icing on them.
Finally, half starved and half frozen, my son and I made sat in the car while my hubby ordered a brunch burrito and biscuit minis from the Savory and Sweet food truck. This was a first for me since we typically grab biscuits from the Cruze Dairy Farm truck but since they were serving ice cream (what?!) at 10:00am, we opted for breakfast. I can’t begin to tell you how delicious the brunch burrito was…crunchy hashbrowns in a burrito people!! I wish I had a photo to share but I swallowed it whole.
Bellies full and happy, we made our way to Honeybee Coffee Company in South Knoxville. Now, I’ve been to a lot of specialty coffee companies both in Knoxville and in cities across the United States. Honeybee in SoKno and West Knoxville are some of my favorites because of their design and layout. Beautiful spaces and accents that make sipping coffee seem like a mini vacation.
This convenient stop gave my son a chance to test his echo in a public restroom and gave me renewed energy for one more stop. My husband had heard about Stanley’s Greenhouse and wanted to check it out. I kept my reservations to myself as we drove around in an area of Knoxville that was entirely too green to be in a city. Suddenly, we were there and I know my eyes bugged out of my head. This place was HUGE! I’ve never seen so many greenhouses.
Walking inside the “plant store” as my son called it, was like my own personal secret garden experience (except for the shoppers carefully inspecting every bud and bloom on the geranium they were eyeing). The ceiling was a canopy of hanging planters with flowers that looked too healthy and beautiful for a store. And the succulents, oh the succulents! This is a plant I can embrace. They are hardy and exotic. We walked out with a purple strawberry jar for the succulent offshoots we’ve been nursing at home but if I had my way, we would have a left with a trailer of botanical wonders.
Then the rain started. Sometimes rain starts with a sprinkle and gets heavier and sometimes the flood gates open with the first drop. The rain on Saturday was the latter. With our son tucked into my husbands arms and the purple pot tucked into mine, we hurried to the car. By the time we got home, we ladled food into our son’s mouth and hurried him to bed for a nap. He was out like a light at 12:01pm.
It was a fun day full of spontaneous buys and conditions that could have threatened to ruin it all (rain, cold, hunger). There is a sense of accomplishment as a parent when you take your kid on adventure full of disasters waiting to happen but they don’t. There is also a sense of accomplishment as a Marble City Mom to support not one but five local businesses and artists before noon on a Saturday. Shop local folks, it feels so good!