When Rain is in the Forecast, Don't Count Out Farms
NASHVILLE – The weather forecast is calling for a wet Memorial Day weekend for much of Tennessee. Despite the rain, you can still experience fun on a nearby farm with family and friends. Many farms offer indoor options for visitors, and many farmers markets have enclosed or covered areas to keep those farm-fresh products high and dry.
Retail stores on the farm and farmers markets usually sell fruits and vegetables, often picked the very same day. Many carry a variety of other farm and local products, like meats, cheeses, and jams. Stopping into a farm store or at a farmers market will offer up fresh food and products to make your holiday weekend memorable, whatever the weather.
While there will be many opportunities to visit farms and purchase local produce this weekend, harvests are affected by unpredictable weather conditions. A field can go from manicured to impassable with a single rainstorm. Farms are private properties, so always be certain a farm is open for business before you travel there. Calling ahead or checking a farm’s social media posts are simple ways to ensure success for both visitors and farmers.
“I love for people to come to my farm,” says Miranda Head, farmer at Head’s Farm in Robertson County, “but weather rules everything a farmer does. If my farm is too muddy for me to get in the fields, I can’t let customers in. If we’re picked out, I have to close the farm gates. Some customers travel long distances to my farm, and it’s awful to have to tell them there’s nothing to pick for another two days, or that fields are too muddy to drive or even walk to.”
Weather is only one aspect of farm life that visitors should consider. Not all farms welcome pets. Unless you have permission, leave pets at home. That ensures all livestock and all guests can enjoy the visit. It may take a little advance planning, but it’s worth it to plan a holiday weekend trip to a local farm.
To find a local farm or farmers market, and to learn more about how to be a good farm guest, click here. Pick Tennessee is the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s program to connect farmers to consumers. Follow Pick TN online on social media for seasonal updates, recipes and farm-related activities.