Bluegrass Pickin’ on the Collierville Town Square

photo 14I’ll let you in on a little secret: I haven’t always appreciated small town life and West Tennessee as much as I do these days. In fact, I was that high school kid who couldn’t wait until graduation so she could spread her wings and fly away to the big city… of Jackson, Mississippi. Ha! Yes, looking back now my logic was a little bit flawed, but living away from Tennessee taught me to really appreciate what was in my backyard all those years growing up.

photo 24These days I am not as social as I used to be, admittedly. While I love the great restaurants and free concerts in Midtown and Downtown, the drive and prospect of fighting the crowds is usually enough to keep me at home in my garden or curled up on the couch with a good movie or a Netflix marathon. However, we did find something awesome last weekend that made me happy we decided to venture out on a Friday night: Bluegrass Pickin’ on the square in Collierville. Stay with me now…

photo 32If you’re someone who loves watching live music, even if you’re not the bluegrass type (as my boyfriend can tell you, I am not), you should really check this event out. Every Friday night beginning late Spring through early Fall music lovers from all over the Midsouth gather on the beautiful Collierville town square beginning around 7pm. Depending on the week you go, you’ll find that folks break off into lots of small musical groups with every instrument you can think of from fiddles to steel guitars. It’s so fun!

photo 1We brought lawn chairs, but next time I’ll definitely pack a picnic. It’s a great event for people watching, and the entire event is incredibly family (and even dog) friendly. To be honest, I felt a little bit like I was back in Mayberry for a minute on Friday night – and I mean that in a good way!

photo 23This is by no means a professional-only event. There are varying skill and experience levels, and the group seems warm and inviting to new members – even if they’re not perfect. I truly enjoyed moving from group to group, seeing how the different musicians blended together. It was also fun to watch players move around the square, joining in for a few songs in one group and then moving on to the next. It made the entire experience a fluid one, where the sounds changed as time went on and new members joined in.
photo 13Don’t be scared away by the twang! If you’re a musician or just a music-lover, make your way to the square next Friday for a laid back, inviting event that reminds you of just another reason you chose to call the Midsouth (and especially small-town Midsouth) home!

You can find more information here! I’ll be back later in the week with a MS steakhouse review, and maybe even a recipe or two (I have to go grocery shopping first!). Have a great week!

A Thursday morning at the Collierville Farmer’s Market

photo 11I am a sucker for a good farmer’s market. Give me a bearded group of guys with guitars singing twangy songs, food trucks, and stacks of fresh/local vegetables and I’m in my own special kind of heaven. Don’t even get me started on the skinny jeans or the plaid shirts. A good farmer’s market should feel like a Mumford and Sons video in my opinion. But I digress…

photo 4The unfortunate thing about the farmer’s markets in the greater Memphis area is that they’re SO far away from where we live (I know, I know, it’s all about me, right?). Since we’re on the outskirts of the city, it can take us 45 minutes to get downtown, and that commute gets even worse when we hit traffic. One day I’ll tell you all the story of the night we attempted to go for a “quick dinner” downtown during BBQ fest. That was super fun.

Needless to say, when I heard that the Collierville Farmer’s Market was opening for the season just down the road from my office, I was excited – and then I realized it was only open each Thursday and had limited hours: 8am until 1pm. I work an office job five days a week, 8a-5p, so most mornings I’m stuck in front of a computer dreaming of my garden. Bummer. But I decided to look on the bright side and took an early lunch this Thursday to check it out.

photo 42While this one may not be as big and trendy as the Downtown Farmer’s Market that I drag my boyfriend to whenever possible, it’s still pretty spiffy! All the staples were there: my favorite “everything” bread from Lime Foods, the BEST local pickles from Old Apple Hill Brine, and lots of Midsouth based organic vegetable and meat vendors with everything I needed for dinners next week.

photo 12The market is based in the rear parking lot of Collierville United Methodist Church, and there was live music playing when I pulled up, with even a few couples dancing along! I definitely didn’t miss the crowds from the weekend markets, but there were still quite a few people shopping in the sunshine.

While the vibe was a little different, I still very much enjoyed myself, and I’ll definitely be returning next week. I’ve even convinced a couple of my coworkers to come along! If you’re like me and looking for local, fresh, organic products without the crazy drive into the city, you should spend your Thursday morning (or lunch break if you must), in Collierville.

Check them out on Facebook for more information. Here are just a few of the great vendors you’ll find there:

photo 21A New Life
Bartlett Soap Company
Bethel Road Farm
Cold Comfort Farm
Coldwater Alpaca
Daily Blessings Farm
Donna’s Kettle Corn
Faith Farms
Flavor Mavens
Fresh From the Farm
H&H Farms (later in season)
Jones Greenhouses
Las Delicias
Lazy Dog Farms
Leigh Ann’s Chicken Garden
photo 22Lewis Tomatoes (later in season)
Lil Brooklyn’s Italian Ice
Lilee’s Gourmet Bakery
Lime Foods
Mai Vue
Old Apple Hill Brine
James Overman
Robert Hays
Papi Joe’s Pepper Sauce
Paradise Seafood
Peach World
Pontotoc Ridge (next week)
Renaissance Farms
Ripley Produce
True Vine Farm
photo 5Wolf River Honey
Wolf River Popcorn

Have a lovely weekend everyone! I’ll be spending it snacking on the fresh plums and roasting up the gorgeous green brussel sprouts I picked up this week.