Bye-bye tomatoes, peaches, cucumbers, yellow squash, watermelon, cantaloupes; see you next summer. Hello root vegetables. Beginning this Friday, Sept. 24, and running through Sept. 26, organic growers from across the Southeast will gather at the Long Hungry Creek CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in nearby Red Boiling Springs, Tenn., to celebrate the autumn equinox at the ninth annual Southeast Biodynamic Gardening Conference & Harvest Festival. Workshops will be presented by leaders in the biodynamic gardening community, including Traugher Groh, founder of one of the first CSAs in America. Besides learning about healthy gardening and farming, participants can join groups exploring nature spirits meditation, Astrosophy and alternative health care.
Fee for the three-day conference is $125 in advance, or $75 per day. (No one will be turned away for financial reasons, but can instead sign up for one or more task committees.) Six homegrown biodynamic meals are included in the conference price; attendees are encouraged to bring seeds for the seed swap, homegrown foods for meals, and crafts and products to sell. Organizers note that the festival is a family event, and children are free and welcome, though dogs are not. There is a swimming hole, hiking trails and a cave for outdoor fun.
Campsites at Long Hungry Creek are available at no extra cost. In addition, there are three hotels in Red Boiling Springs, located 70 miles northeast of Nashville: Armour's (699-2180), Donoho (699-3141) and Thomas House (699-3006); there is a Hearthstone Inn in Lafayette (666-7114). For information and registration, contact Jeff Poppen, a.k.a. The Barefoot Farmer, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.barefootfarmer.com.
♦ If you are more inclined to indoor fun, fancy food and the harvest of the vineyard, head to Mere Bulles restaurant in Maryland Farms on Saturday, Sept. 25, for the first Fall Crush wine auction and celebration to benefit the Mid-South Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Wines being poured at the event will be Joseph Phelps Insignia and Chateau Pavilion Rouge. Three chefs from three differentthough relatedrestaurants will go toque-to-toque to present a delectable fall menu preview. Manning the stoves will be chef Joe Irwin from Mere Bulles, chef Greg Treep from The Merchants and chef Javier Lanza from The Trace.
The event begins at 7 p.m.; Mere Bulles will be closed to the public for the evening. Tickets are $150 per person; for more information and to purchase tickets, contact Amanda Young at the National MS Society, 690-5341.
♦ Yazoo Brewing Company brewmaster/owner Linus Hall and Family Wash chef/co-owner Julia Helton are teaming up to present their second beer dinner. The Fall Beer Dinner will be held 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27, at the Wash, 2308 Greenwood Ave. The four courses are each paired with a different beer, including two new ones created especially for the meal: a Belgian Brown Ale and a Dunkleweizen.
The menu includes an appetizer of mushroom ragout followed by a roasted quail salad, a cheese course of aged mozzarella with fig jam, and poached pears accompanied by the dark and fruity Dunkleweizen. Cost is $40; call 226-6070 for reservations. Seating is limited.
♦ First Steps, a private, nonprofit organization serving children at risk with severe medical needs and health issues, will host its second annual Vino on the Veranda at the Hermitage Hotel on Tuesday, Sept. 28, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The event features a silent auction, wine from Justin Vineyards and Winery, and food selections from the Hermitage menu. Call 298-5619, ext. 60, or e-mail email@example.com for more information and tickets.
♦ Help yourself to a remarkable spread put out by Nashville's best chefs, and help others in the process. Generous Helpings will take place 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, in the Nashville Convention Center ballroom. Proceeds will benefit Nashville's Table, a program that takes unused restaurant food and redistributes it to those in need, and the Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund at Nashville Tech.
Kim Totzke, executive chef of the Nashville Restaurant Group (see story on previous page), and Terry Carr-Hall, owner of Provence Breads & Cafe, are honorary chairs. Thirty restaurants are participating, including Mirror, Chapel Bistro, Caffe Nonna, mAmbu, Midtown Cafe and Sunset Grill, Zola, Patrick's, Margot Cafe and Bar, Chu, Park Café, Tin Angel, F. Scott's, Cibo and The Acorn.
Tickets are $55 per person; call 244-4564 or visit www.nashvillestable.org.
Market expansion at McCabe
Marne and Brian Duke, owners of McCabe Market & Deli, have expanded their indoor seating capacity and their repertoire of gourmet grocery items, hot breakfast, made-to-order salads and sandwiches, and prepacked foods to-go with a selection of meats and fresh fish. Multiple options for the dinner table include Bell & Evans chicken, Angus beef patties and rib eye steaks, pork chops, salmon, tilapia and shrimp. Seafood specials are offered daily for the cooking-impaired; tuna burgers, made in-store and ready to cook, have been immensely popular on backyard grills this summer. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, there will be a larger selection of fresh fish available.
While you wait for your bleu roast beef melt sandwich, the Dukes can also fill you in on their bimonthly artisanal cheese tastings, taking place every other Wednesday at the market.
McCabe Market is at 4425 Murphy Road. Phone: 385-2201; firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.
One-stop shopping at Loveless
If the crisp fall weather and colorful foliage are calling you out to rediscover the great outdoors, you'll find all that and more at the newly refurbished Loveless Cafe on Highway 100. Located almost directly under the northern terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway, the Loveless is serving up more than just hams, jams and biscuits. On the campus of the property are five newly opened shops set up in former rooms of the motel, with two offering the chance to explore the area by road or water. All will participate this Thursday, Sept. 23, in the Loveless Motel Shops Grand Opening Celebration from 4:30 to 7 p.m., with drinks, food from the Cafe and live music.
Viaje Outdoors, which opened its first shop a year ago in Cool Springs, sells outdoor apparel and gear, and the store's new Highway 100 location is renting kayaks and canoes for boating in the nearby Harpeth Narrows. The rental fee of $30 per day includes life jackets and paddles. Currently, the store is not offering transportation to the Narrows, so boaters must be prepared to transport the kayak or canoe on their own vehicle. Guided tours can also be arranged by calling in advance, 673-9239.
In the room next door is Moab Outdoor Bike, which sells high-end bicycles, accessories, clothing and gear, and offers bike repair and maintenance. Bicycles will be available for rent (though cyclists should bring their own helmets); call in advance to reserve one, 646-2485.
If shopping is your sport of choice, keep going down the row of shops, to Ruthie Cherry Fine Art, a gallery showing photography and original art, including works by her husband, John Cherry (one half of the Carden & Cherry ad agency that created Ernest P. Worrell). For gallery hours, call 673-2787 or e-mail email@example.com.
Atelier, owned by jeweler Susan Russell, is a gem of a shop showing and selling fine handcrafted jewelry and other exceptional artisan works. In addition to Russell's gorgeous pieces in sterling silver and gold, there are hand-forged silver pieces from Sandra Wang and beautiful pottery from Mississippi. The shop (646-2219) is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wed.-Sun.
Stroll around the back of the Loveless, get a gander at the wide-open field that will eventually be the site of a large event/music hall being designed by architect Seab Tuck, and meander into the Loveless Hams and Jams Country Market. Available for your perusal and purchase is Loveless merchandise including T-shirts, sweatshirts and candles. Hams and jams are for sale, of course, but it's the packaged foods that have really caught the fancy of nearby folks, who grab pulled pork barbecue and other smoked meats by the pound, take-and-bake side dishes (mac and cheese, green bean casserole, hash brown casserole) and fresh-baked pies and cakes. The market is open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Call 646-0700 or visit www.lovelesscafe.com.
E-mail dining and restaurant news, notes and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.