On The Circuit: NPT's Volunteer Gardener Homegrown Luncheon

On a beautiful Sunday in October, supporters of Nashville Public Television gathered at Southall Farm in Franklin, TN. The leaves were at their peak splendor in hues of cherry red, golden yellow and chocolate browns as guests celebrated the Nashville Public Television annual Volunteer Gardener Homegrown Luncheon. As visitors arrived, they were invited to choose one adventure for the day — a tour of the beehives, a farm tour or a tour of the kitchen garden. Each experience was an excellent opportunity to learn more about the transformative experience guests will soon enjoy at Southall.

Touring the kitchen garden we learned the food in the garden will supply the new elevated southern restaurant, Mary Amelia’s, as well as in room dining, the pool bar and the jammery. Any excess food that is not able to be used will be donated to the Kimberly and Brad Paisley project The Store. With agriculture as a central core to the property, Southall recognizes that the average meal travels over 1,500 miles when not sourced locally. This practice, at the center of what Southall does, cuts the travel from thousands of miles to just a few feet. Additionally, the agriculture team is working to rebuild the soil structure and make the soil better year after year.

After the tour, guests enjoyed a delicious lunch from Chef Andrew Klamar. Course one was the Southall Salad with Greener Roots lettuces, fresh herbs, crunchy seeds and sorghum vinaigrette. The second course was Blackhawk Farms striploin with braised fall greens and seasonal vegetable gratin. The meal ended with a beautiful pecan pie with chantilly cream. Senior Vice President of Culinary & Agriculture, Tyler Brown, spoke about the importance of NPT’s Volunteer Gardener and mentioned that it was one of the shows that he looks forward to each Sunday.

The highlight of the day was when Nashville Public Television President and CEO, Becky Magura asked each of the Volunteer Gardener guests to stand including Tammy Algood, Jeff Poppin, Troy Marden and Annette Shrader so fans of the show could show their appreciation of the work the hosts bring to viewers each week.