Fall into your favorite season at Pumpkinfest this Saturday

Grady Swafford of Swafford Farms has been bringing pumpkins to NFM for some 30 years. This Saturday’s Pumpkinfest will be your last chance to catch him — and his beautiful produce — until he returns with his crew to the Market next spring.

Grady Swafford of Swafford Farms has been bringing pumpkins to NFM for some 30 years. This Saturday’s Pumpkinfest will be your last chance to catch him — and his beautiful produce — until he returns with his crew to the Market next spring.

Enjoy live music, pumpkin painting (for all ages), a vast variety of pumpkins* and more during our Pumpkinfest celebration on Saturday, October 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We’ll also have plenty of apples, peppers and all of your other favorite fall produce along with ornamental corn and a veritable carpet of mums.

When fall comes to Middle Tennessee, first-time visitors to the Nashville Farmers’ Market might be left speechless by the number and variety of pumpkins on display. Meanwhile, regular customers simply know to look forward to the annual appearance of the colorful displays by the likes of Simons Produce, Swafford Farms and others. The pumpkins are laid out in rows, grouped in large bins and — perhaps most popularly — piled cairn-like in various shapes, sizes and colors.

Paired with the expanse of mums (also from the Simons), the look has become the signature sign that fall has come to the Nashville Farmers’ Market.

The pumpkin book
Janice and Jerry Simons of Simons Produce have compiled “the book” on pumpkins — a three-ring binder that serves as a photo guide for the nearly 80 varieties spread throughout their space in Farm Shed 2. They range in size from the aptly named Baby Boos and Jill be Littles to Atlantic Giants and Prize Winners. Outward appearances also vary significantly — from the warty Knucklehead and Peanut Pumpkin to the graceful Fairytale.

“You can tell this one is a One Too Many because of the coloration here,” Janice says to a customer while pointing to a photo in the book, which also provides details about weight ranges (a 300-pound Prize Winner, anyone?). Some of the entries also include notes about eating. Pink Bananas are “good for pies, baking,” for example, while Butterkin is labeled a “new variety butternut that is supposed to be great!”

So whether you’re looking for decoration or dinner options, whether you want just one mini pumpkin or a few hundred pounds’ worth to haul away — we’ve got you covered now, this Saturday and all through October.

*Although we are aware that pumpkins are in the squash family, we’ll simply refer to “pumpkins” for the purposes of this story because… Pumpkinfest!

David Gonnerman