"Peaches in the summertime, apples in the fall," Gillian Welch sings in her song "Wayside/Back in Time."
"Tomatoes in the summertime, pumpkins in the fall" just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?
Apples. That’s the focus of this story and the focus of Gaining Ground, Chattanooga’s initiative to promote the growth and consumption of local food.
Ruth Kerr, program manager with Gaining Ground, said it’s all about promoting local and ringing in the fall.
"For the contest, it can be any recipe, " she said. "We’ve had people enter cocktails, baked goods, cakes, etc. ... This is just a fun way to celebrate local food and to get people excited about shopping at local food markets."
Voters will choose the winner of the contest, and he or she will win a gift certificate for St. Alban’s Market in Hixson. The contest runs through Sept. 30.
Kerr said apples are becoming more readily available at many of the vendors around the city.
"We’re just now at the onset of apples," she said. "Just as tomatoes make you feel like it’s summer, apples make you start thinking about the fall season."
Walter Clarke, owner of Rainbow Hill Farm in McMinnville, said there’s something special about a locally picked apple.
"Eating a fresh-picked apple is a much different experience than eating one purchased in a store," he said. "An apple fresh from the tree is juicy and crunchy. The taste will range from tart to sweet, depending on the variety. An apple adds fiber to your diet and eaten as a snack can replace more sugary snacks and still leave you satisfied."
For Kerr, the coming of apples summons a nostalgic feeling.
"Apples, for me, correlate with family events," she said. "The cool weather, apple pie, apple muffins and baking ... all of those things just kind of go together."
Sign up for our email list to get your morning news delivered directly to your inbox. All we need is your email address.