A Testament of Farm-To-Table Benefits

The farm-to-table movement in Tennessee is feeding families. Regular, everyday people are reaping the financial gain and health benefits that come from owning their own garden. People with their own personal farms in East Tennessee are doing what they can to get the word out about the ins and outs of farming, and what their own produce can do for themselves and their community.


Karen Coutant is a local farmer in Greeneville, Tennessee. Karen is a perfect example about how gardening benefits a family. She mainly farms for her family of four, but readily gives anything she has extra to anyone who shows interest in her produce. One thing Karen says about owning your own garden is that you can tailor the produce to your own likes, “You pick the seeds of the plants that work best for you. Once you start planting seeds you can’t stop.”


Karen says that the hardest part about gardening is the start up and maintenance throughout the farming months, but the benefits are overwhelming. Purchasing a plow and tractor are big expenses, but pay off year after year. During the winter months, contents of the garden can be kept and stored to use while the garden is out of service. Karen depends on canning and freezing contents left over in her garden.

Karen Coutant cans the leftover food she grows in her garden to store for winter months. The photo above is a can of homemade applesauce.
Karen Coutant cans the leftover food she grows in her garden to store for winter months. The photo above is a can of her homemade applesauce.

The thing about farmers in local communities is that they are excited to share their farming hacks and secrets with people around them. Yes, starting a garden, getting the right utensils, and understanding soil and water consumption for plants may be the most anxiety ridden start to the process, but once those hurtles are conquered it is obvious that anyone can start and maintain their own garden.


When asked about how Karen would influence someone to start his or her own garden she responded, “I would give you food from my garden. You would see how fresh it tastes, no chemicals, and then you’re going to get the bug and you’re going to start farming.”

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