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autumn A guide highlighting fall food and fun

Sponsored by Tennessee Farm Fresh

Ahh, Fall After an especially hot and humid summer, fall’s cool weather is a welcome event. But it’s not just the autumn breeze we look forward to this season. Fall in Tennessee is filled with fun activities, from pumpkin patches and corn mazes to colorful foliage drives, which are consistently ranked among the top scenic fall spots in the nation. In this digital magazine, we’ve compiled some of our favorite things about fall, including seasonal recipes. We hope seeing what our state has to offer this time of year inspires you to venture out to a local farm for a taste of fall – and if you do, we recommend taking the scenic route.

Is Gentry’s Farm too far from where you live? Click here to find more pumpkin patches across the state.

Pick Out Your Own Pumpkin The term “field trip” certainly lives up to its name at Gentry’s Farm. The Franklin farm teaches kids about agriculture and history by exploring farm traditions. From the last weekend of September through the end of October, the farm is open to the public on Saturdays (9-5) and Sundays (1-5). Because it has a school group focus, Gentry’s Farm is geared toward a younger audience and offers hay rides, farm animals, barn activities, mazes and other fun things to do. Supply doesn’t last long in the farm’s pick-your-own pumpkin patch, but the pumpkin tent provides an alternative. Pumpkins vary in Check out a price and size, with the smaller quick video of and cheaper ones coming from the 25-acre patch. In Gentry’s Farm addition to pumpkins, you can choose from a variety of gourds grown right on the farm. Picnics are restricted to the farm’s parking area, but popcorn, baked goods and drinks are sold at the concession stand inside the activities area. Gentry’s Farm is located off New Highway 96 West in Williamson County, 4 miles from downtown Franklin.

Wondering what to do with your freshly picked pumpkin? Turn the page for some delicious pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin Ginger Soup 32 ounces chicken broth 12 ounces mango nectar 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin ¼ cup peanut butter 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 1½ tablespoons minced green onion 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger ½ teaspoon grated orange rind ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 clove minced garlic

Combine broth, pumpkin and mango nectar in large pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Combine about 1 cup of the pumpkin mixture with peanut butter, and blend until smooth in blender or food processor. Add mixture back to pot. Add vinegar and remaining ingredients. Simmer five minutes or until heated through.

Annie B’s Pumpkin Bread 3 4 1 ½ 1 1 2/3 1

cups sugar eggs cup oil teaspoon salt teaspoon cinnamon teaspoon nutmeg cup water 15-ounce can pure pumpkin 3½ cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Mix ingredients in order with a wooden spoon. Pour into two greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick comes out clean, approximately 70 minutes.

Autumn Pumpkin Tureen 1

4-pound pumpkin, washed and dried 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 4 slices white bread, toasted and crumbled 6 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded 2 ounces mozzarella, shredded 1 pint half-and-half 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut a 2-inch slice from top of pumpkin and reserve. Remove seeds and fibers. Blend oil and garlic, then rub mixture inside pumpkin and place in a large roasting pan. Alternate layers of toasted crumbs and cheeses inside pumpkin. Combine half-and-half, salt, pepper and nutmeg, then pour over layers. Replace pumpkin top and bake for two hours, gently stirring after 1 1/2 hours. Serve with French bread or corn chips.

The Best Pumpkin Pie ¾ 1 ½ ½ ¼ 1 2 1 1

cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar teaspoon ground cinnamon teaspoon salt teaspoon ground ginger teaspoon ground cloves 15-ounce can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) eggs, lightly beaten 12-ounce can evaporated milk 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in a bowl and mix well. Set aside. Combine the pumpkin and eggs in a bowl and mix well. Mix with sugar mixture. Add the evaporated milk gradually, stirring constantly. Pour into the pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for another 35 to 40 minutes.

Natchez Trace Parkway

Take a Scenic Drive It’s time to say goodbye to green and welcome the rustic reds and golden yellows of the season. Many Tennesseans are lucky to live in a location where they can see bold autumn colors in their own backyard, but if you’re in the mood for more, hop in the car and head out on a fall foliage drive. In West Tennessee, wind through small communities on Highway 203 in Hardin County – one of many highways giving motorists the chance to view the natural beauty of the region from the comfort of their car. Middle Tennessee boasts the beginning of the 444-mile-long Natchez Trace Parkway, one of only two National Scenic Byways in the state. The other is the Cherohala Skyway, which offers a view of the Cherokee National Forest in East Tennessee. The eastern side of the state is also home to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, which allows for a leisurely drive through the changing hues of oaks, cove hardwoods and hemlocks in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Cherohala Skyway Photo Courtesy of the Monroe County, TN Department of Tourism

Get Lost in a Corn Maze Corn mazes have popped up in a number of Tennessee counties. In fact, they’re becoming just as popular as picking pumpkins and hay rides during the fall. A corn maze is a path cut through tightly packed rows of towering cornstalks. The mazes average between 5 and 10 acres, but some are as large as 25 acres. Many mazes include questions related to the design to help guide visitors through the labyrinth. One theme is to cut a state map into a cornfield, with participants answering questions relating to geography and history. Maze-goers learn about the state and use the questions to help them navigate through the maze. Answer the question correctly and you go down the correct path. Answer incorrectly and you’ll find yourself down a dead-end or circling back to where you started. The educational element adds an extra twist that makes

corn mazes popular field-trip destinations for schools. At Myers Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze in Greene County, former schoolteacher Vera Ann Myers wanted her maze to be more than just a fun way to spend the afternoon. She works with area teachers to design mazes that complement local school’s curriculum and educate students about farm life. When throngs of people come to wander through their fields, the extra income can be a godsend to farmers trying to hang on to the family farm. Click here for a “We’re not trying to make list of corn mazes a million on our maze, in tennessee we’re just trying to make a living,” Myers says.

When you buy from local farmers you: support local economy, Whenenjoy you buy from local farmers local economy, a fresh product and keepyou: localsupport agriculture viable!

When you buy from local farmers you: support local economy enjoy a fresh product and keep local agriculture viable! enjoy a fresh product and keep local agriculture viable!

(931) 388-7872 ext. 2763

(931) 388-7872 ext. 2763 (931) 388-7872 ext. 2763

Tennessee Autumn  

A guide highlighting fall food and fun in Tennessee