August 2013
The Magic of Gardening

Farm Y’all – Farm to Fork Festival

  The Cullman Festhalle Farmers Market will be the site of the first annual Farm Y’all – Farm to Fork Festival event on August 24.

The agriculture statistics are out in a new study called, "Economic Impacts of Alabama’s Agricultural, Forestry and Related Industries." The total output and employment impacts are a whopping $70.4 billion and 580,295 jobs. These numbers are no small potatoes – pun intended. My home county of Cullman is still the number one agriculture county in Alabama, and we think it is high time we celebrated that fact and invited the rest of the state to celebrate along with us.

The first annual Farm Y’all – Farm to Fork Festivalwill be heldat the Festhalle Market Platz – Farmers Market in the warehouse district of downtown Cullman. If you have never visited this beautiful, European-style, timber-frame market, it is worth the trip just to see the magnificent 7,000-square-foot facility. However, August 24 there will be lots more to see and do at this free event. The festival will begin at 8 a.m. and last until 3 p.m.

The Farm Y’all – Farm to Fork Festival will feature a giant pumpkin and watermelon competition with growers coming from several Southern states to show off their mammoth fruit. Last year, local farmer Trent Boyd shattered the Alabama state giant pumpkin record with his 885-pound monster. We could see a half-ton pumpkin this year.

If you have a giant pumpkin or watermelon to enter, plan to arrive between 7 and 7:45 a.m. to get it weighed and unloaded. There will be a youth division with prizes of $100, $50 and $25 for the largest pumpkin and watermelon. If you want to weigh in with the big boys – adult division, the prizes are $1,000, $500 and $250 for pumpkins and $500, $250 and $100 for watermelons.

Local farmers will be on hand with a good supply of local fruits and vegetables, and vendors will have BBQ chicken, corn on the cob and homemade ice cream.

Several regional and nationally celebrated chefs including Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar and Grill, Cliff Holt of Little Savannah, Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club, Dyron Powell of Dyron’s Low Country and other local chefs will be preparing dishes featuring local foods for people to sample. The chefs will hang around and autograph books and answer questions.

Come enjoy great bluegrass and country music, cow pie bingo and old-timey games for the kids. The awards for the giant pumpkins and watermelons will take place at 10 a.m. and toward the end of the festival a giant pumpkin will be dropped from a large crane.

The Cullman County Museum will be open, and the Cullman County Extension Office will be conducting several seminars on everything from making baby food from the garden to cooking local and starting your own fall garden.

Several sponsors will be exhibiting their products including our title sponsor Tri-Green Equipment who will bring some beautiful John Deere equipment.

For a full lineup of all the day’s activities and a timeline of the chefs’ demonstration and many other events taking place throughout the day, visit the website or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tony A. Glover is a County Extension Coordinator in Cullman County.