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WILLIAMSON COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS ASSOCIATION

UT/TSU Williamson County Extension Office is in the process of installing an herb garden at the Franklin Farmers Market (FFM) located at The Factory of Franklin (The Factory).

This herb garden is intended to expand the community’s knowledge and experience of the many uses of herbs in daily living.

Most people are familiar with the traditional kitchen application. At the FFM at The Factory Herb Garden many more applications will be revealed.  For example:

  • Plant fennel by a dog kennel to deter fleas
  • Plant chives in with your roses to prevent black spots
  • Plant basil with your tomatoes to promote healthier growth

According to Amy Dismukes, Horticulture Agent for UT/ TSU Williamson County Extension Office, the idea to create the herb garden grew out of her love of herbs. There are so many more applications of herbs beyond the customary uses in the kitchen for spicing up a dish and medicinal purposes.

The consumer’s desire to garden organically can be enhanced through proper herb usage in the garden. Tennessee has a heavy insect and disease presence. The proper location of herbs can address these issues.

The Herb Garden will provide knowledge for Williamson County residents interested in planting herbs not only for culinary and medicinal practice but as companion plants. Herb selection in the garden has the ability to also contribute to the increasing desire to have edible, ornamental gardens.

Farmers Market manager Amy Tavlin mentioned available space to Dismukes.  Dismukes jumped at the opportunity to partner with another gardening based organization that also provides educational materials to the residents of Williamson County. The Franklin Farmers Market and The Factory became the logical location and partners because of their focus on local farms and their production. This is the first of many expected joint projects between the two organizations.

The raised beds are existing and surround the patio that typically hosts entertainment when the market is open. Dismukes decided that this would be a wonderful opportunity for the 2017 Williamson County Master Gardener Intern Class to earn a portion of their required volunteer hours and get acquainted with their classmates. Work completed to date has been a combination of Certified Williamson County Master Gardeners, Interns & UT/TSU Extension Agent Dismukes.

The project is funded through the Horticultural Fund managed by Dismukes and will become a Williamson County Master Gardener Association project when complete. The funding is based on fee based programs she offers throughout the year.

The plan is to plant a variety of herbs in the 5 raised beds off of the Liberty Pike entrance including staple herbs, as well as some specialty herbs. For example, there will be 6 different types of sage and basil. The anticipated completion date for the project is May 7, 2017.

The beds are handicapped accessible via a ramp to the patio.

The Farmers Market operates on Saturdays year round with hours varying depending on the season.

The Herb Garden is available for exploration anytime with educational material available at the site.

The Farmers Market is located at The Factory of Franklin at 230 Franklin Road, Franklin TN 37064.