When you bite into our sliced tomatoes, a little green salad or a Public House burger, you're supporting not only our farm to table downtown Chattanooga restaurant but a host of people behind the scenes growing crops and livestock to supply us with ingredients.
Southland Farms in Morrison, Tennessee and Barton Creek Farms in Rock Island, Tennessee are just two of our suppliers.
Southland grows heirloom tomatoes, squash, sweet bell peppers, eggplant, sweet corn, cucumbers, sweet onions, kale, purple potatoes, green beans, okra, cabbage, cauliflower and more for us. The farm delivers food to Chattanooga three times a week, which makes all of the difference.
"Freshness is key," said Chris Irons from Southland Farms. "You know you're being served something that was picked off the vine that morning instead of two weeks ago and gassed to stay preserved while it's being shipped in from someplace faraway. With fresh fruits and vegetables, you know you're getting all of the nutrients. Plus, you're helping the local economy when you buy from within the area."
Southland, which specializes in the heirloom tomatoes, participates in the Chattanooga Market at the First Tennessee Pavilion from 4-7 pm on Wednesdays and Sundays from 11 am-4 pm from April to November. If you go to the market, you'll likely also see Danny Roller from Barton Creek Farms, which supplies Public House with beef and pork for burgers, steaks, meatloaf, pot roast, and beef carpaccio.
Danny has lived on the farm since 1966 and takes pride in the way his cattle are born and bred there. "The cattle have access to grass, grain and hay to eat," he said. "They grow faster and better when they have a variety of things to eat. I don't add any hormones or antibiotics. The best test is to taste it."
The result is USDA-inspected all natural meat that is rich in nutrients.
Food grown closer to home and served fresh means a huge difference in taste, plus it benefits the region. When we buy food grown and crafted within a hundred miles of Chattanooga, we are saying that a sense of place, community, health, and taste matter.
"When you buy local, it is source verified," Danny said. "Our business relationship with Public House is a really good one," Danny said. "It's a symbiotic relationship. They get what they want, packaged the way they want it. This beef has great flavor and the marbling is wonderful."
Chris Irons at Southland said local crop farmers dealt with too much rain in the late spring, but the weather has pretty much evened out. Like any small farm operation, it takes constant hard work to be successful.
"I've been in farming pretty much my whole life, but I started the retail end of it about 8 years ago," Chris said. "I am truly humbled to be where I am today. Only in America can you take a dream, work hard and make your dream become a reality. It truly has been and will continue to be a pleasure to provide my customers with the best vegetables around! Thanks to Michael and Nathan at Public House for your support."