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New cookbook honors Jonesborough farmers and highlights local food

Jonathan Roberts • Jul 22, 2019 at 6:30 AM

Jonesborough Locally Grown is bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase “farm-to-table,” with the release of its new cookbook, “Jonesborough Locally Grown Grow & Cook Book.”

The book is the culmination of a years-long project led by Pat Sheets to bring the recipes, growing and preservation tips and tricks of local farmers and chefs to the Tri-Cities in something that is quintessentially Jonesborough.

“It’s a cookbook, but it's got a little history of Jonesborough and what it’s like to be a member of that community, and what they do for themselves and how important it is to eat locally,” Sheets said.

The book, which is 255 pages long, includes 243 recipes from dozens of local chefs and farmers, and “makes you appreciate the farmer more,” In addition to all that, the book also includes profiles of 23 local farmers who’ve sold at the Jonesborough Farmers and Boone Street Markets. Every recipe is organized by season, so you can follow along season-by-season throughout the year.

“It kind of helps you think, ‘well, I can’t have watercress pesto because it’s summer.’ Or ‘it’s too soon to go to pumpkins because they’re in the fall,” Sheets said. “Even if you’re thinking ‘I want to go to the Farmers Market, but I don’t know what to buy,’ you have a whole chapter that’ll actually tell you what’s out there this (season).”

Sheets is also quick to point out that the book is bigger than just her, with more than 70 volunteers helping with everything from proofreading to interviewing. A soft release was held at the Jonesborough Farmers Market on Saturday — or, as Sheets calls it, the “community gathering place.” 

“It’s what communities should do,” Sheets said of going to the Farmers Market. “It’s just a wonderful, wonderful feeling to be a part of that.”

The official release of the book is today, July 22, where they’ll go on sale at the Boone Street Market, 101 Boone Street. The books cost $25, with all proceeds going to Jonesborough Locally Grown. On Tuesday, July 23, there will be a public reception at the Boone Street Market from 6 to 8 p.m., where attendees will have the chance to sample some recipes, meet the people behind them and pick up a copy of a book Sheets anticipates will sell out -— with 500 copies available. 

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