A Nashville grocer’s guide to savoring seasonal fare especially in winter by John Dyke

Thanks to the time-worn trades of preserving and fermenting, along with winter-ready local meats, cheeses and body products, Tennesseans can savor even the chilliest seasons.

John Dyke

Guest Columnist for The Tennessean

Dec 31, 2022



As Nashville’s local grocer for two decades and counting, I think of the year not in months, but in seasons. Middle Tennessee boasts an abundance of food producers capable of filling a table with local, nutritious goodness long after farm stands close for winter.

Growing up on my family’s East Tennessee farm, the natural rhythms of sowing and reaping informed our days and dictated what appeared on our dinner plates. Today, science backs that traditional wisdom. Eating real, seasonally available food is simply good for the body, mind and spirit.

Thanks to the time-worn trades of preserving and fermenting, along with winter-ready local meats, cheeses and body products, Tennesseans can savor even the chilliest seasons.

As purveyors of the purest local foods and products available at our three Nashville locations, our team at Turnip Truck has a few recommendations for your winter grocery list:

  • Try a better butcher. Thanks to local meat vendors such as Southern Natural Farms, you’ll never have to wonder what path your beef has wandered. Locally sourced and naturally raised offerings available this season include beef raised on my Middle Tennessee farm.
  • Go for Nashville Hot … Cheese? Punch up the charcuterie with a fresh take on Nashville’s fiery-food craze, with “Nashville Hot Chevre” goat cheese from Franklin-based Noble Springs farm. Just over the state line in Trenton, Kentucky, Amish farm Country View Creamery produces one of our staff’s favorite cheese varieties, the delicious (and aptly named) “Southern Charm.”
  • Stock your pantry. Nashville grocery aisles are lined with plentiful options of Southern-staple pantry items, perfect for when temps tick downward. At Turnip Truck, we love Southern City Flavors, a family business producing biscuit and cornbread mix, pickled vegetables and jarred jams. Their fig and peach jalapeno jams are party must-haves.
  • Pour a cup of comfort. Bone broth is a year-round favorite of the health-conscious, but it’s never better than on a chilly day. Protein-packed and great for joints and skin, Nashville’s Ancient Nutrition offers homespun bone broth flavors including Chicken Soup and Tomato Soup.
  • Tap into cool-weather brews. Nashville breweries are known for creative seasonal varieties, and we carry selections from more than a dozen local brands. Check out seasonal craft beers from hometown favorites Southern Grist, Living Waters, Bearded Iris, Black Abbey and Yazoo.
  • Embrace creature comforts. Local grocery items range beyond the table and to personal and home care. Cozy up with East Nashville-based Forestdale’s cabin candle and pine-scented incense. The beeswax candle’s wooden wick will light up your home with its fireside crackle.

By embracing the bounty of each season, we eat a richer diet and set the stage for better health. Here’s to savoring the cold-weather cornucopia available in Middle Tennessee.

John Dyke is founder and CEO of Turnip Truck.



Make 2021 The Year of a Strong Immune System

Here’s to a New Year and putting your best foot forward!

2021 is right upon us and having a strong immune system should be on top of everyone’s new year’s goals. A strong immune system looks good on everyone! At the Turnip Truck, we have many delicious and easy ways to meet your body’s immune needs.

Here are some key things you can do to help keep a healthy immune system:

*Stress Less

While it may be challenging right now, it is all the more reason to take care of yourself and manage your stress levels. Stress can release the hormone cortisol, making it harder for your cells to repair themselves. Doing some deep breathing, stretching, and yoga throughout the day can reduce stress levels and elevate your mood almost immediately. Connecting with friends and loved ones is important now more than ever. Laugh and share smiles. They say that “laughter is the best medicine.” There is some truth to that. Laughter releases endorphins – the feel-good chemical which relieves stress.

*Eat a Healthier Diet

Vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts are full of nutrients essential to immune health. A diet rich in colorful food typically will be higher in important vitamins. These foods can help you strengthen your immune system: Citrus, Green Tea, Red Peppers, Broccoli, Garlic, Ginger, Kale, Spinach, Yogurt, Nuts, Turmeric, Papaya, Chicken, Sunflower Seeds, Oregano, Mushrooms.

*Herbs and Vitamins

Supplementing your diet with immune-boosting vitamins and herbs can help improve your immune system. Here a few items that you may want to include daily and a few for when the flu has knocked you down:
– Oil of Oregano
– Elderberry
– Zinc
– Vitamins A, B6, C, D & E
– Mushroom supplements

And don’t forget to sleep well and stay hydrated!

If you have any questions, visit the Health & Beauty section of any of our stores where our friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to assist you!