Hendersonville Produce stocks its aisles with fresh fruits and veggies delivered each day, grass-fed beef, and seasonal favorites sourced from local farmers and vendors, such as Southern Artisan Chocolate and Sweetwater Cheeses. Customers can fill a basket with vine-ripe tomatoes ($2.59/lb.), juicy fillets ($12.99+/lb.), and gourmet cheeses ($6.99/lb.) to give homebrewed cuisine a fine-dining vintage. Mouths catch the fall spirit by sinking chompers into nutrient-rich squash ($1.99/lb.) and lit-candle-rich pumpkin ($2.99+). Hendersonville Produce also provides decorative seasonal items, including gourds and mums, as well as an arsenal of everyday essentials, such as half gallons of milk ($3.57), avocados ($1.99/each), jam ($3.99–$4.59), and solid-gold turnips. Shoppers can stop by to indulge in complimentary samples and refreshments on select days.
With summer on its last legs, now is the ideal time to throw open the windows and get home-care projects underway. Pick up some spray paint for $3.49 or a utility knife for $4.99. Illuminate your bathroom with a 4-pack of Ace light bulbs ($1.79), the better to see by as you caulk ($2.29) your sink. If you need to match paint to a favorite coverlet or choose a hue that complements a pleather recliner, each store offers a paint-matching service free of charge. Get keys made, or clean a barnacle-encrusted carpet with the help of a carpet-cleaning machine (rental prices vary). If you need help finding anything, Ace's knowledgeable staff is available to help get you in and out and on to your next project.
If geneticist and horticulturalist Gregor Mendel were still alive today, he would marvel at Rivergate Garden Center. Owner Jonathan Buck fills the nursery with plants from breeders such as the aptly named Proven Winners and the Conard-Pyle Co., which has been developing hybrid roses since 1897. From spring through the moment when the world's executive producers decide it's winter, the center is rampant with blossoming roses, lipstick-red weigela, and violet butterfly bushes engineered to expend energy continuously in colorful abandon. These plants also require less maintenance, as their stems resist frost and mildew and quit growing once they have reached a manageable, predetermined size.
Though the staff at Honeysuckle Hill Farm cultivates livestock and crops of seasonal produce, its other chief resource is outdoor adventure. Through their seasonal tours, farm staffers teach adults and children about farm operations, the basics of agriculture, and which fabrics scarecrows find itchy. They also give visitors a chance to work their way through labyrinthine corn mazes. At birthday parties, younger visitors can pet the resident animals, pan for gemstones at an artificial stream, and race each other in pedal-powered carts. Away from the fields, Association for Challenge Course Technology–certified guides and their guests soar down a one-mile zipline course designed and built to ACCT standards. The guides lead tours through the course’s three elevated towers, three canopy-level bridges stretched across Battle Creek, and eight ziplines, which they maintain daily to chase away loitering vigilantes. Along the way, guides showcase their knowledge of the creek’s history while pointing out local flora and fauna.
Stock up on vibrant plants and handy supplies to enliven any home, space pod, bicycle basket, or seafaring carrack. Bates Nursery boasts a rich history dating back to 1932, when Bessie Bates embarked on a quest to beautify Nashville without a shotgun mascara applicator. Browse a huge selection of annuals, perennials, and fruiting plants in addition to gardening tools, fertilizer, and other supplies. A handsome white-blooming Alice Oakleaf hydrangea ($19.99), an Eastern Concord grape vine ($15.99), and a pair of Atlas gloves ($7.99) perfect any porch or patio. Bates Nursery also offers a wide range of roses, soils, grasses, and pottery.