Chattanooga Foodways

Beginning in Spring 2020, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga undergraduate students conducted interviews of food producers in the Chattanooga area and East Tennessee. They completed these interviews as a requirement for the course Food and Southern History, an upper-level undergraduate seminar led by Professor Mark A. Johnson in the Department of History with support from Special Collections. By documenting the region's food systems, students embraced the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's research initiatives concerning human health, wellness, urban systems, and the natural environment.

Featured Oral Histories:

Cynthia Shaffer

Cynthia Shaffer operates Red Clay Farm, a 24.5 acre farm dedicated to certified organic farming methods. She operates the only certified organic produce farm in Bradley County, Tennessee. In this interview, Shaffer discusses her views on organic farming, the growth of her business to include milling grains and the production of natural fibers, and the importance of local farms to the community.


Date of Interview:
2020 March 10

Interviewer:
Samantha Burger


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 Transcript and More Info
Red Clay Farm

"It tends to be a win win for everybody. It keeps everything local. The consumer, the buyer, gets to meet the farmer, gets to ask questions, gets to know that they are supporting a local business that’s truly local, it’s staying there, the money is staying there."

Alan Sharpe

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"We'll start out at five-ish in the morning, and of course we're milking cows... we make sure everybody’s fed...  and then we’ll come back and milk again, and finally shut down at seven or eight at night. "

Alan Sharpe operates a dairy farm in Dunlap, Tennessee. In this interview, he explains his daily routine, describes the contemporary state of dairy farming in Tennessee, and the process by which his milk moves through the supply chain.


Date of Interview:
2020 March 5

Interviewer:
Alex Sharpe


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Transcript and More Info

Kristy Wynn

Kristy Wynn is the kitchen manager at the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, Tennessee. In this interview, Kirsty describes how she manages the kitchen, the people, what food means to her, and what the terms Appalachian and Southern truly mean. Her emotional connection to Southern food is a very special part of this interview.


Date of Interview: 
2020 March 3

Interviewer:
Lauren Bryant


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Transcript and More Info
Museum of Appalachia restaurant.

" I just feel like a home-cooked meal is made with love. I feel like that's very important."

Credit

This exhibit was developed by students in Professor Mark A. Johnson’s HIST 4500R: Food and Southern History course offered by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Department of History in Spring 2020.