Mama's Meatloaf


Being in the area for less than five years, farming for less than three years, and one of the newest Main St. Farmer’s Market vendors, I feel obligated to explore and share the histories of our market and, in a broader sense, the local food movement. It was only fitting to start with the Keeners of Sequatchie Cove Farm; the Matriarch of Main Street, Miriam Keener and the Godfather of Local Food, Bill Keener.

Miriam and Bill began Sequatchie Cove Farm 20 years ago and have raised everything from beef, pork, chickens and lamb to shiitake, fruits, veggies and eggs. Farming in the Little Sequatchie Cove is been a family business that includes their son Kelsey, his wife and their three children, and both of Miriam's 90-year-old parents. With Nathan Arnold, Bill also started the Sequatchie Cove Creamery, which Nathan and his wife Padgett still run today. That was not the only thing started by Sequatchie Cove Farm.

In 2008, along with Trae Moore, Miriam and Bill started the Main St. Farmer's Market in the Niedlov's parking lot. "There had been many markets before that came and went, but this was going to be a farmer run market and it was going to last." And here we are more than ten years later. Their wonderful food is consistently available at our weekly market, and feel free to visit the Trading Post at Sequatchie Cove Farm on Saturdays during the season. It's a beautiful drive and the scenery is magnificent.

As family-oriented and food-oriented that the Keeners are, Sequatchie Cove Farm's recipe is from Emily Wright, Miriam's mother. For a twist, add shiitakes and/or substitute a 1/2lb. of ground beef for ground sausage. Enjoy!

Simple Meatloaf

1/2 c. of fresh bread crumbs

3/4 c. minced onions

1/4 c. finely chopped green peppers 

2 Sequatchie Cove Farm eggs

2 lbs. Sequatchie Cove Farm ground beef

1 1/2 Tbsp. horseradish

1/4 c. milk

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1/4 c. ketchup (plus 1/4 c. extra for topping)

Preheat oven to 400. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add ground beef and lightly mix with eggs. Add remaining ingredients and mix as gently as possible. The meatloaf will turn out more tender with less handling, but be sure all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. 

On a shallow baking pan, shape the mixture into a loaf. Spread 1/4 cup ketchup on top and bake about 50 minutes. To serve, lift carefully from pan and place on platter then spoon juices over the meatloaf. Serves six.