Arugula Star Farms employee Allison Neal picks produce at the farm in Columbia, Tenn.

Next week, diners in Nashville and Chattanooga can eat and help keep the "farm" in "farm-to-table" cuisine, as well as protecting more than 100,000 acres of greenspace in the state.

The "Eat Green for Tennessee" event, taking place in both cities on Wednesday, Sept. 16, involves 57 restaurants that will be donating 10 percent or more of sales on everything from gift certificates to coffee to ice cream to full meals from the day's sales to the Land Trust for Tennessee, which is dedicated to protecting natural areas of the state.

Participating restaurants

Nashville (39): 12 South Tap Room, 360 Bistro, 5th & Taylor, Adele’s, Arnold’s Country Kitchen, Bagel Face Bakery, Burger Up (12 South), Butchertown Hall, The Capitol Grille, Chago’s Cantina, City House, Dozen Bakery, FLIP Burger, Frothy Monkey*, Grays on Main, Holland House, Josephine, Kayne Prime, Las Paletas, Lockeland Table, Merchant’s, Miel, Moto, Noelle, Paradise Park, The Perch*, Pharmacy Burger, Porter Road Butchers*, Prima, Pub5, Puckett’s (Leiper’s Fork), Rolf & Daughters, Saint Anejo, Taco Mamacita, Tavern, Two Ten Jack, Virago, Whiskey Kitchen, Wild Cow

Chattanooga (18): 1885 Grill, 212 Market Restaurant, Alleia, Clyde’s on Main, Community Pie, Easy Bistro, Flying Squirrel Bar, Good Dog, Lupi’s Pizza Pies*, Main Street Meats, Milk & Honey, Mojo Burrito*, Public House, Slick’s Burgers, St. John’s Meeting Place, Taco Mamacita, Two Ten Jack, Urban Stack

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Good Dog restaurant on Frazier Avenue is one of 18 Chattanooga eateries participating in the "Eat Green for Tennessee" event on Sept. 16. Good Dog either grows its own produce or buys from local markets for the hot dogs and toppings it serves. Restaurants here and in Nashville will donate part of their sales on that day to the Land Trust of Tennessee.

This is the third year for the event, but the first year that Chattanooga restaurants are participating.

"We have an office in Chattanooga and the restaurants are doing amazing things with the farm-to-table movement," says Caitlin Mello, Land Trust for Tennessee communications manager.

She first contacted Dorris Shober at Lupi's, Susan and Sally Moses at 212 Market and Dan Rose at Flying Squirrel. Those folks then wrote a letter to others, stressing the importance of protecting the land in Tennessee and celebrating the need for local farms. Her office was overwhelmed by the positive response of local restaurant owners.

"The response was great," she says.

Eighteen Chattanooga restaurants signed on. One is Good Dog, the North Shore restaurant that specializes in hot dogs. Owner Susan Wybenga acknowledges that most people don't think of fresh or local produce when it comes to a hot dog, but that is exactly what she does and why she wanted to participate in the event.

The sausages she uses are made fresh using produce she either grew or bought locally, as are the toppings and condiments, including the relish, she says.

"We either bought the peppers locally or we bought the plants locally and grew them ourselves," she said. "The opportunity to be able to do anything local is great. I love people and I love where we live, so this like going full circle."

The Land Trust for Tennessee has protected nearly 100,000 acres of greenspace in Tennessee, from public parks to viewsheds on the Natchez Trace Parkway to more than 90 private family farms. As part of its mission, it supports tourism, outdoor recreation, cultural heritage and local food production through permanent land conservation, according to a news release.

Nearly 40,000 of the protected acres are in the Southeast and South Cumberland Region surrounding Chattanooga including Fiery Gizzard, Lost Cove, parts of The Mountain Goat Trail, Blythe Ferry in the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, among other natural areas.

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.