Farmers Market Week calls attention to homegrown produce
By Ted Sloan

Posted on August 8, 2016 11:07 AM

Some of Kentucky's approximately 160 farmers' markets will be celebrating National Farmers' Market Week Aug. 7-13 with special events, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said.

"Farmers' markets give consumers the chance to buy farm-fresh fruits and vegetables as well as meats, bread, sauces, cut flowers, crafts, and many other farm products," Commissioner Quarles said. "They also provide an opportunity for shoppers to meet the people who produced the food. And they generate economic activity in their local communities. I encourage everyone to visit your local farmers' market."

The Logan County Farmers’ Market is open from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday under the pavilion at the UK Ag Complex behind the Extension Office. Generally it’s best to come in the first couple of hours after the market opens, since supplies of vegetables become scarce nearer closing time.

President Jenn Dana said long-time vendors tell her this has been the busiest year ever for the market with more vendors and more customers. Some vendors are no longer setting up, however, since excessive rain this summer has drowned out many crops or led to blight and root rot.

Many markets offer cooking demonstrations, sampling, door prizes and other events to commemorate the week, said Sharon Spencer, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's farmers' market specialist.

The Franklin-Simpson Farmers' Market hosted the inaugural Hometown Harvest Dinner Aug. 5 at its new Southern-style pavilion.

"This dinner was located right in the middle of College Street just off the square here in Franklin," Kim Roberts, vice president of Franklin-Simpson Farmers' Market, wrote in an email. "The meal was prepared by the Brickyard Restaurant of Franklin. Roberts said 150 tickets were pre-sold at a cost of $45 each.

Roberts wrote that the Franklin-Simpson Farmers' Market "is growing by the week," drawing customers from five counties surrounding Simpson, located on the Tennessee border along Interstate 65.

Following are some other events that Kentucky farmers' markets are hosting to celebrate Farmers' Market Week:

* Boone County Farmers' Market will host on Saturday, Aug. 13, chef Maggie Green, author of "Tasting Kentucky: Favorite Recipes from the Bluegrass State." She will do live cooking demonstrations starting at 10 a.m.

* Breathitt County Farmers' Market will host Lunch at the Farmers' Market at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9.

* Perry County Farmers' Market will set up an appreciation table for its vendors on Wednesday, Aug. 10 and Saturday, Aug. 13.

* Bluegrass Farmers' Market in Lexington will have three special education centers set up on master gardeners, Kentucky garden clubs, and the Monarch Butterfly Garden Initiative on Saturday, Aug. 13. The market is giving away 250 pumpkin scoops embossed with the Kentucky Proud logo at both Saturday market sites.



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