Build it and they will come

By PJ Martin

Editor, The Herald-News

 

On Friday, May 21, the new much larger pavilion for the Metcalfe County Farmers Market held its ribbon cutting with the Chamber of Commerce. It was a beautiful day and a huge crowd attended the day long events.

Referring to the large crowd in attendance Farmers Market President Ken Childers said, “It’s what we were hoping for, to get the community involved, and let the rest of the community see what we have.”

Even though the new pavilion (Phase I) at the Farmers Market was being utilized last August, the grand opening event had been paused due to COVID restrictions.

Market Manager Vickie Harris remarked, “We greatly appreciate the community support for our market! We are looking forward to seeing all our vendors that work so hard enjoy our new pavilion.”

The market held a great selection of fruits, vegetables, breads, honey, garden plants, flowers, bird houses, and more. The market also provides assistance through nutrition programs like WIC, SNAP, Senior Vouchers, and MCS Vouchers, plus all but the MCS vouchers are doubled.

There were also activities for the kids such as children’s bingo, story time by the Metcalfe County Public Library, and the book mobile was there. Plus a couple brought their pigs and a goat, which were a big hit with the kids (and adults).

Sharon Spencer, Division Director for the office of Agricultural Marketing, Kentucky Department of Agriculture. Photo by PJ Martin

On hand for this special opening was Sharon Spencer, Division Director for the office of Agricultural Marketing, Kentucky Department of Agriculture. She spoke of the great community efforts to bring farmers markets to rural towns and providing Kentucky Proud products to the communities.

Kara Keeton, Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund. Photo by PJ Martin

Another guest on hand was Kara Keeton, with the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund which is administered by the KY Agricultural Development Board. The KADF grants are used in ways to add value to Kentucky agricultural products and promote new opportunities, like farmers markets, to benefit farms families and promote Kentucky Proud.

Keeton stated, “Don’t be surprised if Commissioner Quarles drops by the market one day. He loves to stop in farmers markets when in a market area.”

In 2019, Metcalfe County FCS Agent Lynn Blankenship successfully applied for a grant from KADF and the Metcalfe County Farmers Market was awarded the amount of $200,000 for the two phase project of building a much larger farmer’s market pavilion and remodeling the old pavilion into a teaching kitchen. The grant match was put up by the UK Metcalfe County Extension Office and plans were set in motion.

Phase I of the Farmers Market Project is complete and Phase II of turning the old pavilion into a community teaching and commercial kitchen facility and is expected to begin this year.

The market is located at 422 East Street in Edmonton across from the Extension Office. You may view market dates and other information about the Metcalfe County Farmers Market on their Facebook https://www.facebook.com/metcalfefarmersmarket.

If you are interested in being a vendor or have questions you can call (270) 432-3561 or email

metcalfecountyfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

Metcalfe Co. Extension Agent Brandon Bell Photo by PJ Martin

Market President Ken Childers Photo by PJ Martin

Farmers Market Manager Vickie Harris Photo by PJ Martin

Smokey the Bear stopped by to see the kids. Photo by PJ Martin

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