By Mary Beth Sallee
Hart Co. News-Herald
Fresh produce, homemade jams, and delicious baked goods. If these interest your taste buds, you can shop these foods and more at the Hart County Farmers Market in Munfordville.
The Hart County Farmers Market provides the community access to locally grown food, allowing buyers to know where their food is coming from, all the while providing economic opportunity to local farmers and artisans.
“The Farmers Market is an avenue for people to buy fresh produce that is directly from the farm, minimizing trucking and storage issues,” said Adam Estes, Hart County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Currently, our market has the producers and products that allow someone to make one stop and get everything they need for a meal – beef, vegetables, breads, sweets, and even flowers to decorate your table with.”
One of the local farmers who utilizes the market is Hope Reynolds with R & T Farms. They sell beef, steaks, ground beef, beef hot dogs, roast, short ribs, and more.
Reynolds said the Farmers Market plays an important role in connecting the consumers with the farmers.
“People need to know where their food comes from and to know that we do our best to provide a great product that we have strived to be great quality, in our case beef,” Reynolds explained. “Consumers are so disconnected from the farm you would be surprised how many people think their food comes from a grocery store – not a farmer. Our steers are born, raised, and finished on our farm. I know everything about them.”
Pamela Vincent with Vincent’s Produce sells fruits and veggies. This is her first year setting up at the Farmers Market but has been selling farm fresh produce in Munfordville for six years.
“We sell tomatoes, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, cantaloupe – just all your favorite fresh garden vegetables,” Vincent said. “The Farmers Market is important because it provides healthy, farm fresh produce to the community. It gives the people in the community the opportunity to enjoy farm fresh produce when they can’t grow a garden themselves.”
According to Estes, there are a few things that are required to be able to sell at the market.
Depending on what you sell depends on training that is required,” Estes said. “There is an agreement that is to be signed saying that a person understands the bylaws and rules of the market. Crafts, soaps, etc., can be sold. However, there is a clause in the market bylaws that state that half or more of your display has to be in product/food and/or plants.”
Most of the vendors have the ability to accept WIC and Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) vouchers. Last year, over $10,000 worth of SFMNP vouchers were distributed with around 90% of that being redeemed, meaning that 90% of that money went directly back to Hart County producers.
“This year, we have the ability to distribute around $12,000 for the program,” Estes said. “We have signed-up almost all that we can currently. There is still a few more cards that can be distributed. A person has to be 60 years of age or older and meet certain income requirements.”
Estes said the county has been very supportive of the Farmers Market. He appreciates everyone involved in making it possible.
The Hart County Farmers Market is located directly beside the Sheriff’s Office in Munfordville and is open every Tuesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST. For additional information, contact the Hart County Extension Office at 270-524-2451.