It’s that time of year. Spring is in the air. Temperatures are rising, flowers and trees are beginning to bloom, and farmers’ markets are opening up all across the state.
“Farmers’ markets give consumers the opportunity to buy fresh, nutritious foods that they can serve to their families with confidence,” Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer said. “They also enable the growers to capture a larger share of the food dollar.”
Last year, Kentucky had 145 farmers’ markets registered with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in more than 100 counties. Sharon Spencer, farmers’ market marketing specialist with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, is expecting the state will have in excess of 155 markets this year.
“We have at least eight new markets that have submitted their registration for this market season, and there’s still more on the way,” she said.
Spencer said this time of year many markets are meeting to make final decisions on the upcoming market season. Many will be reviewing their market membership applications, rules, location dates and times to see if any changes are needed.
“Consumers are looking for affordable, fresh, healthy foods, and their interest is creating demand for high-quality products,” Spencer said. “Our farmers’ markets can meet that demand. Additionally, buying local puts a face on your food with a connection between the consumer and farmer.”
“Our markets have something for everyone. Even your pets will find special treats,” Spencer said, noting markets will offer a wide variety of seasonal products such as vegetables, fruits, home-baked and -processed items, honey, cheese, eggs, meats, seafood, fresh-cut flowers, lotions and soaps.
The Henry County Farmers Market will open on April 23 on the Courthouse Lawn in New Castle. All of the produce sold at our market is grown right here in Henry County. We will again be accepting the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Coupons. For more information contact Melissa Blankenship, Market President or the Henry County Extension Office at 845-2811.
For more information about operating a Kentucky farmers’ market or selling at one, go to www.kyagr.com/marketing/farmmarket/index.htm. From Chris Aldridge, Kentucky Proud Connection.
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