Farmers Market is accepting new growers for 2017
Published 11:42 am Wednesday, March 22, 2017
One of my dad’s favorite sayings is the old cliché, “Time flies when you are having fun.” I must be having a lot of fun because I can hardly believe it is already time to start planning for the 2017 farmers’ market season.
If you grow a large garden and have wondered what to do with the extra that you produce or are thinking about a way to make a little extra from your farm, consider becoming a vendor at the Winchester-Clark County Farmers’ Market.
One of the best parts about selling at a farmers’ market is that you get to know members of the community and become a part of their lives. I grew up raising vegetables and selling them at farmers’ markets and our family roadside stand. One of my favorite parts of that lifestyle is the sense of community that comes with it. You get to know your customers by name, but you also have a chance to really get to know them.
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In my hometown, I still know one of my dad’s regular customers as “keep the change lady” because she never wants to be given back anything that wasn’t dollar bills. We would always try to give her change, but she would say “Don’t you know that I am the keep the change lady!”
I had a close friendship in my childhood with the “Rusty Wallace lady” because she would always talk about NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace.
When I visit today, I still have many friends that I made over the years. Long-time customers that ask how things are in Kentucky. When I start to tell them, they usually respond with “I heard about that because your mom, or sister told me.”
I will still hear about some of my dad’s customers when they have hardships, sickness or other life events. It is just as if someone in my immediate family was facing those struggles. That’s because your customers at the farmers’ market often become a part of your family as well. Becoming a member of the farmers’ market can be about much more than just making money for the farm. You become a part of your community.
The WCCFM is looking to give new members the opportunity to become a part of their community. They are especially looking for vegetable producers, but those selling value added products, crafts or other items are welcome to learn more about being a part of the market as well. You don’t have to raise acres and acres to be a member of the farmers’ market. In fact, the majority of the growers range in size of one acre or less.
A new member interest meeting will be at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Clark County Extension Office, 1400 Fortune Drive. A training will follow for any market member that wishes to accept WIC FMNP Food Instruments at the market. If you would like to know more about selling at farmers’ markets, contact me at the Clark County Extension Office at 744-4682 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Davis is the Clark County Cooperative Extension Service Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources.