Farmers market offers summer fun and local products

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, May 18, 2023

The fresh, pleasant smells along Depot Street last Saturday morning were accompanied by hundreds walking along the road.

It was a sight many in Winchester look forward to each year.

For the first time in 2023, the Winchester/Clark County Farmers Market was open, and business was booming despite initial concerns regarding overcast weather on an exciting spring day.

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“Crowds came early. It was great,” said Seth Boyken, the Board President of the farmers market. “The city has been really handy.”

Saturday’s opening had thirty-three vendors present, along with sweets delivered from food trucks for SnoBiz, Cookies & Cream and Bell on Wheels.

Delivering a variety of edible products were Valhalla Meats, Southern Songbird Farm, Fink Meats & Produce, Rock Bridges Farmstead, Shear Away Farm, Honey Dew Apiary, Sunny Day Farm, Point Pleasant Meats and Lopez’s Fresh Eggs & Vegetables.

Kenny Howard, the owner of Penguin Pottery, saw his collection of farm fresh eggs go relatively quickly.

“I brought twelve dozen farm fresh eggs with me this morning, and they sold out within an hour,” Howard said.

While Howard, a Winchester resident, has previously participated in fall festivals, this was his first time at the farmers market.

“I’m selling my pottery. I like it. It’s kind of akin to the festivals,” he said. “I see everybody again. It’s really neat.”

Additionally, Stuart Taylor was present with his daughter, Libby, and Basin Spring Farm Lettuce.

“We grow lettuce hydroponically in a greenhouse. We’ve been doing it for about five years,” Taylor said. “We went down to Asheville, North Carolina, and learned how to do it.”

Hydroponics can be described as a technique of growing plants utilizing a water-based nutrient solution instead of traditional soil.

Local community organizations such as Clark County Community Services were also present, as was HA Farm, LLC.

Located along Two Mile Road, the business has the perk of iris gardens providing over 1000 plant varieties.

Thus, iris rhizomes, cut flowers, and more were present.

Under a canopy, Olivia Sparks, the market’s manager  was selling t-shirts.

“We’re selling some t-shirts as a way to promote for people to wear our brand, and just promote how excited we are about the market…we’re very excited for what the season holds”, she said.

The t-shirts, which – along with graphics – featured “Winchester-Clark County Farmers Market” written in print along with the year of its establishment, 1980, could be bought in different sizes and colors.

Dustin Bowen, originally from Powell County, is one individual who took notice of the different vendors present last weekend.

“My family just enjoys coming out to the farmers market. We always go to..into Abettor [Brewing Company]…and then [come] over here and [shop] with all the vendors,” Brown said. “My favorite is the steaks at Point Pleasant [Meats].”

As the season continues and the weather warms up, hopes are high that the farmers market will continue to strengthen.

“I’m really looking forward to our events we have planned this year. We’ve got some big stuff going on with the [Clark County] Health Department. Our veggie fest is going to be kicking off this year,” Boyken added. “I’m really excited.”