Farmers and market vendors from McCreary County and the surrounding area are busy getting ready for this Saturday’s opening day of the McCreary County Farmers’ Market. With this year’s opening of the Market coinciding with Derby Day and the running of the Kentucky Derby, Market organizers have filled opening day with Derby themed activities including stick horse derby races for the kids. Vendors (and hopefully, shoppers) will be smiling as they show off their prettiest Derby hats.
“We are excited to get this year started,” remarked Market manager, Doris June Baird Williams. “Growers have been planning for months and are beginning to harvest. We are looking for a good growing season to provide fresh, local produce for our community.”
With twelve paid vendors thus far, this year’s Market will feature a wide variety of locally grown or produced items including fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, crafts, homemade breads, jellies, jams, soup mixes, and more. Special events planned for the market season include a car show on site on June 10 and in September, special recognition of Veterans on July 1, and activities celebrating National Honey Bee Day in August and Trail Days in October.
In addition to opening regularly on Saturdays throughout the growing season, the Market will open this season from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of each month at the Jackson Park (behind public library) in Whitley City and on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at the usual market location in Stearns.
Farmers, added value vendors, and crafters are still being encouraged to join the Farmers’ Market. Fresh produce, crafts, and value added products such as jams, herbs, soup mixes, potted plants, and baked goods sold at the Market must be produced or grown in McCreary or adjacent counties. Vendor applications are available at the McCreary County Judge’s office and at the County Extension Office. Applications may also be picked up on business days at the Market. The regular vending fee for the entire 2017 season is $40.00 ($10.00 for an extra table) with a discounted fee for seniors (65 and over) and students (high school age and under) of $20.00. There is a $5.00 fee for one day set up with those fees accumulating toward the whole season fee. Each vendor who pays to set up for a whole season is provided access to one table and table cloth and receives produce baskets and a McCreary County Farmers’ Market t-shirt to keep. Individuals may also purchase McCreary County Farmers’ Market t-shirts.
The Market participates in the EBT and SNAP Double Dollar program, and beginning this year, the Senior Voucher Program. Designed for seniors 60 years of age or older and based on income, the Senior Voucher Program allows those eligible to receive seven $4.00 vouchers (total of $28.00) to redeem at the Market for fresh produce. Fifty booklets of vouchers are being sent to the McCreary distribution site, and vouchers can be used at the Market beginning June 1. Interested seniors can pick up applications for vouchers this Saturday at the Market or can contact Coordinator Taylor Brandon of Lake Cumberland Community Action by calling 376-2593.
In addition to accepting EBT and SNAP, the McCreary County Farmers’ Market accepts cash, debit, and credit cards.