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Extension Notes: Support Your Local Farmers Market

By: Rebecca Konopka
Carter County Extension Agent

Growing season is in full swing and our local farmers markets will be opening soon with the freshest produce, meats and value-added products around.  

When you purchase from a farmers market vendor, most of which are small, family operations, it reduces the time it takes for food to travel from a large, commercial farm to a grocery store and onto your dinner plate. This means that local growers can wait to pick the produce and deliver it to you when it is at the peak of freshness. At the same time, you are reducing fuel emissions and transportation costs the growers would have to pay to sell their products outside the county. Many times, farmers markets are closer to your home than a grocery store, so shopping at the markets could cut down on your fuel costs too. 

Buying from farmers markets is good for the local economy and one way to preserve agriculture in rural communities. Farmers market purchases keep your money in your community. It allows growers with small-to-medium-sized operations to receive a fair price for their products without having to compete against large commercial growers. With an established, local market to sell their products, new growers have a viable entry into agriculture and an improved chance at success.   

With much of the farmers markets products being fresh fruits and vegetables, you also have the opportunity to add more nutrition, vitamins and minerals to your family’s plates. This can lead to healthier diets.  

Buying from a local vendor can help you connect to the person who is growing your food. It can be a great lesson for your children on where food comes from. Over the course of the season, many repeat farmers market customers develop personal connections and friendships with vendors.  

Opening day for the Olive Hill Market will be July 1st and the market will be open from 8:00 until sell out on Saturdays and Wednesday and from 3:00 until sell out on Mondays. The Olive Hill Market is located on the Save-a-Lot parking lot. Opening day for the Grayson Market will be July 8th. The Grayson Market is open from 9:00 until sell out at the shed behind the Extension Office. For more information about your local farmers market, contact the Carter County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. 

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability. 

Upcoming Events

  • Hike & Learn – July 6th @ 9:00 AM – Bit O’Time Vintage Lake House @ Grayson Lake – Call 474-6686 for more information.
  • Extension District Board Meeting – July 11th @ 10:00 AM
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