Floyd County Farmers Market opens June 8

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. — Lots of food and fun are in store this summer, as the Floyd County Farmers Market prepares for its grand opening June 8, in the municipal parking lot, in downtown.

Floyd County Farmers Market manager Todd Howard, a farmer himself, says this year’s market will be the biggest and best yet, featuring not only the fresh produce customers expect, but also locally processed meats, farm-fresh eggs, homemade breads and baked goods, and local crafts.

Howard said the Floyd County Farmers Market differs from other markets, because every item sold must be locally grown or produced in Kentucky.

As for the produce, Howard expects to offer more variety this year.

“We’re kind of varying our operations up just a bit,” Howard said. “We’ve got a lot of lettuces, that’s something we’re trying to push a lot. Eggplants, had quite a few folks talk about wanting the eggplants and those things. Okra, a lot of squash, a lot of the winter squashes. We’re raising about eight different varieties of winter squash this year. In addition to that, we’ll have a lot of heirloom beans, a little bit of tomatoes, corn, the staples.”

The Fox family, from West Liberty, will be back this year, not only bringing the bounty of their garden, but also a wide variety of baked goods. Some of their regular items include white bread, wheat bread, herb bread, cinnamon rolls, whoopie pies, molasses cookies, chocolate chip cookies and some tea breads, such as honey and banana bread.

This season, Howard will also be test-marketing the Sweetgrass Granola, made by Jacob and Carolyn Gahn, of Stanford. Sweetgrass is a locally-produced granola made with sorghum molasses and wildflower honey produced from Kentucky regional grasses. The Gahns say they use as much local product as possible to make their granola, but when that is not possible, they say they are committed to using only organic and non-genetically modified ingredients. Howard said he decided to add Sweetgrass Granola to his lineup to gauge local interest in the product.

Howard says that the aim of the Floyd County Farmers Market goes beyond offering a marketplace for farmers. He says the market itself is an event that is just as much fun for buyers and sellers alike.

“My favorite part is just all the interaction the customers,” Howard said. “It always amazes me that everybody has a story about planting something or this type of tomato is vastly greater than this other type of tomato, or beans. It’s just all the interaction with all the folks coming and hearing the stories and taking a brief moment to catch your breath and enjoy the moment.”

This year, in keeping with the event atmosphere, there will be plenty of activities planned, including music, crafts, cooking demonstrations and more. The biggest event planned so far will be Kids Day on June 15, which will include games, crafts, stories and face-painting for kids, as well lessons on the importance of a healthy diet.

For more information about the Floyd County Farmers Market, visit their Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/Floydcfmarket

Ralph B. Davis