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Farmers markets begin to open in western Kentucky offering crafts, produce and more

Paducah_Farmers_Market.jpg
Courtesy
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Paducah Homegrown Famers' Market

Some farmers markets in western Kentucky have already opened this spring with vendors selling local crafts, food and more.

The Kentucky Proud program lists more than 150 farmers markets throughout the state with many – including markets in Calloway County and Caldwell County – starting their seasons in May. The downtown Paducah Homegrown Farmers’ Market moved the start of their season to last weekend from May for vendors to accommodate visitors brought in for the American Quilt Society QuiltWeek.

Paducah Parks and Recreation Department Director Amie Clark said more than 40 vendors showed up last Saturday, bringing mostly crafts and baked goods. She said a wider variety of produce should be available once farmers bring in more local food in May.

“We wanted to kind of create this one-stop shop atmosphere where you can come to the farmers market and get any product that you needed, from soaps to lotions, to home goods, to meat, to dairy,” Clark said.

She said new vendors usually go through a weeks-long process to determine what wares are being offered at the market and to confirm the wares are homegrown. The Paducah Homegrown Farmers’ Market only allows vendors to have 20% of their weekly produce sales to be from resale products.

The Paducah Farmers’ Market is one of many in the state that take part in the Kentucky Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, providing money for low-income seniors to purchase produce and other food at the markets. Clark said the market plans to take part in the Kentucky Double Dollars program, which provides extra funding to purchase food at markets for those receiving public assistance benefits.

The downtown market in Paducah operates every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October, and a mid-week market operates in Carson Park starting in May.

The Cadiz-Trigg Farmer’s Market opened April 2 and runs through October in downtown Cadiz at the Renaissance Square every Wednesday and Saturday, featuring a separate parking lot for artisans to show off their wares. Cadiz City Clerk Barbie Johnson said the markets are a way to bring different segments of the community together including local Amish families and vendors.

“We definitely want to have a thriving downtown, and [a] farmers market allows us to have a plethora of people who come,” Johnson said.

See a full list of farmers markets throughout the state here.

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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