Letcher County Farmers Market paraded through Whitesburg by the Harry M. Caudill Library at the annual Mountain Heritage Festival. The theme of the parade was, “Letcher County-Where the Highest of Dreams Come True.”
There is a dream happening here in Letcher County and Eastern Kentucky that local foods can play a role in creating healthier communities. The success at the Farmers Market this season was a start and we were proud to be a part of the dream.
Who wouldn’t want to buy their fresh produce from these cuties. They play in the garden and we’re always happy to see them at the market. Market sales tripled this year, still plenty of room to grow, but we are moving in that direction. Our market now accepts WIC and SNAP, making fresh produce more accessible to all. Our market gained local, state and national attention for being the first market in the state and second in the nation to partner with the Letcher County School System and serve as a summer feeding site. Thanks to Community Farm Alliance for the cost-share program affording market managers and offering Double Dollars to WIC and SNAP customers. Thanks to Grow Appalachia for their continued support of the market and growers.
It’s not a fantasy that our area could become a destination for Appalachian Cuisine, it’s happening and we are hungry for more. Our growers are selling produce not only at the market, but local grocery stores, roadside stands, local restaurants and catering events, we just need to grow……GROW APPALACHIA GROW!
Cowan Creek Canners had ten people begin the Micro Processing Certification this year. Half have completed and are selling their value added canned goods at Roadside Stands, Farmers Market and their Farms. Autumn’s grandmother, Alice Craft got her egg handler’s certification this year and was able to sell fresh eggs to the Letcher County School System for our Summer Feeding Site. Alice also sells crocheted items at the market along w/other talented crafters. Thanks for representing Autumn!
Ellie Mullins is becoming one of our best helpers and participants at our Canning Classes and was willing to represent the beekeeper on our float. Thanks to Bee Keeper, Ted Fultz for supplying the suit and equipment. Ted’s honey made it the NASCAR track w/Levy Catering and we see a future for honey and beekeepers here.
Our market tried to offer more than fresh produce, but be a gathering place for musicians and impromptu jam sessions. Allie is beginning fiddle lessons w/Pick and Bow through Appalshop and will participate in the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School next summer.
George doesn’t live here, but came home for the festivities and we were happy to have him along. We want our community to grow for not only those who live here, but all who have connections and family here, be proud to say, that’s my family.
We didn’t get all our dreams covered on our float, but we are trying to see the big picture and put the pieces together. There are many unknowns and uncertainties and risk in trying something new, but we admire those that are willing to dream and act on those dreams.