Howdy Grow Appalachians! We’re certainly in the dog days of summer, huh? At least in Berea we are, although I shouldn’t complain too much. We’ve had some much-needed thunderstorms the last few evenings. And it’s raining as I write this…

Speaking of summer, now is not just the time for wishing for rain, it’s also farmers market season for many communities.  In case you didn’t get the memo, we at Grow Appalachia get pretty pumped up about farmers markets. There really is no better way to support your local food system, and perhaps your neighbor as well, than investing into your town’s market. Plus, you can see the face of the person who grew that tomato you end up taking home! Win-win for all!

This week, we’re taking a look at one of our site’s markets, which has served the families of Knox County, Kentucky, since 2014. It recently became it’s own certified non-profit (yes, an actual 501(c)3!) and has recently started accepting EBT/SNAP benefits and WIC vouchers. The market currently runs every Thursday from 5:00-8:00pm at the parking lot of the Knox County Extension office. Since its beginnings 2 years ago the KCFM has really taken off! Last year, Lend-A-Hand Center Grow Appalachia participants (Lend-A-Hand Center is the partner site in Knox County) sold more than $1000 at the market for their first year, during one of the most difficult growing seasons ever seen by Grow Appalachia. In addition to accepting EBT and WIC vouchers, the market also has a Double Dollars program, in which a market buyer obtains double the amount of food paid for. For example, if you spend $20 at the market he/she will get $40 worth of produce! Or if a buyer brings in a $5 WIC voucher they’ll get $10 worth of produce! Many of our farmers markets through Grow Appalachia participate in a Double Dollars program and they’re an excellent addition to markets. The Knox County Market also often features live music events and spotlights local food vendors, such as CRAVE. 

If you find yourself in the Barbourville area on a Thursday evening, be sure to stop by the Knox County Market. You are sure to be in for some good locally grown produce and some fun activities that the entire family can enjoy. More information can be found at Gallery photos obtained from the Knox County Market website, Facebook page, and Lend-A-Hand Center GA blogs.

Until next time, have a great weekend, everyone! (It’s a stormy one out there right now)


Resources/Further Reading:

Pictures from the grand opening in 2014

Blog about the market’s grand opening

Blog from GA Lend A Hand Site coordinator, Kathryn Engle, on the start of the market Short video of the Lend-A-Hand Center GA program and the Knox County Farmers Market

*Featured photo credit: Meghann Gaunt Chestnut