Whitley County Farmer’s Market sees changes
The Whitley County Farmers’ Market, which opened Tuesday in Corbin, is undergoing a big change this year in regards to its hours. It will no longer be open on Saturdays.
The farmers’ market will still be open from 5-8 p.m. every Tuesday at Nibroc Park in Corbin during the growing season.
It will now be open every Thursday through from 4-7 p.m. but will now be open at the Goldbug Pavilion, which is located at the Whitley County Cooperative Extension Service Office off Exit 15, instead of Bill Woods Park in downtown Williamsburg where it has been for the last several years.
“It is just going to be two markets this year. Instead of a Saturday market at Goldbug Pavilion at the extension office, we are going open there on Thursday evenings. We are going to try and have some food to eat as well as produce and other value items to sell,” said Stefanie Kingsley, one of the Whitley County Farmers Market Committee members.
“We are going to try and get some music down there as well so that we will have the same kind of experience at the Goldbug extension office for the market that we do in downtown Corbin. We are trying to get a little more balance at each of the spaces so we can get more people at both places.”
Organizers are hoping this will result in more business overall.
“Actually, we’ve had people say that they didn’t come on Saturdays because it was hard to get up early on their only day off,” added committee member Nancy Hayes.
Kingsley said that there are a lot of vendors, who make a living farming and they try to get to some of the bigger markets on Saturdays, such as Lexington, Knoxville or Richmond.
“We were competing with folks, who could go other places and make a bunch of money for their bottom dollar. In order to keep our farmers here to sell to our local community, we tried to accommodate that and put it on a different day so that it is not impacting their money, but allowing them to participate with us in our community,” Kingsley noted.
Sometimes when the farmer’s market first opens for the season, people attend wondering where all the vegetables are not realizing that some of the traditional outdoor growing season hasn’t started yet.
Kingsley said the tail end of the growing season in hot tunnels has started, and hopefully produce will get to the farmers market as soon as possible from there.
Hot tunnels are similar to green houses, but instead of growing things above ground in green houses, vegetables are still grown in the ground in hot tunnels.
“They are the hoop houses with the stiffer plastic covering that allows you to extend the growing season so you can start planting earlier and keep your produce later,” Kingsley explained.
In addition to soaps, lip glosses and some lotions that will be ready to go during the market openings this week, Kingsley said some area farmers already have other items ready to sell, such as tomatoes, hanging plants, jams and jellies.
Hayes said that some of the cool weather crops, such as lettuce and strawberries, should come in early.
“Mainly the cool weather crops come now in the spring first, and then the summer brings in more of the corn and beans and potatoes that kind of things,” Hayes added.