It’s that time of year again! With spring in the air, farmers markets are opening up all over the northern hemisphere. If you’d like to share your local market with Summer Tomato readers, please read the guidelines then let me know.
Greg Hayes is a father, husband, and unintentional health nut who writes about fitting fitness into busy lives at Live Fit Blog. Check it out to read his ramblings about fitness, healthy living, and being mauled by little boys.
Farmers Market Update: Bowling Green, Kentucky
by Greg Hayes
Over the last several years, my wife and I have slowly made the transition to living a healthy lifestyle here in southern Kentucky. Not a simple proposition in a state with one of the highest rates of obesity in the nation.
For me, the responsibilities of graduate school, career, and starting a family had crowded out thoughts of fitness. Seven year ago, after tearing an ACL, I decided it was time to get my weight under control and make fitness a priority. I learned how to lose belly fat, and made the commitment to start eating healthy. It’s taken some time, and making use of the freshest food in the region has been a cornerstone of that healthful eating plan. For me, that plan starts with the SKY Farmers Market.
Farmers markets in this area are usually open from mid-April through mid-October, so we’re just getting started with the local harvest. This Mother’s Day weekend the wife, kids, and I wandered out in search of some fresh spring vegetables, and a little camaraderie. We scored on both fronts.
The city of Bowling Green has two farmers markets. The SKY market, open on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, is the newer of the two. They distinguish themselves from their competitors by certifying that the vendors actually produce the wares you’ll find in the market. Membership requires an inspection by the market manager, so you can guarantee the goods available aren’t trucked in from elsewhere. It means you shouldn’t expect to find watermelons in May, but you can be certain to get the freshest possible produce.
The vendors do a wonderful job of establishing a festive atmosphere, with live music, animals to interest the kids, and even a hot breakfast, cooked right there.
There are no permanent structures, so the vendors pull their trucks and vans in on Tuesday and Saturday to open for business. Despite being a rather cloudy day with a threat of rain, there was still quite a crowd.
Being early in the growing season, the selection of vegetables is currently weighted heavily toward cool season crops. Kale, green onions, asparagus, and many herbs were in high demand, along with early strawberries.
O’Daniel Farms is one of the most well-known family farms, and their asparagus always goes fast. In addition to a great selection of vegetables, they also sell locally raised beef and chickens. Antibiotic and hormone free, of course.
The kids always head over to check out the selection at Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, where you can find locally made cheeses in a variety of unusual flavors. From there, its a beeline to look through the current choices of homemade dog biscuits for their two best buddies, Alvin and Jackson.
We were there to pick up fresh asparagus but spent Saturday morning celebrating Mother’s Day with my wife, so we arrived late. The asparagus had already sold out, but we found the following items to tide us over until Tuesday morning.
SKY Market purchases:
- Kale – O’Daniel Farms
- Arugula – O’Daniel Farms
- St. Jerome Cheese – Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese
- Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits — Zutray Dog Bakery
- Onions – O’Daniel Farms
What special treats were at your farmers market this week?