TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Jeff Noble / staff writer
Back in May, the Whitley County Farmers’ Market set up shop in downtown Corbin.
For the past Tuesdays, the lot behind the Times-Tribune building at the corner of Main and Monroe Streets has been a meeting place for thousands who like produce and meat homegrown and homemade.
With the help of the organization Downtown Corbin, they’ll ramp it up this Tuesday by offering “A Taste of the Market,” from 5 - 9 p.m. at the Farmers’ Market location downtown.
Downtown Corbin’s Director, Andrew Salmons, said “The Taste” will give people a chance to sample what’s sold for the first time in a truly unique concept, which he added would be a fun time for all coming downtown.
“We’re buying vegetables and meat from each of our producers here, and we’re preparing kabobs this Tuesday which people can purchase. It will give people ‘The Taste’ of the whole market. And, they’ll grill the kabobs on skewers right here on the premises,” he said in an interview last Tuesday.
Music’s been an integral part of the Farmers’ Market in Corbin, and along with the taste, some tunes will also be a part of this Tuesday evening.
“We’ve got a special treat that night. The band ‘Kites’ will play here. They’re a great local Folk Rock band with a good following here. And along with the kabobs on the grill, all the other vendors will be here,” Salmons stated.
The Corbin location is the third for the Whitley County Farmers’ Market. The co-operative also has markets set up in Williamsburg on Wednesdays from 3 - 6 p.m., and in Goldbug on Saturday mornings. Salmons said the Corbin location is the largest, and has been well-received since it opened over two months ago.
“The public reaction has been outstanding. We average around 500 visitors here each Tuesday, and our farmers sell very well. Normally, we have on the average 15 vendors here in Corbin. We have pork, we have lamb, we have beef. There are eggs here, along with fruits and vegetables, jellies and jams, in addition to a good variety of craft products as well. The live music’s here and there’s a good, diverse showing of products and produce. You see a lot of people leaving with bags full of local fresh products,” he pointed out.
One vendor said they’ll be ready to serve it hot when the grill’s fired up Tuesday.
“We try to have something week, according to the season. Last week, we had steak tacos, and they were really good. Sometimes, we have ‘sliders’ with our own ground beef which we sell here. The sliders are really doing good, and our sausage biscuits sell well in Williamsburg. Tonight, we’re serving nachos. Our salsa is homemade, we grow our own grass-fed beef and we buy local. We’ll sell kabobs here Tuesday,” said Andrea Munoz, with Faulkner Bent Farm.
For fans of lamb, Ally Lynch of Jumbuck Farm has been the person customers go to. Working alongside her husband Bob, the team said they’re geared for a big night in Corbin.
“We raise lamb, and Bob grows berries and makes jams. We’ve had a lot of success in Williamsburg, and when we came to Corbin, we expanded our marketing area. We’ve been so excited about being here in Corbin. People have been really great,” she said.
It was Brian Prewitt’s first time at the Whitley County Farmers’ Market in Corbin. He’s no stranger to their sister market in Williamsburg, where for three years he’s sold sweet corn to folks who keep comin’ back for more.
In Corbin last Tuesday, he got a thumbs-up from a woman who told customers his corn was “the sweetest corn she’s ever tasted.”
“I picked this corn this afternoon, and came over here at 5 o’clock. It’s all about growing at the right time and praying for good weather. The markets in both towns make it nice to have everything that people grow sold in one place, and people like to hang out and socialize while they’re here. I’ll be here this Tuesday,” noted Prewitt.
Just below the big brown Farmers’ Market banner on the concrete wall, Janus Jones was cooling off in the hot evening sun. With suspenders on and a smile on his face, Jones came prepared for the crowd with a small table full of goodies from the garden. A mess of cucumbers, zucchini, squash, green tomatoes and new potatoes were on the table, ready to stare down a curious customer into making a purchase.
“I raided the garden today. Gardening is my summer hobby,” said Jones, who works with the Whitley County Farmers’ Market co-op.
Across from his table, a group of 10 persons sat underneath a canopy, sipping smoothies and enjoying crepes from a nearby vendor. An elderly couple was seen checking out some homemade jams and jellies at a stand directly from Jones. And music filled the air, adding a festive, laid-back feeling to help cut the heat.
Jones said it was all good at the market, and it’s become the place to go on Tuesday evenings.
“When you buy here, you know what you get when you buy from a farmer. Fresh food and produce, no pesticides, locally-grown and no preservatives. It brings people back to a simpler time. Going back to the soil is growing green,” he declared.