TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
With just a little more than a month from mid-April, many area residents are counting down the days to the opening of the Whitley County Farmers’ Market.
After last year’s success for growers and vendors alike, all eyes are looking upward to an even greater bounty of homegrown produce and products — as well as continued success in sales and customer satisfaction.
One of those excited is Sandy Curd, the Whitley County Farmers’ Market’s Chairman of the Board for the 2014 season.
“Last year, we saw a big increase in sales when we added the Corbin venue. Our farmers reported total sales of $55,000 last season, up from $30,000 the year before. This year, our goal is to have reported gross sales of $100,000. That will be just grand,” she said.
Just as important, Curd noted there was a fine feeling of quality at the Farmers’ Market’s three locations in Corbin, Williamsburg and Goldbug — quality of the food that’s being grown and sold, and the quality time people spend at each market site.
“They enjoy the sense of community those markets provide to get out there, spend time with their neighbors and other people, and to talk with farmers and others about how their food is grown. They enjoy the opportunity of going to Corbin after they get off work, and have dinner at the market and listen to the music. In Goldbug, families enjoy getting up in the morning and buying their weekend food and introducing their children to farmers. And in Williamsburg, folks get off work and they can purchase fresh produce right there on the spot,” she said.
First to open up this season for the Whitley County Farmers’ Market will be the Goldbug location at the Whitley County Extension Office on U.S. 25W, near exit 15 of I-75. Saturday, April 26, will be the opening day at Goldbug, with the hours from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Next to open this season is the Corbin location on the corner of Main and Monroe streets, in the lot across from the site of Sanders Park. Tuesday, April 29, is Corbin’s opening day, with the operating hours from 5-9 p.m.
Williamsburg’s location opens the next day, Wednesday, April 30, during the afternoon hours. It will be at a new venue located in Bill Woods Park on Chestnut Street.
Curd added the Farmers’ Market folks are really excited about the change in site.
“That’s because it will create such a picnic environment, because of all the trees, the big fountain in the park and the great surroundings,” she said.
To go along with the opening of the three market locations next month, Curd said a new position is now available thanks to some grant money.
“We’ve been having such a great year being awarded grants, and we received a matching grant from the Community Farm Alliance (CFA) to hire a part-time market manager. This person will be responsible for being on-site at all three of our venues during our hours of operation in Corbin, Williamsburg and Goldbug. He or she will assist our vendors in locating their booths and preparing to sell to customers, and they’ll problem-solve and promote the markets,” she said.
The grant from CFA was for $2,500, with the Farmers’ Market matching it with another $2,500, making for a total grant amount of $5,000. It will take care of the market manager’s job, which is 20 hours a week and runs from mid-April to mid-October.
Curd said the Whitley County Farmers’ Market is now soliciting people who are interested in the part-time position to apply. You can send a resume to email@example.com.