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Wanted: Sellers for new market




CHECKING OUT THE GOODS — Janney Lockman, an Appalshop intern from Green Bank, W.Va., held a can of pickled carrots while Jocelyn Streit, a Faith Moves Mountains intern from St. Louis, Mo., stood beside her on Main Street in Whitesburg at the Letcher County Farmers Market on July 17. Lark and David McMillan-Fields, who are pictured sitting on the bench, would like to see more people sell produce and other items at the farmers market.

CHECKING OUT THE GOODS — Janney Lockman, an Appalshop intern from Green Bank, W.Va., held a can of pickled carrots while Jocelyn Streit, a Faith Moves Mountains intern from St. Louis, Mo., stood beside her on Main Street in Whitesburg at the Letcher County Farmers Market on July 17. Lark and David McMillan-Fields, who are pictured sitting on the bench, would like to see more people sell produce and other items at the farmers market.

Plenty of people are interested in purchasing fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables in Letcher County, but not many are selling them. A group of people are trying to organize a Letcher County Farmers Market to be located on Main Street in front of the Harry M. Caudill Memorial Library from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

“We’ve seen a lot of people who have come down to buy fresh produce,” said David McMillan-Fields.

The farmers market has been attempted several times this summer but only a vendor or two have showed up. The Golden Apple Fruit Market, located in Ermine, brought some of their produce to sell on June 12. Other than that, David and Lark McMillan-Fields, of Whitesburg, have been selling a variety of canned items. This past Saturday the couple set up a table in front of Summit City and sold pickles, pickled beats, corn relish, pickled carrots, blueberry jam and a peach plum nectarine fruit spread.

“You’ve got to start somewhere,” said Lark McMillan-Fields.

She said home gardeners often end up with more produce than they can handle and selling their fruits and vegetables at the farmers market would be a way to not waste food and make extra cash.

In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, honey, baked goods, jams, jellies, seeds, and flowers can be sold at the farmers market.

Lark McMillan-Fields said the farmers market could be a community building event if more people would bring items to sell. She would like to see more foot traffic in downtown Whitesburg on Saturdays.

“We are hoping that people can come in to downtown, park, get a coff ee, shop for fruits, vegetables, and other goods and then maybe have lunch,” said Joel Beverly, owner of Summit City. “All these things can feed off of one another and hopefully create something special.”

Beverly said the farmers market in its current iteration has come about as another means to create energy in downtown Whitesburg and Letcher County.

“The Letcher County Extension Agency has been putting the farmers market on for a number of years and has been quite successful at it,” said Beverly. “However, the location of that market off of US 119 did not contribute to the community as much as we are hoping the new location can.”

The Letcher County Extension Agency and the Letcher County Tourism Commission are working together to try to build up the farmers market in downtown.

“We are hoping that the new Letcher County Farmers Market is yet another step in the revitalization process of downtown Whitesburg and all of Letcher County,” said Beverly.

For more information about getting involved with the farmers market, call Lark McMillan-Fields at 633-7677 or mail lcfarmersmarket@ gmail.com.


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