Fresh fruit and vegetables will soon be available on the University of Kentucky campus again as producers from the Lexington Farmers’ Market set up shop at Commonwealth Stadium once a week through the growing season.
This will be the third season for the program, called Lexington Farmers Market @ UK. The opening day is May 14, and the market will run every Wednesday from 3 - 6 p.m. rain or shine through August 13 at the corner of Alumni Drive and University Drive.
Along with fresh fruit and vegetables, farmers will have certain meats, eggs, honey, and jams and jellies available for purchase.
The initiative is a partnership between UK Health & Wellness and Lexington Farmers Market, which gives local and regional vendors – about 12 to 18 set up each week – another venue to sell their produce. UK employees, and residents of the nearby neighborhoods, appreciate having a convenient stop for fresh produce.
For UK Health & Wellness, according to Vanessa Oliver, a registered dietitian with the department who helps organize the market on UK’s campus, the market is an opportunity to offer fresh, nutritious foods to members of the UK community, as well as educate shoppers about the produces’ health benefits. UK Health & Wellness will have a booth at the market staffed by professionals from the department each week to suggest recipes or help customers shop the various booths.
For Lexington Farmers Market, the UK location is another chance for local farmers to reach the community, and Jeff Dabbelt, the organization’s executive director, says member farmers are always asking him about more vending opportunities. This location and time slot is ideal, he says, because it has ample parking at the stadium and runs on a day when their previously wasn’t a market.
This year, Lexington Farmers Market will also be hosting an orchestrated group walk from the market to the UK Arboretum and back each week. The walk, which begins at 4:30 p.m. while the market is in session, is open to anybody in the community and people can park at the stadium near the market. No UK parking passes are required during market hours.
Additionally, another new aspect of the market this year is its presence on the Farm Fan app. Market-goers can sign up online to receive weekly text message updates about special vendor guests, newly in-season fruits and vegetables specifically at the Lexington Farmers Market @ UK. Sign up for weekly text updates here.
For more information about Lexington Farmers Market, visit www.lexingtonfarmersmarket.com.
By Robbie Clark