A Few Friends from our Shelby County Farmers’ Markets by Rachel White
Shop local. Eat fresh food. Hug a farmer. It’s a bumper sticker in the making. It’s also what you’ll be doing when you visit either of Shelby County’s two Farmers’ Markets any Saturday this season. Don’t get me wrong. My cart and I have a blast wheeling through the grocery store produce aisle, but nothing beats farm fresh tomatoes.
This summer I’ve met just a few of our Farmers’ Market vendors, but I already want to give them all my money. I want my silly green dollar to say, “Ma’am, your cucumber is art. Thank you for making it, and please make more of it soon.”
Because buying leads to chatting.
Talking with the vendors about what they love doing has become by far my favorite thing about our Farmers’ Markets. Although you’ll meet them yourself when you visit, here’s a quick introduction to a few of my favorite faces:
After years of working in the wine and spirits industry, Bill and his wife retired and started their own winery here in Shelbyville. Now 11 years later, Christianburg Farms Vineyard and Winery offers six 100% Kentucky-grown wines, including the only Bourbon-barreled white wine in the state. I’m currently contemplating how soon I can get a few friends together for a tasting. Schedule yours: http://www.cfiwine.com.
The Simpsonville Farmers Market opened just this summer, but according to Miss Marianne, their vendor-community already feels like a family. Marianne started homemaking soaps after taking a class, and today her home is filled with shelves and stacks of curing barns. From Kentucky Bourbon to Lemon Lavender, I smelled them all and left with a bar of Oatmeal Milk and Honey in hand (purchased with a friend in mind, but let’s be real—I’m keeping it). Sniff online at www.vineandbranchsoap.com.
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Husband and wife Mark and Katie are the dynamic duo that own and run two-acre Katie O’s fruit and vegetable garden in north Shelby County. Katie learned to love gardening through helping her dad in the garden growing up, and today she shares her wide selection of fresh produce with Shelby County families year-round. We stocked up on heirloom tomatoes, and we’ll be back for autumn squash this fall. See their full product list at https://www.localharvest.org/katie-os-garden-M51116.
My mom and I can't leave the Market without one of Miss Sue’s bright bouquets. Sue will wrap or paper your fresh cuts, or you can take it home in one of her vases (as long as you bring it back to get another bundle next week). My favorite is the 5-for-$5 sunflowers—a little piece of summer I can set on my dresser. See Sue’s creations at www.baghdadblooms.com.
When we shop local, not only do we support local businesses and purchase quality products, but we give ourselves the opportunity to get to know real, cool, hard-working people in our community—and that's worth waking up for early Saturday morning.
You can find these friends and so many more at a Shelby County Farmers’ Markets, open through October. To find out more about the products you love, visit http://shelbycokyfarmersmarket.com/and https://www.visitshelbyky.com/events/simpsonville-farmers-market/.
Looking for more fun with local farmers? Try a unique Farm to Table Dinner where guests will dine in beautiful peach orchards on food produced by Shelby County Farmers & deliciously catered by Bristol Bar & Grille. Farmers Feeding Families Dinner Saturday, August 18 at 5:30 PM - 9 PM.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 15th, 9 am - 4 pm and join us at the Good Neighbors Farm Tour !!