June 7, 2001 | By: Haven Miller

Many of Kentucky's community farm markets will start operating soon. These markets provide an excellent opportunity for both farmers and customers.

"For growers these markets are a great avenue for generating extra cash from quality produce and a good way to connect to local customers," said Tim Woods, Extension marketing specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. "The local market can be a good place to try different products, packaging and promotion."

Woods said local farm markets benefit customers by giving them a variety of fresh products at fair prices.

"Variety, quality and price help to create a value for people that keeps them coming back to buy in the future," he said. "Markets usually feature fresh vegetables and fruit, but can also include fresh cut flowers, bedding plants and mums, hanging baskets, herbs, dried flowers and many other products."

If you're a grower who plans to participate in your local farm market, Woods recommends working with other vendors to promote the market and make it a desirable place for people to patronize. Assistance for promotion is available from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

Woods also recommends you get additional information before selling value-added or highly perishable products.

"A few farmers have obtained the necessary permits to sell eggs, honey, preserves and other value-added products," Woods said. "If you would like to explore the possibility of offering these types of products at your local farm market, you should talk with your county Extension agent or call a representative for the Farm Market program at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. In most cases the necessary production, handling, or permit requirements can be arranged."


Tim Woods, 859-257-7270