August 6, 2003 | By: Laura Skillman

The spicy smells of something cooking wafted through the air as early morning shoppers sought fruits and vegetables fresh from the farm.

The farmers’ market in Portland neighborhood of Louisville’s west end was bustling with Saturday shoppers and many stopped by for a sample of eggplant jambalaya being prepared by Nelda Moore, a Jefferson County family and consumer science agent with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

Few shoppers had tasted the healthy dish but many left with the recipe and recipes for other dishes that can be made using produce bought at the farmers’ market.

“We are trying to encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables,” Moore said. “I found out from the farmers what was in season. So, I brought out cards on each vegetable with recipes on the back and people love recipes.”

Moore said she wanted to demonstrate a dish using eggplant because many people don’t cook with it.

“So I was giving out a recipe to encourage them to try a new vegetable,” she said.

Moore also brought along information on food preservation and a number of people were picking up that information as well.

Spencer County farmer Kelly Ragan worked with other members of Community Farm Alliance and community members to get the farmers’ market started in the Portland neighborhood. It also was his idea to ask UK Cooperative Extension to be a part of it.

“I know they are wanting to offer food preparation ideas and get the message out about eating fresh fruits and vegetables,” Ragan said. “We thought what better place to do that than at a farmers’ market where they can talk to our customers and maybe send people here that have come to them and get both of our messages out.

“We have the fresh fruits and vegetables and it’s good for you, it’s healthy and people need to eat them,” he said.

The recipes and food saving information are helpful, he said.

“A single person living alone can’t use a whole head of cabbage, they don’t know they can cut it and put part of it in the freezer and a week later it is still good,” Ragan said.

Debra Mercer, a board member of the Portland Now community group, said she was interested about a farmers’ market when the idea was first discussed.

“I think it’s something that has been needed for the community,” she said.   


Writer: Laura Skillman 270-365-7541 ext. 278
Source: Nelda Moore, 502-425-4482