July 2, 2004 | By: Aimee Heald-Nielson
LEXINGTON, Ky.

UK employees shop at the Lexington Farmers Market.

University of Kentucky Wellness Program Assistant Manager and Dietitian Theresa Kremer wanted to bring the local farmers’ market to the Lexington campus. When she realized that wasn’t possible she decided to take UK employees to the Lexington Farmers Market.

As a dietitian, Kremer has been encouraging people to eat healthy for a long time. So with help from the UK College of Agriculture, she organized bus rides for UK employees to the market once-a-week during the lunch hour.

“I really wanted to show people how wonderful it is,” she said. “This is our second year and it’s even more successful than the first. It’s popular and fun and today we brought 43 people on the bus.”

The lunch hour trip gives employees a chance to pick up fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, bread and many other items and the market vendors are always happy for the influx of new customers. The bus currently makes four stops around the UK campus. Riders have about 30 minutes at the market before they board the bus for the trip back to UK. The whole trip takes about an hour from the first stop to the last.

“We’re excited when the bus comes from the university,” said Ann Bell-Stone of Elmwood Stock Farm in Georgetown, Ky. “There’s a lot of people who try to come by after work, but they just can’t make it or we’re already sold out of things they want by then, so this is a great opportunity for us and for them. Each time the bus comes, there’s more and more people.

Bell-Stone has been selling organic fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs and more at the Lexington Farmers Market for 10 years. She said she knows of people who use the city bus service to get to the market during the day, or they walk from their office. She said she wishes more employers would help their employees get to the market during the work day.

Phyllis Horn recently made her first trip to the farmers’ market on the UK bus. She bought vegetables and a few fresh cut roses.

“It just makes me feel good; it’s a stress reliever,” she said. “You get out and the sun is so beautiful, then everything is so colorful and you smell it and taste it – it’s good.”

Lisa Collins of the UK College of Agriculture research office has been a regular on the bus trips to the farmers’ market since they began last year.

“The produce at the farmers’ market is absolutely excellent and I like supporting the local farmers,” she said. “It’s a marvelous idea.”

Kremer is pleased with the success of the bus rides. Last year, she took a group every other week and this year it’s once-a-week. She said if participation increases, they may even go twice-a-week and add more stops along the route.

Bus rides will run through September. Upcoming dates are July 8, 13, 22, 27; August 5, 10, 19, 24 and Sept. 2, 7, 16, 23 and 30. For information about stops and times, visit the UK Wellness Program Web Site.
 

Contact: 

Writer: Aimee D. Heald 859-257-4736, ext. 267

Source: Theresa Kremer 859-257-9355