Jessa Turner, Office and Farm Marketing Manager for Berea College Farm Store, sent this press release about the Grand Opening event at the store on May 3, 2014:
Berea, KY – The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner and what better way to show how Kentucky Proud you are than by serving up some locally-grown goodness at your Derby Party? Beginning at nine on Saturday, May 3rd, the Berea College Farm Store and the Berea Farmers Market will be hosting a grand opening celebration to welcome the return of warm weather, local food abundance, and community. The Berea Farmers Market will open at nine in their new outdoor location on the lawn next to the Farm Store, where they will be on Tuesdays and Saturdays through October. Additionally, there will be a Berea College Plant Sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Gardens and Greenhouse on Scaffold Cane Road.
The grand opening celebrations will include opening remarks, yoga, live music, giveaways, food samples, and a farm animal showcase. Bereans and visitors alike will be able to shop for all their local food needs in a single location, conveniently located at 311 Main Street, just down from the College Square, next to the Seabury Center parking area on the Berea College Campus.
The Berea College Farm serves as an experiential learning laboratory in value-added agriculture and local food systems. Students gain practical, hands-on farming experience while working their way through college. The Berea College Farm Store offers foods grown and raised by students working on the College Farm as well as products from farms and small businesses in the nine-state central Appalachian Region that Berea College has historically served. The Farm’s produce and grain products are USDA certified organic and its pasture-raised meats are certified by the American Grassfed Association and Animal Welfare Approved. Purchases made at the Farm Store support sustainable agriculture education for students with strong academic potential but limited financial means. The Berea College Farm Store is open to the public Tuesday-Friday from 2-6:30pm and Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more about the new store, see the website www.bereacollegefarmstore.com
The Berea Farmers Market is located on the lawn adjacent to the Farm Store and will be open on Tuesdays from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. This year’s Farmers Market will feature new and returning local and regional growers, artisans, food vendors and sampling. Through a collaboration with the Madison County Health Department, the market is now welcoming customers with SNAP/EBT benefits.
“Fresh fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet and lifestyle,” Hilary Dolstad of the Madison County Health Department said. “We’re excited to work with the Farmers Market to increase access to nutritious, local foods for all residents of the Berea area,” Dolstad added. This program was funded through a Healthy Communities grant from the KY Department for Public Health. The market will also be giving out vouchers for fresh food at locations throughout Berea this spring, through a grant of $3000 from WellCare Health Plans, Inc. Market Manager Margie Stelzer will be on hand to answer questions about these new programs.
“We really want to thank the Community Farm Alliance and the Madison County Health Department for helping us with funding, training, and support through our grants,” Stelzer said. Other partners that have helped are the Berea Community School, Berea Food Bank, and the Madison County Extension Service.
There will be signs posted at the Berea Hospital lawn where the Market has been previously held, and as the crow flies, the new location is just down the hill, via Estill Street and North Main. Large signs will be posted at the Berea Farm Store to remind the community of the new location.
“Locally grown food is better tasting and connecting the growers with the eaters in a direct buying relationship builds community,” Carla Baumann, local organic grower and nurse-coach, said.
New vendors are always welcome to the Berea Farmer’s Market and applications and a vendor’s agreement can be downloaded from http://bereafarmersmarket.org/.