Stirring Blend of Veterans and Newcomers As Lexington Farmers Market Opens Outdoors for 2013 Growing Season

We eaters waited. Some may have practiced patience, and others drummed kitchen tables with antsy fingers, eager for the Lexington Farmers Market to move from its winter quarters to its Saturday outdoor home on West Main Street. April 13, 2013, chilly but with the promise of warmth, seemed almost the first day of spring in central Kentucky.

Glorious weather for the outdoor Lexington Farmers Market's 2013 opening day.

The growers had to be impatient. Good heavens—in mid-February, just when they probably planted their first spring crops, winter stopped fooling around and settled in on the Bluegrass. The chill hung around until right about now.

Even so, on opening day lots of beloved returning growers and plenty of exciting new vendors and processors braved the clear cool air and made us eaters happy.

Some opening day veggies, like these organic sweet potatoes from Elmwood Stock Farm, bridge the gap between winter and spring.

Veteran producers developed new products over the winter. Blue Moon Farm connected to Vibrant Greens, a Kentucky Proud hydroponic, pesticide-free greens producer in Madison County and now offers their basil, Bibb, arugula, and more. Elmwood Stock Farm paired with a professional charcutier to develop sausages and brats from Elmwood's certified organic, pastured, Black Angus beef. Lexington's Boone Creek Creamery's String Cheese, made in Kentucky from JD Country Milk (Logan County) promises to make hundreds of children and comfort-seeking grownups happy from now on.

Trusted friends returned with signature foods and drinks we depend on to fill our tables for much of the year. Sometimes it is sad there are only 21 meals in a week!

Ann Bell Stone of Elmwood Stock Farm, Market leader in certified organic vegetable, meat, poultry, and egg production.


New growers and processors appeared, bringing the promise of new tastes and more choices. Most new vendors showcase handmade and hand-processed, small batch, and organic or sustainable production practices. Yes!!!

Jacob Gahn of Lincoln County offers Sweetgrass Granola, sweetened with "sorghum syrup and wildflower honey produced from the regional grasses of Kentucky." And check out the sorghum-sweetened tea!

Terry Huff's delicious Heavenly Homestead cheeses have been available at Good Foods Market for some time. Now they join the other great cheeses at the Market. Heavenly Homestead is on the edge of Pulaski and Russell Counties.

Lovers of lamb, rejoice! Now it will be easy to buy "Eileen's lamb," grown in Washington County and made famous at Holly Hill Inn. And Lazy Eight Stock Farm, near Paint Lick, brought an exciting array of new products to opening day, including smoked turkey breast, turkey sausages, pastured eggs, and a beautiful bounty of tender greens. Lazy Eight is transitioning to certified organic in 2013–a HUGE commitment to integrity, care for the soil and its products, and integrity.

Someone has to sustain us while we shop, visit, and have the umpteen delightful conversations that characterize visits to the Saturday Market. How about coffee? Pasta with olive oil? Scones and tea? Samples of Sullivan University Culinary Market-prepared goodies? How about the return of Cookin' Up Kentucky's Chef Jacob Graves, whose absence in 2012 left a lot of Market patrons peckish—maybe even peevish—as we filled our reusable bags.

Chef Jacob Graves of Cookin' Up Kentucky with one of his signature Market omelets.

Haley Lawson of  Lexington's Wildflour Scones & Tea brought beautiful pastries to the indoor winter market virtually every Saturday. Haley's scones showcase fine Kentucky products like Reed Valley Orchard apples and Bev and Nick Nickels's premium local honey.

Market veteran Caffe Marco offered its characteristic array of fine, seasonal, Fair Trade, certified organic, high altitude, family farm-based, much loved coffees.

Caffe Marco's Mark Newberry will have coffee compadres this year at the Market. New Bread Box resident roasters Magic Beans will offer freshly roasted single origin beans.

Lesme Romero of Lexington Pasta, full of local goodness and a favorite stop for tonight's dinner!

How about some Stuarto's olive oil with that pasta? Stuarto's, also famous for luscious vinegars, joins the Market for the first time this year.

New producers, returning growers, cooks and chefs of all vintages, roasters and grinders, cheese-makers and growers of herbs, vegetables, and all manner of meats and eggs: it is lovely to see you again. May this growing season be your finest and most rewarding ever.

Elmwood Stock Farm. Good Foods Market, and Holly Hill Inn sponsor Savoring Kentucky.