In July 4 IssueBy Kim GrahamRCN Reporter
Russell County Farmers Market Grand Opening last Friday in their new location at US 127 and Lakeway Drive in Russell Springs was a bustling hub of activity.
From zucchini, tomatoes and green beans to hydroponic strawberries, organic raspberries and flowering plants covered in beautiful blooms, the farmers market offered something for all tastes.
Local growers could barely keep up with demand this early in the season with crops just starting to come in for harvest.
“It’s going great,” said Russell County Farmers Market member Rasty Andrew. “I sold out of tomatoes in 3 minutes this morning.”
By early afternoon, produce was sold out and farmers left early to get back to the farm and prepare for the coming week.
Many vegetables will be available this week and next as more crops are ripening. By the July 4th holiday weekend, growers expect to offer sweet corn, ripe tomatoes and new potatoes in addition to the squash, cucumbers and green beans and other vegetables and fruits already being harvested.
Dave and Bonnie Rings, owners of Bonair Farms in Russell Springs, grow beef cattle and sell their locally grown beef at the Russell County Farmers Market.
“We raise all Angus, all home grown and all home fed,” said market member Dave Rings. “We have return customers already.”
Rings said their beef is processed and USDA inspected at Central Kentucky Processors in Liberty.
Russell County Farmers Market President Anna Robins said that along with the locally grown fresh vegetables, fruits and beef, market members also sold bag lunches at the market’s grand opening day.
“We sold ground chuck hamburger bag lunches including slaw, baked beans and a soda as a fundraiser for the market,” said Anna Robins.
“The fundraiser is to defray marketing expenses and to raise money for our tent.”
Slaw for the lunches was made from a massive 17 pound cabbage grown by market member Rasty Andrew. Andrew and other members gathered the night before the grand opening to make the slaw from scratch.
Some market members contributed to the meal by making baked beans for the lunches.
By 10:30 a.m., more than 120 bag lunches ordered by banks and area businesses were packed and ready for delivery.
“We had an assembly line going working as a team,” said market member Matt Robins. “Everyone worked really well together.”
Many volunteers, who came to assist with the grand opening events, are members of the farmers market but there were also non-members who also wanted to contribute to making the event a success for the community.
“We couldn’t do it without the Farmers market angels,” said Anna Robins of the volunteers who offered their help.
Laura Newman-Sutr drove from Lexington to lend a hand with the event.
“I’m a boater down here so I’m here in the summer,” said Newman-Sutr. “I joined the chamber to meet some people and heard Anna speak at a meeting.
She said she needed volunteers, so I said I would help.”
Money raised at the grand opening will help efforts of the local market to cover expenses such as advertising, signage and a new tent.
“It looks like we raised about $600 from our fundraiser,” said Anna Robins.
The Russell County Farmers Market’s 25 members offer only locally grown produce and meats to the customers they serve.
Russell County Farmers Market is open Tuesdays 7:00 a.m. – 1 p.m., Fridays 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays 7:00 a.m. – 1 p.m. June through September.
For additional information regarding the Russell County Farmers Market, call Anna Robins at 270-507-6292.