While the sun is peeking out for a few minutes and thoughts of spring are bouncing around, it seems like a good time to bring everyone up to speed on the latest Sustainable Glasgow happenings.
First of all, everyone should know that plans for the 2010 version of Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market are well underway. Last weekend we held our annual vendors meeting to discuss the market with vendors and over fifty folks showed up to discuss the plans for our second year. We have revised the layout of the market some and we will post the new layout right here as soon as we get final approval from BB&T for our new plans. The new layout provides for more vendor spaces as well, and we really think that we are going to need that space for many new vendors this year.
We are also planning a “food court” area of the market where we hope that a number of local restaurants will set up shop on Saturday mornings and sell us some of their specialties every week. Can’t you just smell breakfast and lunch cooking at the market? Yummm! Near the food court we are hoping that BB&T will give us permission to place several picnic tables so everyone will have a convenient spot to consume the food purchased from the local restaurants, and those tables will also be close to another feature we are planning for this year – a really nice permanent stage facility to be used by the local musicians that come to perform! If you are one of those musicians that wants to perform on that stage, please contact us so we can start arranging dates for this year.
Another really great feature we think is secured for this year is that we will have an ATM/EBT terminal at the market in the Sustainable Glasgow tent. That means we will be able to scan your debit card and give you tokens to use to purchase goods at the vendor tents. No longer will you be going home with only a few food items because you forgot to bring cash! Also, we were just notified by USDA that we are approved to use that same terminal to accept USDA SNAP cards and other food program vouchers.
SNAP helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health. This is the modern day version of the old Food Stamps Program. Benefits are provided on an electronic card that is used like an ATM card and we will be able to accept them at the market. That means that a whole new segment of our local populace will start getting access to real, local, nutritious food. The SNAP helps clients learn to make healthy eating and active lifestyle choices and Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market is proud to be able to be a part of this program.
Finally, at the meeting Dr. Jerry Ralston delivered some thrilling news about the plans, starting with North Jackson Elementary School, for the creation of Edible Schoolyards projects in the Barren County School System. He told us of the excitement which is building among the educators and children in the Barren County Schools about this project which will involve elementary students in the planning, planting, tending, and harvesting of real food on the grounds of their schools. They expect the programs to last through the summer and, hopefully, will include the kids bringing their produce to the market so that they can also learn about the business of retailing food to the public. It is hard to believe that all of this is coming to pass so quickly, but, it truly is. Sure, it has been a long cold winter for us all, but the market will be opening before you know it. I can’t wait!