PRESTONSBURG — The Floyd County Farmers Market has shown considerable growth during its five-year existence, from having a couple of farmers who made a combined $600 the first year, to adding many more farmers, cooks and craftsmen and bringing in over $48,000 during 20 sale dates last year. Now, that growth is starting to gain attention, near and far.
Last week, the market was highlighted by the Appalachian Regional Commission as one of 283 local foods destinations across the agency’s 13-state service area. The market is included in ARC’s “Bon Appétit Appalachia” showcase, which can be viewed online at visitappalachia.com, as well in the latest issue of Food Traveler Magazine.
Sites profiled in the feature include not only farmers markets, but also local farms, farm-to-table restaurants, wineries, craft breweries, and other culinary destinations.
The Floyd County Farmers Market is the only farmers market in the Big Sandy region listed in the “Bon Appétit Appalachia” feature. Other nearby destinations profiled include the Blue Raven restaurant in Pikeville, the Kentucky Apple Festival in Paintsville, and Black Barn Produce in Johnson County.
“Local food systems are growing throughout Appalachia, and their growth is making important economic contributions in rural communities,” ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl during an announcement last week. “Our Bon Appétit Appalachia mapguide showcases a broad range of exciting destinations for tourists in the new food landscape of the Region.”
In addition, the market is once again making waves in American Farmland Trust’s “I Love My Farmers Market” promotion. Last year, the market ranked as Kentucky’s favorite farmers market, as well as the 23rd most popular market in the nation in the annual vote by farmers market customers.
When preliminary results of this year’s were released this week, the Floyd County Farmers Market not only continues to lead the state, with over half of the votes cast for Kentucky markets, but is also currently running in the top 10 nationwide.
“This is the sixth year in a row American Farmland Trust will sponsor the I Love My Farmers Market Celebration, a summer-long event to recognize family farmers and to raise awareness about the community markets,” said Andrew McElwaine, President and CEO of American Farmland Trust. “At a time when small and family farmers are struggling to make ends meet and stay on their land, farmers markets provide fresh, healthy food and help local farms survive. The majority of our fresh fruits and vegetables are grown in the path of development. Without farmers markets this land may stop growing crops and grow condos instead.”
Voting in the “I Love My Farmers Market” promotion continues until Sept. 13. Votes can be cast online at lovemyfarmersmarket.org.