STAFF REPORT Lebanon Tourist & Convention Commission
As a result of ongoing COVID-19 challenges, the startup of the Lebanon KY Farmer’s Market couldn’t be better timing.
COVID-19 concerns and state-mandated social distancing guidelines have, in many cases, created food supply questions and shopping challenges.
Well…now we have the Lebanon KY Farmer’s Market. And this year it offers the theme: “Marion County soil. Marion County people, hearts and hands. Making your food.”
“I hope folks understand that our farmers market is made up of local people, offering agricultural, food, flower, gardening products and more, all produced right here in Marion County,” said Lauren Celentano. She’s the owner and operator of ’Til the Rooster Crows Ranch. And at a Lebanon KY Farmer’s Market organizational meeting back in March, the group’s members asked her to be the organization’s spokesperson. Marion County Extension Office personnel also assist the group in various ways.
“We have outstanding farmers here in our community doing some really incredible things,” said Celentano. “And at the market several of them will be offering products produced on and in Marion County soil. No hands ever touch it, except Marion County hands.”
The Lebanon KY Farmer’s Market opens and gets underway on Saturday, May 2, 2020. Hours will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and the annual event is always conducted at the outdoor Lebanon Pavilion on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Lebanon, the Heart of Kentucky. After this Saturday, the market will be open, same times and same place, every Saturday and every Wednesday throughout May and the summer months.
But this year’s market will look a bit different.
Celentano said farmer’s market participants will be following all federal- and state-mandated COVID-19 social distancing and safety guidelines. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear gave all farmer’s markets the coveted “essential business” go-ahead. But added he expects to see high standards of safety implemented. Basically, if the customer picks it up, you own it, he said.
So at the Lebanon KY Farmer’s Market you’ll see the mandatory face masks, lines specifying proper social distancing, the tables spread out a bit more than usual, and other things.
But you’ll also see for sale eggs, spring crops ready-to-eat, tomato plants ready for your garden, soaps, frozen beef, flower baskets…and much more.
“We hope we have the challenge of managing crowd control,” said Celentano. “That would be a nice problem for us to have. And if we do, we have a way of limiting the number of folks into the outdoor, covered pavilion and get everyone taken care of without much of a wait.”
Nena Olivier, executive director of the Lebanon Tourist & Convention Commission, said that for 2020 the tourism office is glad to help step up promotion of the farmer’s market, and assist in other ways.
“It’s a unique opportunity to promote agricultural products in such a way to draw visitors from throughout Central Kentucky and perhaps further,” said Olivier. “Visitors to the Lebanon KY Farmer’s Market can tie in their visit to other ongoing things here, as well. Such as the wonderful curbside and window food delivery efforts being done by our restaurants and places to eat. And with the COVID-19 situation, the fact that the farmers market offers the opportunity for wonderful, safe food—that alone is worth promoting.”
Celentano said the Lebanon KY Farmer’s Market will continue every Saturday and every Wednesday, same times and same place, throughout May and the summer. And seasonal changes—and any schedule changes—will be announced and promoted.
You can keep up with the Lebanon KY Farmer’s Market at the group’s excellent Facebook page, right here: facebook.com/LebanonKYFarmersMarket.
Vendors change and shift throughout the seasons at the market; but if you’re wondering who and what is scheduled to be at this Saturday’s opening market and throughout the summer, here’s a look:
Bauerle Family Farms
Bauerle Family Farms is an organic dairy farm on 224 acres on Beech Fork Road near Gravel Switch. It’s a family operation, Tom and DeeAnn and their children Ryan, 14, and Marissa, 13.
Their 50-head herd includes an unusual breed, Normandy, and since 2016 much of what they produce ends up as Organic Valley brand products.
At the farmer’s market they’ll be offering organic frozen beef: ground beef, steaks, roasts, hamburger patties and more, as well as eggs.
You can learn more about them on their Facebook page: facebook.com/Bauerle-Family-Farms-227870431364909. Also contact them by phone at (812) 592-0285.
Jimmy and Denise Alford
Jimmy and Denise Alford, along with their grandson Nate Orberson, produce garden products at their property, on High Street in Lebanon, including a 30-foot by 96-foot greenhouse.
At the early season market they’ll have spring crops, including onions and radishes. Production is also underway for strawberries, jumbo green peppers, potatoes, green beans and corn.
To contact them prior to the market, or at any time, call (270) 321-2664. You may also text to that number.
Peterson Family Farm
Peterson Family Farm is a farmer’s market veteran that operates on 100 acres near Loretto, KY. The family operation is composed of Donald and Theresa, son Joseph, 23, and daughters Roseanna, 13, and Michaela, 11.
Not only are they veterans of the Lebanon KY Farmer’s Market, they also do the markets in Hardin and Boyle counties, and in Louisville.
They’re a massive operation that does cattle and sheep, as well as just about every type of flower and vegetable.
In May in Lebanon they’ll offer hanging baskets; garden plants, including tomato, pepper, squash and more; and ready-to-eat vegetables. As the summer progresses, so do the choices. They’ll also have for sale another well-know product of theirs, jars of Peterson Family Farm Honey Apple Salsa, and Marinara Sauce, and Tomato Juice (Puree).
You can contact Peterson Family Farm anytime by calling (270) 699-6471. You may also text that number.
Bluegrass Blessings Farms
Bluegrass Blessings Farms and Apiary is operated by Chris Chamberlain on 16 acres on Tucker Road near Bradfordsville. He’s diverse and intensely organic: certified naturally grown honey; eggs from pasture raised chickens; certified natural blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries; and organic farm produce.
During May at the market he’ll offer traditional spring vegetables, beets, lettuce, cabbage, radishes, kale and collards. And as the summer deepens so do the choices.
But he’s know for his—actually his chicken’s—eggs. And he’ll have those there.
Learn more about his operation at the website here, bbfarmky.com, where you’ll see there’s an online store and—new—a mobile app. He also has a phone number you can call, (502) 600-1004.
Lauren Celentano operates ’Til the Rooster Crows Ranch, located at 7030 Liberty Road near Bradfordsville, KY—and it’s a unique operation. It’s a homestead, where homesteading skills are taught, and she operates an Airbnb there.
She offers goat’s milk products, including soaps and shampoo bars that can be found at places like the Limestone Branch Distillery gift shop. And she offers fresh fruits and vegetables organically grown, and sustainable honey, mushrooms, flowers, sorghum, and fresh baked breads and desserts. And much of it is available at the Lebanon KY Farmer’s Market.
You find contact information for ’Til the Rooster Crows Ranch at this Facebook page, facebook.com/ttrcranch/, and there’s also an excellent website here, ttrcranch.com. You can contact her by calling (516) 241-7960.