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Saturdays to September 28th | 8 am to Noon
Beargrass Christian Church, 4100 Shelbyville Road

Farm in the Spotlight 
Art Lander of Holy Branch Gourds
In Praise of Open-Air Markets

When you visit the St. Matthews Farmers Market you take part in what humans have been doing for thousands of years around the world -- gathering at a pre-determined place, on a pre-determined day and time, to buy and sell the provisions of daily life.
Open-air, public markets have existed for as long as humans have engaged in trade.        
Through history open-air markets have typically been held in a city’s market district, green space in the city’s center, church yard or open field at the edge of town.
Farmers from the surrounding countryside would bring their goods to town to sell on a daily or weekly basis, during festivals or other special holiday events. Artisans, living and working near market sites, produced metal and leather goods, jewelry, clothing and woodenware for both necessity and luxury.
Even in ancient times, vendors paid a fee to sell on market days.
Today, consumers looking for high-quality, locally-produced fruits and vegetables, beef, lamb, pork, breads, cheese, prepared foods, wine, craft beer, cut flowers and one-of-a-kind arts and crafts are drawn to the modern version of the age-old open-air market -- the farmers market. Customers have the convenience of finding just what they want in one place.

When you buy local there’s a person-to-person connection and a sense of community. You can put a face on your food, and can ask questions about how it was grown or raised. Talk with the artisan and get details of how that one-of-a-kind item was made so when you give it as a holiday, birthday, or wedding gift, there’s a story that goes along with the future heirloom.

According to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), there are 160 farmers markets across the Commonwealth, in 112 counties, with about 2,700 vendors.
“We estimate $13 million annually in sales at Kentucky’s farmers markets,” said Sharon Spencer, of KDA’s Office of Direct Farm Marketing. “We’ve had farmers markets in Kentucky for at least 30 years. Demand is continuing to grow for local food and farm-based products.”
In many countries shopping at a local open-air market is a standard feature of daily life. Here’s some background on the history of open-air markets and market houses from around the world:
Open-air markets were known to have existed in the Middle East almost 2,000 years before the birth of Christ, in ancient Babylonia, Assyria, and Egypt.
In ancient Rome, markets were held on or near the Forum, an open space in the city’s center.
Pompeii, a Roman city of 12,000, near modern-day Naples, Italy, devastated by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, had multiple markets.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the markets encircled the Forum, but the livestock market was situated on the city's perimeter. Historians believe there was a produce market, cereal market, and meat and fish market. A calendar of market days, written on the side of a building is clear evidence of the market's importance to community life and trade.
In Medieval Europe, markets developed close to monasteries, castles or royal residences.
Aristocratic households created considerable demand for goods and services, and attracting sellers stimulated the growth of towns.
In England alone, it’s believed that some 2,000 markets were established between 1200 and 1349. Beginning in the 12th century informal markets gave way to a system of formal, chartered markets where the regulation of market place practices gave consumers confidence in the quality of market goods and the fairness of prices.
Monarchs awarded a charter to local Lords to create markets and fairs for a town or village.The charter protected the town's trading privileges in return for an annual fee. Once a chartered market was granted for specific market days, a nearby rival market could not open on the same days.
The Grand Bazaar, in Istanbul, Turkey, is often cited as the world's oldest continuously-operating, market building. Its construction began in 1455, and today it houses about 3,600 retail shops.
In China there have been street and wet markets for centuries.
A wet market refers to a place where fruit, vegetables, fish, seafood and meat products are sold.
In modern times, many open-air markets in China are wholesale and retail, serving as both as a distribution center and retail shopping venue. To assist in the distribution of food, more than 9,000 wholesale produce markets operate in China.
One of the largest retail markets in China is the Beijing Zoo Market, a collection of 12 different markets, comprising some 20,000 tenant stall-holders, 30,000 employees and more than 100,000 customers daily.
In many large cities in China, fresh produce markets are gradually moving to online sales with door-to-door deliveries.
Throughout Asia there are night markets, floating markets and large indoor/outdoor markets.
Bangkok, Thailand boasts the world's largest weekend market in Chatuchak. It is also famous for its floating market in the Taling Chan District, where vendors not only sell fresh produce from barges, but will also cook meals and snacks on board their vessels.
In India there are wholesale, retail and so-called terminal markets, each with specific sellers, buyers and products.
Terminal markets sell directly to the end-user, whether it be the consumer, food processor or shipping agent for export of agricultural products to foreign countries, with an example being the Bombay Terminal Market.
At fairs held on religious days, vendors deal in livestock and agricultural produce. A Landa bazaar is a market with low prices for only secondhand, mostly imported, general goods.
In Australia, there are several historic outdoor and indoor markets, and many farmers markets.
The Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne's central market, opened in 1878, but markets had been opening on the site before that.
In Sydney, the Rocks Market, focuses on crafts, jewelry and leather goods and operates at weekends. The Haymarket is one of the main produce markets and fresh-caught seafood is sold several days a week at the Sydney Fish Market.
Since the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service began tracking farmers markets in 1994, the number of markets in the United States has grown from 1,755 to 8,268 in 2014.
In 2013, the states with the most farmers markets included: California (759), New York (637), Illinois (336), Michigan (331) and Ohio (300). Total annual sales at U.S. farmers' markets are estimated to exceed $1 billion. Perhaps the most well-known farmers market in the U.S. is New York City’s Union Square Greenmarket, which began with just a few farmers in 1976.
 Today, in peak season, there are 140 regional producers selling at the market, everything from just-picked fresh fruits and vegetables, heritage meats and award-winning farmstead cheeses, artisan breads, jams, pickles, to a profusion of cut flowers and plants, wine, ciders, and maple syrup. An estimated 60,000 persons shop there each market day.  Visitors can watch and taste cooking demonstrations by some of New York's best chefs that prepare local foods.
The open-air market has a past that dates back to the earliest civilizations. Today, our modern version of this market has a promising future. Consumers want local food raised by sustainable agricultural methods and handmade, one-of-a-kind arts and crafts made by artisans in their community.
Direct sales venues like the farmers market offer them the best opportunity to get what they want at the best price, while listening to music and enjoying breakfast and a cup or coffee. There will always be the desire to shop and socialize at an open-air market.                                               

What's at the Market this Week?

Eggs are plentiful and so are lean cuts of lamb, beef, pork, and chicken. Green beans, rhubarb, blueberries, kale, greens, carrots, new potatoes, sweet peas and peapods, garlic scapes, hot house tomatoes and cucumbers will all be available this Saturday. Our musical guest is Pat Younger. Our alternate vendors are Kentucky Made & More, Daily Cake, Horseshoe Bend, Mayan Connection, and Blueberries of Daviess County. Kentucky Smoked BBQ, the burrito tent, Gallrein Farms, and Garey Farms Breakfast are serving up your delicious favorites.

Featured Recipe
Blueberry Pie

Creamy Blueberry Pie courtesy of Blueberries of Daviess County


3 cups fresh blueberries
1 deep-dish pie crust
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/8 t salt
2eggs, beaten
½ cup sour cream
½ cup sugar
½ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup butter

To Make:
Combine 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour and salt.  Add eggs and sour cream stirring until blended.  Place berries in pie shell and spoon sour cream mixture over berries.

In another bowl, combine ½ cup sugar and ½ cup flour.  Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles corn meal.  Sprinkle this over sour cream mixture and berries,

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 – 55 minutes or until lightly browned.

Market Maker
Bluegrass Bowls

John Lander
John Lander grew up in Bethlehem, Kentucky at Holy Branch. His mother, an accomplished and nationally known artist, Bonnie, instilled in him a love of craft. His father, is beloved journalist, Art Lander, editor of Kentucky Afield, columnist at the Herald-Leader, and farmer. Growing up in a small, farm town, John learned to work with his hands. Reclaiming nature's beauty, through woodworking, is not just a saying for John, it's a lifestyle. John and his parents are founding farmers at our market. Their 107-acre farmstead in Henry County on the Holy Water Branch of Sulphur Creek is home to a large flock of free range chickens, an abundant garden and an array of hand painted gourds, turned wood and homemade goat milk soaps. They also offer fruits and vegetables, flowers, and herbs.

Their gardens are managed by sustainable agricultural practices. This ecosystem approach to agriculture, seeks to build up the soil, rather than using practices which cause long-term damage to the soil such as excessive tillage, irrigation without adequate drainage, and the use of inorganic fertilizers, which deposit salts in the soil. They replenish soil nutrients through recycling crop waste (composting), growing legumes, which fix nitrogen in the soil, and rotating crops, which cuts down on problems with plants diseases and harmful insects. Mechanical cultivation is used to incorporate compost into the soil of their garden plots and they mulch our vegetables with wheat straw during periods of extreme heat.  They do not use chemical fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides.  They fertilize their vegetables with AGgrand, a certified organic fertilizer made from fish, seaweed and other natural ingredients, and if a bug or plant disease arises, they use only certified organic sprays made from natural plant oils. They use biological controls and companion plantings to minimize these problems in the garden.

John is the family woodworker, turning bowls, lidded vessels and tops from native hardwoods cut from their own wood lands.  Growing up on the family farm, John learned to work with his hands and says that reclaiming nature’s beauty isn’t a slogan, it’s a lifestyle for him.  John says he is striving to make the highest quality, local, food safe bowls available, utilizing every part of the tree. His process begins with chain sawing the felled wood, then using the band saw, and finally turning and finishing.

A band is a saw with a long, sharp blade, like a circular ribbon, consisting of a continuous band of toothed metal stretched between two or more wheels to cut material. It helps cut the wood down to a manageable size for the turner. Woodturning is the action of shaping wood with a lathe and the craft of using the wood lathe with hand-held tools to cut a shape that is symmetrical around the axis of rotation. Like the potter's wheel, the wood lathe is a simple mechanism which can generate a variety of forms.

A video of John turning can be found here

Woods he uses range from native Kentucky such as red maple, cherry, and black walnut, to any he reclaims such as mimosa, ambrosia maple, and silver maple. John also makes beautiful coffee tables, goblets, spinning tops, and more. His spalted pieces are highly sought after. Spalting is any form of wood coloration caused by fungi; the unique coloration and patterns of spalted wood are sought after by woodworkers. Although primarily found in dead trees, spalting can also occur in living trees under stress. Since John is using felled and reclaimed wood, he says his process gives the wood new life. This upcycling is all part of the sustainability his family models on their Holy Branch homestead. Find John on Twitter @BluegrassBowls.
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