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    by Michelle Jones


    The dogwoods and magnolias came bursting out in Louisville over the past week, the weather has taken a decidedly warmer turn and loud lawnmowers are once again peppering neighborhoods with their noise and gas emissions. It’s clear that spring has in fact sprung. Truth be told though none of those natural time marks trumpet the passing of one season and the entrance of the next for me though. What really let’s me know that spring has arrived is the opening of the Bardstown Road Farmers Market which occurred April 5. Though the market was inactive for not even a full four months it seemed like an eternity to Highlanders used to walking, biking and otherwise making their way to the Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church parking lot on Saturday mornings.  


    To my knowledge it’s the first Farmers Market in the city to open back up (the Phoenix Hill Farmers Market’s official reopening is Tuesday April 22, 2008). Since spring is still so early the selection isn’t quite what you’d find during say June and July but there are still plenty of reasons to check the market out not least of which are two or three vendors selling grass fed beef, free range chicken and farm fresh eggs. Other great buys during the early weeks of the market are local honey, steaming coffee from Highland Coffee, Kentucky bison and Capriole goat cheese. 


    Capriole goat cheese, how dear you are to me. About six months ago I developed a fondness for goat cheese that I’d never previously had. Now it is physically impossible for me to eat enough. On the first week/files/storyimages/of the farmers market I was a bit overzealous in my spending and when I got to the Capriole booth I only had enough cash to purchase one chevre log. I didn’t have enough to purchase the Wabash Cannonball the booth was giving out samples of.  


    I shop at farmers markets for a few different reasons. One is a somewhat cliched liberal guilt that tells me its my responsibility to support small farmers. Another is that I know the food I’m getting at farmers markets is going to usually be far superior to what I can get at a grocery store and that it hasn’t travelled thousands of miles to get to my kitchen. Perhaps the most important reason I shop at farmers markets though is to be an actual part of the food chain and part of the community. Yes, yes benefitting the community at large is wonderful but benefitting the community also helps us all as individuals.When I mentioned that I’d buy the really lovely Wabash Cannonball next week/files/storyimages/because I’d run out of cash the booth’s proprietor said “Take it with you today and just pay me next weekend.” When I protested that I couldn’t take advantage of such generosity she said “Go on, take it and pay me next weekend.  This is the farmers market, not Kroger.”  

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