Documenting Farmers Market History

If you've ever been a vendor or customer of the Lexington Farmer's Market, market organizers and a University of Kentucky professor want to hear from you. A community archival project starts this weekend. Dr. Jenny Rice, Director of Composition at UK, hopes to compile memories and memorabilia from the market.

"And students from UK's College of Arts and Science will be on hand at tables to record these oral histories. They'll have the ability to scan in things like old photos, fliers, posters," says Rice.

The Lexington Farmers Market started as an agricultural cooperative in 1975. Assistant Manager Alexa Arnold says there are some old pictures and newspaper clippings that have been saved, but the goal is to preserve the organization's history.

"There's not a lot of information out there, research-wise. So I think this could really benefit future markets here or anywhere in the United States."

The diversity of food available at the Lexington Farmers Market has grown over the years; customers can pick out heirloom vegetables, meat products, cheese, and even hot food. But the market is still home to some of the same vendors who started with the co-op.

"A lot of it really goes back to roots and true truck farming: in the fields, driving into the city. These farmers are able to stay on the farm and make a living doing what the really love the most, which is working their land," says market Executive Director Jeff Dabbelt.

The Lexington Farmers Market is open Saturday from 8am to 1pm at the Victorian Square Shoppes.