Local bluegrass and food tasting Sept. 3

By Ashley Bunton - abunton@civitasmedia.com

More than 25 vendors will be at the Fayette County Farmers’ Market Saturday, Sept. 3 during Labor Day weekend.

The morning will begin with live music from Dave Huffman and the Bluegrass Ramblers. A variety of seasonal produce will be available, including several different kinds of melons, tomatoes, squash, corn, and zucchini.

Hilda Downs is organizing tastings at the market and said there will be different tastings at booths throughout the market that day.

“Watch for the tasting sign to see what’s fresh and in season at the market,” said Downs.

Jam, cinnamon rolls, bread, and meat products will also be available for purchase at the market.

“There is so much locally,” said Downs, who likes to keep business local. “I don’t shop at the store anymore. I have not bought bread in stores in probably five or six years.”

Most of the vendors and regular customers were born and raised in Fayette County and have always worked locally.

“We would like to keep people shopping and buying local,” she said. “That’s our idea of the farmers’ market.”

The food is fresh—everything being picked the day of the market or the day before.

And the market is family-oriented. Each week three big peas are hidden around the market for the children to find. Once they find the pea, the kids can exchange it at the farmers’ market tent in return for a dollar voucher to spend at the market.

“The kids are coming and they’re tasting things they’ve never had before or things they didn’t think they like and it’s, ‘Mommy buy this.’ I think that’s great. They come, they’re interested, they find the pea, they want to know what’s good today. They try everything and they might not like it, but at least they tried it,” said Downs.

Jon and Taylor Jones are vending at the market and will be bringing a lot of produce and meat products from the 11-and-a-half acre farm.

As their farm has expanded over the years, they continue to offer market customers new products.

“We’re rolling out the chicken patties. They’re a plain, already made-up patty. There’s four in a pack. They’re great to throw on the grill, low to medium heat, or a George Foreman, we also have chicken link sausages, chorizo and sweet Italian. And what’s nice is that they’re leaner than a pork brat or beef patty,” said Taylor. She said their chicken link sausages are their biggest seller.

They also sell whole chickens, brats, breasts and wings from pasture-raised chickens.

“We will have whole turkeys in time for Thanksgiving,” said Taylor. They will have a sign-up list at the market for people who are interested. “We have 30 of them, about 11 are spoken for.”

She hopes a batch of their tri-color sweet corn will be ready, but it depends on the rain. They will also have tomatoes, peppers, squash, onions, cucumbers, and brown eggs.

Dave Huffman and the Bluegrass Ramblers will be playing live music until around noon at the market Saturday, Sept. 3.

It’s their first time playing at the Fayette County Farmers’ Market.

Huffman said the band began in Fayette County around 1966. He eventually got into playing country music with the Country Express band.

“I did country for about 30 years from 1978 to 2008 in the Country Express band. In ‘08 I went back to bluegrass,” said Huffman, who plays the five string banjo. “I love the sound of it. I always have. That’s what drew me to it in the first place.”

The band performs at nursing homes throughout Fayette County each month and will be at the Caesar Creek Flea Market Monday, Sept. 5.

“You get a good variety of people. Kids enjoy it. A lot of them have never heard it at all in any format. It’s just not the most widely played music like country or rock,” said Huffman who will talk to kids between songs. “They seem to have a pretty good time. They dance and you can just tell they’re enjoying it. They got a smile on their face.”

He said it’s happy music with a lot of good, fast songs.

“It’s a good way to relieve the stress,” said Huffman.

Jerry Wing plays on bass, Danny Crawford on guitar, and Gordon Payne on fiddle.

“All those guys have been playing music for a long time also, we’ve been picking together for many years,” said Huffman, who hopes everyone will come out and enjoy the music

Whether it’s experiencing the tastes of summer, stocking up on fresh produce to can or freeze, picking out lunch box items, or listening to music, Downs said she’d like to see people support local business at the market.

“You’re just going to have to come look, that’s all there is to it,” said Downs.

By Ashley Bunton


Reach Ashley at the Record-Herald (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton

Reach Ashley at the Record-Herald (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton