Farmers market planning to grow [Daily News, Bowling Green, Ky.]
(Daily News (Bowling Green, KY) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 19--FRANKLIN -- Looking to build on growing interest in locally produced food, the Franklin-Simpson Farmers Market hopes to set up beneath a permanent pavilion structure in the near future.
The open-air farmers market is held Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in a county-owned lot on North Main Street in Franklin near the Simpson County Cooperative Extension office. Vendors bring their own canopies when they set up their spaces at the market.
Jason Phillips, Simpson County extension agent for agricultural and natural resources, is an adviser to the farmers market on the pavilion project.
Phillips said that, with more patrons at the market this season and a successful Farm to Table Dinner and Wine fundraiser earlier this month at the Brickyard Cafe in Franklin, the time is right to give the farmers market a more noticeable presence along the city's main strip.
"A permanent facility has been shown to make a drastic improvement to farmers markets in different states," Phillips said at a recent Simpson County Fiscal Court meeting. "The local food movement is on the rise, but I also think location is really important."
Close to $15,000 has been raised so far at different events to help pay to build the pavilion, which Phillips said would cost no more than $100,000.
"Several groups have indicated that they would raise money," Phillips said.
The Simpson County Extension District Board is applying for a $50,000 grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund to match local contributions.
Since it is a matching grant, Fiscal Court has agreed to pledge up to $35,000 to supplement the money already raised by the farmers market toward construction.
Architectural renderings by Franklin-based Graf Studio show a white-columned pavilion over a paved lot adjacent to the extension office.
"Our plan for that space is to put something there that is architecturally respectful of its surroundings," Simpson County Judge-Executive Jim Henderson said. "We can leverage half the costs with a matching grant."
In addition to hosting the farmers market, the pavilion could be a space for other community functions, particularly if it is equipped with bathrooms and a grill with a chimney, which Phillips said was possible.
"Anything like this that can draw people to the downtown area will be good for the city as a whole," Magistrate Blake Tarpley said.
-- Follow Justin Story on Twitter at twitter.com/jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.
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