Farmers Market opens Saturday under new pavilion

The new Winchester-Clark County Farmers Market Pavilion
The new Winchester-Clark County Farmers Market Pavilion and the refur­bished Sphar & Co. silos cost $700,000. (Click to enlarge)

It will be a while before we see home­grown toma­toes and half-run­ner green beans, but vis­i­tors to open­ing day of the 2022 Winchester-Clark County Farmers Market may find flow­ers, straw­ber­ries, ear­ly veg­eta­bles, and a vari­ety of fin­ished prod­ucts, from bread to wine.

This Saturday, May 15, ven­dors will open the mar­ket under the long-antic­i­pat­ed new pavil­ion on Depot Street.

This year’s mar­ket pres­i­dent, Seth Boyken of Creative Coffees Roastery, is impressed by the new half-mil­lion-dol­lar canopy and the old Sphar & Co. silos that were sand­blast­ed and paint­ed to pay trib­ute to the for­mer hemp, tobac­co, and grain ware­house that stood near the train tracks.

“It’s a big change for sure,” he said. “I’m very excit­ed about all this com­ing around. Hopefully, we’re mov­ing into big things for Winchester.”

The farm­ers mar­ket pavil­ion and silos off North Main Street are part of a down­town revi­tal­iza­tion that also includes the repaving of the brick Depot Street and ren­o­va­tion of sev­er­al 19th-cen­tu­ry build­ings on Main.

Stefan Fink of Fink Meats, a long­time mem­ber of the mar­ket, said the canopy struc­ture cost $566,000 and was paid for by the Farmers Market, the City of Winchester, the Greater Clark Foundation, and the Clark County and Kentucky agri­cul­tur­al devel­op­ment boards. The silos, with a price tag of $135,000, were made pos­si­ble by fund­ing from the city gov­ern­ment, Main Street Winchester, and the Farmers Market.

Seth Boyken of Creative Coffees Roastery
Seth Boyken of Creative Coffees Roastery and The Backcountry Baking Co., shown greet­ing cus­tomers last year, is this year’s farm mar­ket pres­i­dent. (Winchester Sun)

“The new struc­ture gives the farm­ers mar­ket a per­ma­nent loca­tion in a his­toric part of down­town Winchester,” Fink said. “The team tried to mim­ic the old train depot into a func­tion­al struc­ture for the market.”

The struc­ture, he said, will pro­tect ven­dors and cus­tomers from the weather.

Boyken, who also start­ed The Backcountry Baking Company, said the mar­ket expe­ri­enced a slight decline because of the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic over the past cou­ple of years, but most of the long­time ven­dors are return­ing this year, along with some new ones.

“Right now, it’s look­ing like we could have almost 25 per­cent of our ven­dors new this year,” he said. “We’ll have quite a few more veg­etable vendors.”

Molly Stotts of My Father’s Garden said she’ll be there Saturday with straw­ber­ries, hon­ey, sour­dough and whole wheat breads, crois­sants and sweet rolls, egg bur­ri­tos, beeswax can­dles, batiks, wax wraps, and cal­en­du­la lotion bars.

One of the new ven­dors, Kevin Parido of Shepherd’s Forge, will be mak­ing hand-forged kitchen knives.

Boyken said the mar­ket usu­al­ly draws about 100 peo­ple an hour and 600 or more for spe­cial events, such as Kids Day on Aug. 20 and a Veggie Fest the mar­ket is work­ing on with the Clark County Health Department.

There will also be a Farm-to-Table Dinner, prob­a­bly the last Saturday in September.

It’s pos­si­ble there will also be some night mar­kets on Tuesdays.

Opening day will include a grand open­ing cer­e­mo­ny. The mar­ket will be open from 8 a.m. to noon.

  • Randy Patrick

    Randy Patrick is a deputy coun­ty clerk for elec­tions and vot­er reg­is­tra­tion and a for­mer reporter and edi­tor of The Winchester Sun.