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Farmers market to reopen Friday

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By Molly Haines

Shopping for local, homegrown produce gets a little bit easier starting Friday.
The Owen County Farm and Craft Market will open for business at 10 a.m. Friday with a new addition – the ability to pay with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program EBT card, debit card of credit cards.
The market was able to obtain the equipment needed for swipe transactions through a USDA grant. The grant money also covers the cost of wireless Internet access in order for SNAP EBT transactions to be processed, but debit and credit customers will be charged a $1 fee in order to pay for transactions to be processed.
Ginny O. Cook, Owen County Cooperative Extension Service Family and Consumer Science Program Assistant, said the market as a whole will use one machine and a simple token system will be implemented.
“Customers will simply swipe their cards for the amount they wish to spend plus $1 fee for debit or credit,” Cook said. “They will be handed the proper amount in market tokens to give as payment to the vendors.”
Debit and credit customers will receive their change in cash, where SNAP customers will receive any difference in extra produce.
“To make sure the extra form of currency is easy to keep up with, everyone who swipes a card for the first time will receive a free token pouch while supplies last,” Cook said.
The market will kickoff its season with the Owen County Judge-executive’s office cooking to benefit the county’s Relay For Life fundraiser.
The market will return with the majority of last year’s vendors, as well as some new vendors.
The list of vendors currently includes Anna’s EsSCENTials Bodycare, Ayres Family Orchard, Blue Ridge Farm, Chappell Farms, Crigger Farm, Daily Bread, Dizzy’s Delights, Hutcherson Family Farm Produce, Ken Hansen, Ken Smith Farm, Kincaid’s, Petzinger Farms, Rosehaven Farms, Sisterly Touch Catering and Steepleview Farm.
The Owen County Cooperative Extension Service will be represented each week, offering the latest copy of “Fresh from the Market” newsletter, Kentucky Proud recipe cards and a special give-away.
The Owen County Public Library will also be on hand to read stories to young ones while caregivers shop and allow customers to check out books that are brought out.
The market is located directly behind the Farm Bureau office at 430 Roland Ave. and is open each Friday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., May 9-Oct. 31.
Following the opening market, Big Tricky’s Catering, Billy O’Banion, Carol Farrar and Sisterly Touch Catering will be on site offering hot lunches according to a rotating schedule.
“It’s a refreshing experience and exemplifies what people love about our small town,” Cook said of the market.