Tomorrow marks the first day for an expanded downtown farmer’s market in Jacksonville.
Jacksonville Main Street received a two-year grant from the USDA to expand the existing farmer’s market, which will grow from about four vendors to nearly 40 local and regional vendors.
Jacksonville Main Street’s Kristen Jenkins says there will be a wider selection of goods and produce.
“We’re going to have meat. There’s going to be pork, beef, poultry, brats, frozen and fresh. We’ll have artisan cheeses, eggs, homemade pastas, jarred and canned goods like salsas and jams. There will be spices and herbs, plants, crafts. We’re going to have some food trucks there,” she says.
“The month of May will kind of be our prep time. Not all of the vendors may be there, just because they don’t have all of the produce grown yet. But, all of our other vendors will be there, like our meats and eggs and cheeses.”
In addition to food trucks, Jenkins notes the Soap Co. Coffee House will have a coffee truck at the farmer’s market.
Jenkins adds you’ll be able to download an app on your smartphone or computer and pre-order produce, and says it can be delivered.
The farmer’s market is being moved from Wednesdays to Fridays this year to allow the event to fall on the same day as the summertime Levitt AMP concert series being hosted by the city, according to Jenkins.
“We thought that that would be a really good opportunity to make sure that we’re bringing a good crowd downtown. And, of course, a good crowd means more vendors. So, they piggyback off of each other. So, we wanted to make sure that we were ensuring as much success for the farmer’s market as possible,” says Jenkins.
“The community would love a huge market, and we wanted to make sure that was going to happen. So we thought the best way to make that happen would be to offer the entertainment at the markets, as well. Once the Levitt AMP concerts are done, we will still be able to offer some musical entertainment. It might not be every Friday night,” she adds.
The farmer’s market will run through the month of October from 4 until 7 p-m every Friday.