Kentucky Castle brings community together for weekly market


Farmers’ Market 8

Hailey Peters

Locally grown and Kentucky proud are the two key descriptions of the products served at the Kentucky Castle’s weekly farmers’ market.

Farmers’ markets are a commonality in this state, mostly due to its high population of commercial and independent agricultural farms. One of the most unique markets has come into the picture this past summer, giving vendors the opportunity to reach the public in Woodford County, Lexington and beyond.

Since June 6 of this year, the Castle of Versailles Kentucky has hosted a farmers’ market from 3-6 p.m. every Wednesday. This event is set to continue to occur every Wednesday until Oct. 31. The event is free to the public, and it showcases some of the area’s most unique and exceptional locally made goods. The vendors sell everything from tomatoes, corn and cage-free eggs to wine, hot sauce and hemp seed oil. The event takes place under a large, white tent in the castle’s courtyard surrounded by the gardens, swimming pool and tennis courts.

What makes this specific farmers’ market so unique is the fact that it creates a quaint, family-friendly and quirky environment in a renowned Kentucky landmark. It is a place that vendors can come to network, bond and reach out to potential customers for their respective businesses.

Abi Felix, marketing director for local business Laura’s Lean Beef and hemp products based on Mount Folly Farm in Winchester, Kentucky, shows a prime example of what types of vendors this event attracts. She is very passionate about advocating for the use of CBD oil, a naturally derived oil from hemp that is used to make the company’s hemp products, and also a natural remedy for mental issues such as sleeplessness and anxiety.

“This is where we can get in-person business, which compliments what we usually do online,” Felix said. “It is really beneficial to be here because we see which people are returning customers and we can count on their business.”

Felix enjoys the opportunity to educate the public on the benefits of hemp products and said that her personal favorite connections are the ones made with other vendors at the farmers’ market.

Rob Taylor, representative from The Green Penguin Hot Sauce company, also said he enjoys the bonds he has made with the other vendors over the summer.

“It’s really become like a family here,” Taylor said. “It is also a way to network our business. We have gotten around 75 percent of our produce from another vendor here, and next year we plan to bump that up to 90 percent.”

The idea behind the castle’s farmers’ market originated as a way to allow Kentuckians in the area to be connected to and to support small businesses, and it has turned into a community of diverse individuals who seek to give back to the state.

Selling homemade goods at the Castle specifically, as Taylor put it, allows businesses the opportunity to “sell a novelty item at a novelty itself.”