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Despite what your thermostat says, Spring is here! Farmers markets are open!

Although the Bardstown Road farmers market never “closed” all winter, the pickings were pared down to the root crops and hydroponic offerings of James and Kathy Jackson, eggs from several vendors, and prepared foods such as breads and pickles, and open 10 to noon.

But since the first Saturday in April, the oldest continuing farmers market in town, in the parking lot of Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church, at 1711 Bardstown Rd., has been open its regular season hours, 8 a.m. to noon, still with limited offerings, because the spring has been so slow to warm up, but with more choices every week.

Last Saturday the Jacksons had a sale on their lovely hydroponic Bibb lettuce, as well as hydroponic tomatoes, two red varieties and a yellow.  And, my severest critic, my wife, always leery of early tomatoes, said they were not bad at all on our fist BLT of the season.

Field Day Farm had rutabagas (!) and parsnips, which wintered over nicely.  The bison lady was there, and Stan from Dreamcatcher Farm, with his excellent beef, pork and lamb, and Nick Posante of Finger Pickin’ Farm sold out of his early baby greens before I got there.  And a new guy, whose farm name escapes me, has been coming since early spring with duck, rabbit, quail, hen eggs and quail eggs.

The market at Douglas Loop, in front of Douglas Loop Christian Church, BardstownRd., is also open, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., with a limited number of farmers still, but also growing in number each week, as the weather warms and early plantings can get some purchase in the sun.  Look for a greater range of prepared foods there–breads, home-canned pickles and vegetables, as well as meats such as pastured veal from On Tapp Dairy.

Those, like my wife, who go primarily for flowers to to meet friends, did well on both counts this week.  The crowd at Bardstown Road market were good, and one vendor had a nice supply of ranicula in rich colors.  Both markets are a good source for vegetable seedlings and bedding plants, and will continue to be so through Derby and beyond. Those who like to support local businesses can’t do better than shop at the farmers markets.

Last year we published a list of farmers markets throughout Louisville/Southern Indiana — even though the list is from last year, it’s probably a good place to start  (BONUS: a fruits and vegetables grow chart.)