Farmers market growing a partnership with local library

Published 6:58 pm Thursday, September 12, 2019

On Saturday, the Boyle County Farmers Market will be cultivating a partnership with the local library and authors, in addition to the ones it has grown with area musicians and artists.

Public services librarian Caleb Conover said that since the library is urging more adults and children to sign-up for their free library card this month, part of a nationwide event, setting up at the farmers market at Constitution Square on Saturday will be a new way to get the word out.

“The library is excited to get out into the community,” Conover said. “The library is not the library of your grandmother anymore. We cater to that, but we also are very much a library that’s for everybody.”

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A special feature of this week’s farmers market to help promote the library will be a collaboration of musicians and authors on the stage during the market, said Boyle County Chamber of Commerce Director Jeff Jewel.

On stage beginning at 9 a.m., four authors who participated in last year’s fall writing workshop at the library, led by Paul Stansbury will read their stories of recollections that were published in “Memories Worth Remembering.” They are Connie Estes Beale, George Boursaw, Sue Davidson, Carolyn Ellis and Stansbury.

After each segment of readings, musicians, including Travis Kern, will perform songs specially selected to augment each story, Jewell said.

“We’re really having fun putting it together. I like the mix of spoken word and music,” He said.

“We have such a history of carrying down our local lore verbally, and I think that playing that up at a farmers market seems to me to be a natural match,” Jewell added.

The bookmobile will be open for visitors at the market and special children’s book give-aways and coloring activities will be part of the library’s presence at the park on Saturday.

Jewel said he has spoken with several regular vendors at the market and they “are all supportive of the library.” He is also hoping to have “a few little specials, like show us your library card and you get some little something.”

“It’s a great way of working the library through the whole farmers market.”

This summer has been a very successful season for the farmers market, Jewel said. Many more farmers and vendors are participating. And more folks are expanding their shopping throughout the rest of downtown after they get their fresh produce, Jewel said.

“Walk down Main Street on a Saturday morning now, compared to before the farmers market, and you will definitely see a difference in the number of people downtown.”

Being set up at Constitution Square in the shade of tall older trees “the ambiance is really very nice,” Jewel said. “People come and hang out at the farmers market. We wanted to make it like the town’s breakfast nook. … It’s a real, casual, fun community gathering.”

The AARP organization has also played a supportive role in the success of the farmers market, said Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jennifer Kircher. “They awarded the farmers market $2,500 grant to provide entertainment during the market hours. It has been a wonderful collaboration that makes the market an event and encourages people to stay and enjoy the park and each other.”

Jewel said as this growing season is coming to an end, the CVB, Heart of Danville, Boyle Fiscal Court and the Chamber are already making plans for next year at the park. More add-on events, like the library’s card sign-up and humane society’s puppy attraction will be included. “Maybe even a salsa contest day and a pets day,” Jewel said.

“We love doing whatever we can do to help make farmers market a success for the farmers and downtown Danville,” said HOD executive director Dustin Duvall.

After the farmers market shuts down at the end of this month, one more Saturday event will usher in the fall season. “Kicking off fall on the Saturday morning that we’re all used to coming downtown will be a great way to kind of wrap the season,” Jewel said.

“We’re working on it,” Jewel said, and he hopes that some type of Saturday morning event where pumpkins, fall wreaths and cider will be offered at Constitution Square.

“Who doesn’t like cider and pumpkins on a Saturday morning?”