The first IRWP-sponsored farmers market in Cave Springs is off to a great start with a solid base of vendors and a steady stream of patrons looking for fresh, local produce every Thursday from 3:30 – 7:30 PM until October 1.
The inspiration for IRWP to start a farmers market in Cave Springs came from our budding agricultural program here at the Watershed Sanctuary and the desire to connect the local community and local agricultural producers. Last spring children from our Clean Water Raingers (CWR) after school program, which is funded by the Windgate Foundation, planted four raised beds with a variety of garden veggies, greens, and herbs. This was a great activity for the children to learn about where some of our food comes from and how they can have a role in producing it. However, many of the plants we are growing come to fruition while the children are on summer break, so we thought a farmers market would make a good outlet for some of the produce and to show off the children’s hard work.
Connecting the community and local producers is great for the watershed in that it promotes local sourcing of seasonably available produce. The farmers market also provides the opportunity for IRWP to connect with agricultural stakeholders in the watershed and work with them to adopt programs through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that help agricultural producers be more efficient while reducing impacts to the watershed. There is also the added bonus of having the market at the Watershed Sanctuary where the public can see demonstrations of gardening techniques, rainwater harvesting, and many other low-impact development and sustainability-focused features.
The farmers market is located along Main Street / Highway 112 in Cave Springs at the north edge of the Watershed Sanctuary, right next to the City of Cave Springs Community Building. If you are interested in becoming a vendor, please contact Chas McCoy at Chas@irwp.org or 479-256-9278. Please come check it out and support local farmers!