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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are the prices higher than the grocery store?
Why should I shop at the farmers market?
How does the farmers’ market affect the environment?
How do farmers’ markets help the economy?
What produce will be available at the farmers’ market this week?
Do vendors only take cash?
Where can I park?
How do I get to the market from Belknap Campus?
Is there a UofL shuttle stop close by the market?
How will I store my produce and meat?
Do farmers' markets accept the EBT card (food stamps)?
What happens if it rains?


Why are the prices higher than the grocery store?

Commodity (mass produced food/factory farm) prices are very low, often below the cost it takes to grow it. The farmer now gets less than 10 cents of the retail food dollar. Local farmers who sell directly to you cut out the middleman and get full retail price for their food - which means farm families can afford to stay on the farm, doing the work they love. You are paying your farmer and no one else!
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Why should I shop at the farmers market?

Locally grown food tastes better - Locally grown food was probably picked within the past day or two. It's crisp, sweet and loaded with flavor. Several studies have shown that the average distance food travels from farm to plate is 1,500 miles. In a week-long (or more) delay from harvest to dinner table produce loses its freshness.

Also, local food offers variety. In the current mass production farm system, fruits and vegetables are chosen for their ability to ripen at the same time ,; for a tough skin that can survive packing and shipping, and for an ability to have a long shelf life in the store. Only a handful of fruits and vegetables fit in that group, so there is little variety in the types of fruits and vegetables grown. Local farms, in contrast, grow a huge number of varieties to provide a long season of harvest, many eye-catching colors, and the best flavors.
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How does the farmers’ market affect the environment? 

Buying local goods is one of the best things you can do to help conserve resources and protect the environment. Processing and shipping food from far away consumes tremendous amounts of fossil fuels and produces lots of pollution. At the farmers' market you'll also have the chance to meet the people who grow your food and ask them whether it was produced organically and in a way that respects the environment. A well-managed family farm is a place where the resources of fertile soil, clean water and biodiversity are valued. Those who take care of the land grow cover crops to prevent erosion and replace nutrients used by their crops. Cover crops also capture carbon from the air and help reduce the threats from greenhouse gas emissions. According to some estimates, farmers practicing conservation tillage could sequester 12-14% of the carbon emitted by vehicles and industry.
 
In addition, the more you can buy directly from local farmers, the less likely they are to have to they sell their farmland to developers. You have probably enjoyed getting out into the country and seeing the lush fields of crops, the meadows full of wildflowers, and the picturesque red barns. That landscape will survive only as long as farms are financially viable. When you buy locally grown food, you are doing something proactive about preserving the rural landscape and protecting the diversity of life. Family farms tend to benefit wildlife as the patchwork of fields, meadows, woods and ponds provides a better habitat for many beloved species than industrial farms with monocultures.
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How do farmers’ markets help the economy? 

Farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas suburban development costs more than it generates in taxes, according to several studies. On average, for every $1 in revenue raised by residential development, governments must spend $1.17 on services, thus requiring higher taxes of all taxpayers. For each dollar of revenue raised by farm, forest, or open space, governments spend 34 cents on services.

Local food builds community - When you buy direct from the farmer, you are re-establishing a time-honored connection. Knowing the farmers gives you insight into the seasons, the weather, and the miracle of raising food. In many cases, it gives you access to a farm where your children and grandchildren can go to learn about nature and agriculture. Relationships built on understanding and trust can thrive.
 
Local food is about the future - By supporting local farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow, and that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful, and abundant food.
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What produce will be available at the farmers’ market this week? 

Click here to find out the fruit and vegetable ripening dates in the Louisville area. Stop by the Gray Street Farmers' Market information booth and pick up a Kentucky Proud Produce Availability guide.
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Do vendors only take cash?

While all vendors accept cash, some will accept checks and some accept credit cards. The market also has an EBT/Debit machine to make it easier for customers to make purchases.
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Where can I park?

We’re hoping that a lot of folks will be walking to the market, to save on gas and get some exercise. For those who need to drive, there is street parking (no meters) available on the streets east of the market. There is also plenty of metered parking available on the streets surrounding the market (Chestnut, Preston, Jackson and Broadway). There are two garages nearby where you can pay to park: 1) UofL Health Care parking garage, entrance is off Jackson St. on Madison St. and, 2) Chestnut Street Garage, entrance is on Chestnut St. between Preston St. and Jackson St., across from the UofL Health Care Outpatient Center.

 

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How do I get to the market from Belknap Campus?

Bike: The market is a short 15 minute ride from Belknap. The safest, lowest-traffic way to get there is to take Brook St., jogging right at Burnett Avenue one block to Floyd St. This is a signed bike route nearly all the way to Gray St. where you'll turn right. Don't forget a backpack, panniers or bike basket to carry your market goodies home! Map a safe bike route to your next stop at http://www.ridethecity.com/louisville.

Bus: Use your UofL ID for a free 8-minute ride on the TARC to the market.

  • The most direct, frequent option is to hop on the northbound TARC Route 18 from Floyd Street (across from the Belknap Bus Station in the Floyd Street Garage) or on Cardinal Blvd. at Brook Street. The bus comes every 15 minutes. Get off the bus on Jackson Street just north of Broadway and walk half a block north to the market.
  • From the west side of Belknap campus, you could also use TARC Route 2, though service is less frequent. Hop on at Eastern Pkwy or any of the stops along 3rd Street. Get off the bus at 2nd & Broadway, then walk four blocks east on Broadway and one block north on Preston to Gray Street. Map a bus trip to your next stop at http://www.ridetarc.org/tripplan/.

Car: If you must drive, consider carpooling. Check out zimride, UofL’s ride-sharing platform. Directions: Drive north on 2nd St. and turn right onto Chestnut St. The entrance to the HSC Chestnut St. Garage is located between Preston St. and Jackson St. on the right, just past the crosswalk that connects the garage to the UofL Health Care Outpatient Center.

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Is there a UofL shuttle stop close by the market?

Yes, there is a shuttle stop at the corner of Jackson St. and Gray St., right next to Med Center One and right across the street from the market.
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How will I store my produce and meat?

We encourage you to plan ahead. If you don’t have refrigerator storage available, then bring a small cooler so your meats, cheese and produce will stay fresh.
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Do farmers' markets accept the SNAP benefits?

The Gray Street Farmers' Market does accept SNAP (Supplemental Nurtition Assistance Program) benefits, which will allow for individuals to purchase fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, breads and other items.
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What happens if it rains?

Rain or shine, the Gray Street Farmers' Market will be open every Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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