Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

April 20, 2013

Local at its best: Bounty of the Barrens opens

Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — Saturday morning was a locavore's dream in Glasgow. Sustainable Glasgow, Western Kentucky University-Glasgow, Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market and Stellar House offered community members an opportunity to join in a group bicycle ride, shop local food and art at the farmers market, listen to live, local music, hear speeches from a state representative and the Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture and wrap the whole morning up with a local food tasting and visiting with friends at a locally-owned restaurant.

The chilly morning may have had its impact on the first Tour de Farm bicycle ride from WKU-G to the square, but as the sun came out, the grand opening of the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers Market summer season on the square saw plenty of visitors. Fresh vegetables and eggs sold quickly.

Music by The Pennyrilers and the antics of WKU's Big Red kept everyone entertained before State Rep. Johnny Bell, D-Glasgow, and Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer spoke to the crowd about the importance of agriculture in Kentucky and the value of keeping one's money in the local economy. Not only do the food dollars strengthen the community's economy, but a consumer at a farmers market can be assured of where their food came from, Comer said.

“When you buy [your food] at your local farmers market, you know exactly where it's coming from,” Comer said. “You can drive by there.”

For a person interested in sustainability, there is no better place to shop than the farmers market, Comer said.

After addresses by Bell, Comer and Sustainable Glasgow President Dr. William Travis, community members drifted across the square to Stellar House to enjoy a farm to table tasting prepared by Chef Dan Polak. Selections included bison burgers, deviled eggs, spicy beef tacos, sausage flatbread, grilled asparagus, pork tenderloin sandwiches and mini cheesecakes. All of the dishes were made with ingredients purchased by vendors at the Bounty of the Barrens, Polak said. Recipe cards explained what was in each dish, and which local producer grew or made the ingredients. It's easy to make delicious food from ingredients bought at the farmers market if you have a little guidance, Polak said.

“My magic isn't magic, it's just hot pans and good products,” Polak told those at the tasting.

Travis said he was extremely pleased with the food.

“The food was fantastic here, and this is the kind of stuff you can get with items available at the market,” Travis said.

Peggy Bates, owner of Stellar House and one of the primary organizers of Saturday's events, said she was pleased with the turnout and hopes it got everyone excited about the farmers market and the great food and musical talent available in Glasgow.

“I thought it was wonderful,” Bates said.