Laurie White – Action Team Lead, Community Farm Alliance

Meetings on last Sunday of each month, 7:00-8:00pm

Next meeting: August 28, 2022

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Meeting ID: 841 6316 4005
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Mission Statement:

To provide education, training, volunteer coordination, and technical support to our Central Kentucky service region regarding closing the gaps on food accessibility as well as sustainable agriculture practices and resources.

Food Accessibility & Agricultural Land Use

A food desert is an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food. In Central Kentucky, food deserts (shown in green) are generally in more rural areas with limited accessibility to more varied food resources than their urban counterparts.

With food accessibility being one of the central focuses of our mission, we have compiled a list of food vendors and markets in our service region by county and additional information on food accessibility:
BGGS Service Region Food Vendor Listing »
Food Apartheid: What Does Food Access Mean In America? [article] »

If you are looking for land to grow food in Fayette County, but don’t know where to start, this document is for you:
Bluegrass Land Access Guide »

To learn more about the Fayette County Zoning regulations that influence what land is usable for growing, check out this document:
Summary of Urban Agriculture Zoning Regulations »

Previous Meeting Notes (Archived)

Notes from previous meetings:


  • Food is health!
  • The team is currently working on a resource map to collaborate with other teams
    • Nicole added a few farmers markets
    • Laurie added 2 new tabs
    • more resources were added
  • next: the team’s land access guide
    • this session, the team added a couple new items


New and continuing projects with the BGGS Sustainable Agriculture & Local Food Action Team:
1. Recruitment – We’re coming up on one year of the Action Teams. There will be no sustainability summit this year, but we would like to celebrate and promote the Action Teams. We started brainstorming last night about how we might highlight our work, possibly with a recorded video or some kind of interactive virtual forum, possibly in conjunction with the other action teams. More to come.
2. Mapping – we recently circled back to an idea that came up early in our local food discussions – creating an asset map. Andrea has some experience with ARC GIS mapping. We have our newsletter article as a starting point for sources of local food, but also are thinking about other local food assets like educational resources. We’d love to have the whole team’s input on populating the map.
3. Continuing projects – We continue to develop our toolkit for how to access land for growing food. We are continuing to explore the viability of land use agreements for land owners to access agricultural tax exemptions by renting/leasing their land for farming enterprises.
  • In light of the opportunity presented by Ginger’s contact to ask an undergraduate student to design a web page for the Food Team’s land access guide, the following was determined:
    • Would need consistent branding with BGGS
    • It’s a design of a page, not an actual web page
    • Need 3 farmers and 3 landowners to execute the assignment
    • The group has decided to wait until next semester to take advantage of this opportunity, to give the team time to gain more members and to make a “rough draft” on the BGGS website
    • Would include
      • land access guide
      • tax info
      • a way to connect people
    • Alternatives
      • Facebook page
      • a page on BGGS site
      • a Google Site
  • Some farms in and around Lexington are renting plots
  • Overall goal: To re-interpret horticultural law so everyone understands what’s required to start an urban farm; make the application clearer (statute 132.010 [9-11])
  • Next steps:
    • Laurie is reaching out to Fayette Alliance for application interpretation
    • Ginger is reaching out to David O’Neill about parcel information
    • Andrea is looking at urban farms in Lexington to find out sizes



  • Making toolkit for those who want to grow their own food
  • Making toolkit for landowners who want to change the use of their land to agriculture
  • Route without policy change
    • tax assessment
    • LRC (legislation research commission) did a study on commercial property use
      • KY does tax assessment differently to make it easier for farmers
      • determined by minimum lot size instead of how much is produced or income
      • 10 acre lots in Fayette Co. are taxed at fair market value instead of having agriculture tax break
      • loophole(?): horticulture tax break
        • need 5 acres for horticulture tax break
  • Who would be interested?
    • students/potential farmers/prospective farmers
    • “practice” lots
  • Next steps: case studies



  • Land for growing being more accessible to people who want to grow
    • Unused land for the public to grow food
    • Could we create a local ordinance for landowners of commercial properties to get an incentive of some kind for allowing their urban land to be used for growing? (maybe some kind of tax break)
  • Turn 1-10 acres residential plots into gardens/small farms/community gardens
    • Use pandemic to our advantage for messaging
    • ½ ac. Can yield a “profitable” farm
    • Micro-farms
    • Pull in/identify resource people we can ask questions about
      • Use examples of what other people have done
      • Use recent grads as resources
      • Case studies
        • Orlando–Fleet Farming?
        • Plant a Row for the Hungry?
      • Land access issues


Starting with a summary of themes from previous discussions:

1 education/awareness about local & sustainable food
2 empower people to grow their own food
3 mapping the food system (who’s doing what)

School FRYSCs are forming basic needs collaborative work groups, one focusing on understanding lack of access to healthy food

Question – what do group members want to see happen in this group?
One Team Member is interested in building networks.
Another Team Member wants to learn about food deserts & access to healthy foods in Franklin County
A third Team Member would like to see something written by us that we can share.
BGGS publishing opportunities – newsletter & social media

Team can write something for the monthly newsletter, which goes out around the 15 th of each month. Newsletter items also go to the blog. We can also create content for the BGGS facebook page (posts usually get 200-700 engagements).

Newsletter article – a Team Member proposed a curated list of where to buy local food for the newsletter. Said Team Member will start a google doc, and the group can contribute.

There was some discussion of whether we should recommend CSAs, considering the upfront cost and budget constraints that many are under. One Team Member lifted up the work of sliding scale CSAs, like fresh stops.

Watch for the draft newsletter article to post to the foodteam email.

Next meeting Monday June 8 @4:30. Laurie will send a calendar invitation.


Group email can be addressed to

Introductions in 3 parts (name & community, relationship to ag/local food, a story or experience with local food since the start of pandemic)

Laurie gave an overview of the formation of this group from the Sustainability Summit in February. After brainstorming, the group prioritized the following goals (3 goals tied for 3rd priority):

#1 – Increase education and awareness

#2 – Increase access to quality food and address food deserts

#3a – Increase education about waste reduction

#3b – Define sustainability

#3c – Empower people to grow their own food

At the conclusion of the Summit, Ashton Potter Wright challenged the group to champion the 10% local food campaign.

At our March meeting, we discussed starting with some asset mapping to address questions around the work that is already being done in the community and what needs there are still.

Ashton shared a little about the 10% local food initiative. Her work, together with Sarah Fritschner and Lilian Brislen was inspired be a trip to North Carolina, where they have a consumer-faced campaign and a program that offers online tracking. Ashton recommends checking out the work of NC’s campaign. A couple of other efforts Ashton wanted us to know about: LexFresh is doing something with Leadership Lexington. North Farm is developing a comprehensive strategy for people to grow their own food, in partnership with Seedleaf. Food Chain is also doing a lot of work, as always, but particularly, right now, during pandemic, preparing and distributing meals.

A Team Member is gardening at London Ferrill Community garden on 3rd street (on land owned by a church). They offer sliding scale plot rentals and a fenced community plot with fruits and berries that is open periodically to members. They host cookouts and often offer workshops (on hold during pandemic).

About group Goals

Two Team Members are particularly interested in empowering people to grown their own food and thereby building resiliency. One has started a garden club. She is interested in designing a truck to be a mobile wash station.

Laurie mentioned that Kentucky Refugee Ministries is looking for help with establishing container gardens for refugee families living in apartments.

A Team Member is particularly interested in building education and awareness.

Another Team Member is interested in connecting with others in Frankfort.

The Learning Center in Lexington is hosting and/or teaching community gardening, and providing school lunches.

A Team Member is advocating for other FRYSC members to encourage home gardening and taking steps to prep for the school’s fall garden. Navigating split families is a challenge. Recently, colleagues took fruits and veg to distribute at a trailer park. She is interested in data demonstrating the value of growing food. Please share. This Team Member also recommends the work of Kitty Durham at Shaker Village Farm. Some possible sources of publicity for the Shaker Village Farm are the Breaking Beans podcast (a production of Community Farm Alliance & Appalshop) and Lexington Food Justice Network radio program.

Group actions:

Check out the NC 10% campaign (Laurie will send links)

Share data about the value of home gardening with Team Member

Check out the info shared from Black Soil, via Ashley Smith (Giulia Parli will forward to group)

Does anyone want to work on compiling local food resources into some kind of map?


Introductions & summary of Sustainability summit -top goals from the focus group at the summit below:

#1 (1) More education and awareness

#2 (2) Accessibility to foods and addressing food deserts

#3 (3) Education about food waste reduction

(9) Define sustainability

(13) Empowering people to grow their own food

Ashton has challenged us to champion the 10% local food budget.

In regards to the goals above, we asked the following questions:

What’s out there?

What’s already being done?

Where are there needs still?

There was some discussion of creating a sort of asset map for the area.

Related to empowering food growing – AppHarvest has a container farm in Pikeville as an educational facility demonstrating home food production.

Related to food waste – Seedleaf compost service is being discontinued, but will be picked up by a new entity TreeHouse Compost.

Related to low income food access, CFA and BG F2T are working on Double Dollars. There are also Fresh Stop markets and veggie prescription programs are in development.

Niki recommended the Lexington Trash Talk page, which has a resource person replying about waste stream questions constantly. Could local food have such a resource with realtime responses?

Many organizations were considered in thinking about work that is already being done:

-Feeding Kentucky (Laurie)

-Bluegrass Farm to Table

-Community Action Center, including Winburn Community Garden (Tiffany)

-FoodChain (Norma)

-Black Soil, including Farmer Brown & Kenya Abraham’s kids’ farm ed program (Tiffany)

-Family Care Center (Nicki – tentative)

-Seedleaf (Travis)

-London Ferrill Community Garden

Our first action step is to compile a list/map of assets regarding local food access in the area (where to get local food and where to grow it yourself), including educational opportunities (both growing and cooking/processing seasonal/local foods). We each committed to collect information from an organization or two.

Saw our article in BGGS’s June newsletter? Here’s the list of local food vendors by county (in Central Kentucky)!

Suggested vendors by county:

Owen – Chappell Farms Produce –

Harrison – Ken’s Fresh Foods –

Harrison County Farmers’ Market –

Burley Market & Cafe –

Scott – Evan’s Orchard Cider Mill –

Elmwood Stock Farm –

Georgetown/Scott County Farmers Market

Shelby – Harmony Fields Farm –

The Friendly Farmers Fridge mobile farm food truck

Franklin – The Stave –

Rick’s White Light Diner –

Franklin County Farmers Market –

Happy Jack’s Farm –

Millville Community Market

Anderson – Anderson County Farmers’ Market –

Woodford – Eckert’s Orchard –

Midway Bakery & Cafe –

Wallace Station –

Salad Days Farm –

Fayette – Good Foods Co-op –

The Kentucky Castle –

Lexington Farmers Market –

Bluegrass Farmers Market –

Bourbon – Reed Valley Orchard –

Paris Bourbon County Farmers Market & Marketeria

Montgomery – Karl’s Produce –

Montgomery County Farmers Market

Clark – Winchester/Clark County Farmers’ Market –

Full Circle Market

Beech Springs Farm Market

Wildcat Willy’s Distillery

Jessamine – Nicholasville Farmers Market –

Mercer – Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill – Reopening June 15 –

Kountry Kupboard – Bulk food Amish Grocery and roadside stand –

Boyle – Grace Cafe –

Boyle County Farmers Market –

Danville Nutrition Center –

Lincoln – Lincoln County Farmers’ Market –

The Bluebird Cafe

Lincoln County Produce Auction –

Garrard – Garrard Farmers’ Market –

Marksbury farm market

The Pasture at Marksbury Farm

Madison – Lazy Eight Stock Farm –

Madison County Farmers Market –

Berea Farmers Market –

Berea College Farm Store

Baldwin Farms –

Happy Meadow Natural Foods

Estill – Appalachian Crafts CSA –

Estill County Farmers Market –

Powell – Powell County Farmers’ Market –

For more specific suggestions in the 20 county area of Bluegrass Greensource, visit these directories: or