The Knox County Farmers’ Market serves Knox Countians from all walks of life. To do this, it opens its gates to farmers outside of the county in order to offer a better selection.
“I live in Laurel County but Knox County as gracious enough to invite us to come down and accept us even though we were out of county,” said Pete Lambert. “Some counties have restrictions that no one outside the county can be a member and that hurts the market because the more vendors you’ve got, the more selection you’ve got, the more variety you’ve got, the more public comes to visit you. And your market prospers and grows. We’ve got some programs going now. We accept the SNAP benefits, and the farmer’s market WIC is an excellent program; it provides young families, especially those with children, with a supply of fresh vegetables and God knows they need to eat healthy if they will.”
Lambert owns and runs Lazy Acre Farm in Lily. On his 12 acres, Lambert grows the usual crops of corn, tomato, various melons, peppers, and okra.
“About anything you can grow in a garden, I grow it,” said Lambert.
But, his specialty is homebased microprocessing.
“I was with the Whitley County Farmer Market and the University of Kentucky and the department of agriculture offered a course where you could get certified as a home-based microprocessor. I signed up,” said Lambert. “I had been doing it for home use; I would can some chowchow to give away as a gift for Christmas or a birthday. Then I realized that the public really liked that. Especially the older people who had grew up on a farm or been associated with farming, these products were in their childhood and in their memories and yet, you can’t just go anywhere and buy it, especially the good stuff.”
Lambert’s chowchow and salsa have become two of his best sellers. But, he also enjoys introducing the public to new tastes such as tomato jelly and banana pepper mustard.
“The banana pepper mustard is catching on, its somewhat unfamiliar, not many people know what it is,” said Lambert. “But once they try it, you can see the wheels start turning and they come up with all sorts of recipes to use the product.”
Lambert was born and raised on a farm and knows the hardships and benefits that go along with it. When asked what his favorite aspect of farming was, Lambert said:
“I would say the work,” he said laughing, “The work is the predominant thing about farming, but I enjoy going out there and seeing what Mother Nature and the Earth will produce for me. Sometimes I do well and sometimes, with a combination of weather and insects it doesn’t work out so good. Sometimes it’s disheartening, but most of the time it is really a pleasure to do it.”
Lambert has begun growing the love of farming in three of his grandchild. The 5,7, and 8 year olds help Lambert work the land during the summer.
“They’re very interested in it and they get a great deal of enjoyment out of get out there,” said Lambert. “I’m learning them what farm life is like. Children that grow up on a farm have a step up in life, they really do.”
You can find Lambert at the Knox County Farmers’ Market 5-8 p.m. every Thursday. You can also contact Lazy Acre Farm at 606-344-6058.