Episode 60: Jann Knappage


by Rodney Wilson

Hobby Farms Presents: Growing good Jann Knappage

Kentucky farmer Jann Knappage talks with Hobby Farms Presents: Growing Good podcast host Lisa Munniksma about part-time farming, farmers markets, working behind the scenes in Extension, and food preservation.

Get to know Cooperative Extension’s Nutrition Education Program and the behind-the-scenes work that goes into bringing Extension programming to us as farmers and citizens. Jann explains the University of Kentucky’s Recovery Garden Toolkit, bringing gardening programs into substance-use recovery centers; Growing Your Own publications for homesteaders and home gardeners; the Farmers Market Toolkit for farmers markets wanting to reach customers purchasing food with SNAP; and the Cook Wild Kentucky program, promoting the heritage of hunting, fishing and foraging in the state. (You need to hear why Jann had a meeting in a Lowes parking lot in Eastern Kentucky!)

Learn about how the Red River Gorge Farmers Market was born from Jann and her partner’s own dreams of building community and bolstering local farmers’ income. Now in their third season, the market runs two days a week with as many as 40 vendors and features various community programs. Jann gets honest about what it’s like to start and run a farmers market as a volunteer—the good and the less good.

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Jann also talks about her and her partner’s Fox and Hen Farm and the journey they took through a series of rental properties—including one that involved growing in 5-gallon buckets and another that flooded—for 3 1/2 years until they found a place to call their own. And she shares her hack for getting through food preservation while managing a full-time job, young baby, farmers market and regular life.

Listen to the end for Jann to convince you that you need to be eating beet greens—and to get a creative recipe for using them.

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