BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Sometimes you just have to give a project your all, even if you are donating your time. Tim Earnhart and Kyle Cochran, owners of Rustic Nail & Co., agreed to ‘fix up’ an old school bus to serve as a new Mobile Market for the Community Farmer’s Market. This was their volunteer contribution to the cause of helping families across the city have better access to fresh, healthy foods. But with each cost of paint applied, and each repair, their interest and dedication to the project has grown.
"Our passion for what we do is definitely being felt and applied to this mobile market bus for the Community Farmers Market,” stated Earnhart, “To date, it's the most unique project we have ever done." The once ancient and discarded school bus, refreshed and renewed, will carry farmer’s market produce to parts of the city where people have few options for purchasing fresh food.
“Certain parts of Bowling Green and Warren County have been designated as Food Deserts by the USDA,” stated Michelle Howell, “These census block groups have few or no stores that carry fresh fruits and vegetables, and a high percentage of households do not have a vehicle.” Howell works with the WKU program Local Food for Everyone. She and her husband Nathan are also founding members of Community Farmer’s Market.
Howell along with staff from WKU and volunteers from Community Farmers Market have already been organizing trial market days in different locations around the city. “We’ve held two markets in the front yard of the Barren River District Health Department on State Street, one at the Boys and Girls Club, and one at the Foundry in Bowling Green’s west side. All have been extremely successful and popular with people who live or work in those locations. Having the bus will mean that the mobile market can operate in more than one location in a day, and be more flexible in where it goes.”
The school bus was in bad shape originally, but is having quite a rebirth. The inside is now cherry red, to match the wheels. Rustic Nail & Co. is installing a hardwood floor from reclaimed lumber. "Each day we are finding something else we can highlight or feature on this bus. It will be the little things that people will be most impressed by when they see it for the first time."