Greenfield Farmers Market flourishes during inaugural year

City looks at new ideas for 2014, including May start date

Nov. 12, 2013

Greenfield — The Greenfield Farmers Market recently ended an extremely successful first season, said Lisa Forsch, who serves on the Greenfield Farmers Market Planning Committee.

The more than 50 sellers at the market were happy with it and plan to return, Forsch said. At its peak, every available stall was filled. And customers were extremely happy as well, based on a survey and feedback throughout the season, which ended Oct. 27, she added.

Earlier opportunities

The market was open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays in Konkel Park, 5151 W. Layton Ave. This year, the market opened in June, but a May opening is contemplated for 2014, Forsch said.

"We're looking at having an early plants and bedding market the first three weeks in May," she said.

The market also could offer early crops such as asparagus that it missed this year and have merchandise such as salsa or bakery that don't rely on the growing season, she said.

The market will suspend operations during Dan Jansen Family Fest, which also takes place in Konkel Park.

New ideas

Also, organizers are already working on customer suggestions for next year, Forsch said. Those ideas include more picnic tables to enjoy treats purchased at the market and more shade so that patrons can listen to the bands more comfortably on hot summer days.

Next year, organizers also will try to recruit special vendors to enhance the mix of sellers, Forsch said.

Specialty sellers could be sought, she said. Such sellers could include a tea vendor that would have tea to drink on site or to make at home.

Vendors who sell soup or ready-to-eat foot products are also possible. The market already has vendors who sell food that can be eaten right there. They have sold African and Asian cuisine, sausages and brats, and snack items, Forsch said.

Market marketing

The market is supported by a portion of Greenfield's hotel/motel tax and by booth fees from the sellers. Next year, community sponsorships also will be sought.

The Greenfield Health Department spearheaded the effort to establish the market in response to the many requests and a community survey focusing on the idea. The Health Department has favored Greenfield having a farmers market to help improve public health with the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables.

The farmers market wasn't started to make money, Forsch said. It's more of a quality of life program, she said.

— Jane Ford-Stewart

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