Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Market Town

For those of you wondering how the Farmer's Market went yesterday, I have a full up-close and personal account of the afternoon!
There were a few vendors present with fresh vegetables... and there were a few customers. Not a big turnout. It rained off and on and we wondered if that might be the reason for the low attendance, but there are other factors at work here.
This Farmer's Market in Lewiston's Kennedy Park has been a regular occurance for about three years now. Initially, there were more vendors but it was not well attended so many farmers chose not to continue their participation. Then, even when there might have been more people coming to shop at the market, there wasn't the selection of booths. One of those vicious circles that needs something great and amazing to change the direction of things. New faces and fresh energy in the organizational areas may help, there are certainly some good ideas worth working at.
Conversation continued when we got home. Some possible solutions might be to make it into a one time only veggie-fest and invite as many vendors as possible, not charge them to set up their booths... and publicize heavily in the community. I think this is a great idea. Once people, on both sides of the veggie table, can see the benefit and value of fresh, locally grown produce being sold directly to consumers it is hard to believe it wouldn't take off.
There are other farmer's markets in the area... Augusta holds market at the Sear's parking lot and Winthrop holds its market on the green in town... usually on Tuesdays and Saturdays through the growing season. I'm not sure how well attended these markets, or others, are and besides actually going I guess I wouldn't know. Many people work during the week, and I wonder how much volume can be expected on a Tuesday afternoon... again without actually going it would be hard to know first hand.
There was a reporter from the Lewiston Daily Sun present and he took a lot of photos, and spoke with a lot of the people at Kennedy Park's market yesterday. I'll be looking for the article on-line, and will let all of you know what information gets printed.
On a personal note, Richard and I had a fabulous time playing tunes. There were two guitar players present along with us, Jeff and Paul. Jeff's 'Easy Up' made for dry playing even during the heavy rains. We are considering going back to play again, partly because we enjoyed it so much but also because it is a way to support this worthwhile venture.

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