Fresh produce coming soonNot everyone who likes fresh summer produce has the time or talent to grow it. But those Farmington residents can rejoice — a new farmer’s market opens locally in just two weeks.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
Not everyone who likes fresh summer produce has the time or talent to grow it. But those Farmington residents can rejoice — a new farmer’s market opens locally in just two weeks.
The city of Farmington is overseeing the new farmer’s market. Community development administrative assistant Lisa Dargis is getting pretty excited for the opening, too — which really, she should be, since she has been working on this project for the past several months. The first night, she expects to have about 15 vendors on hand.
“We’ll have lots of produce,” Dargis said. “Produce, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onions, egg plant, lettuce, melons, squash, apples, eggs, berries. And baked goods, too. There’s different breads, trail mixes, granola, bread sticks, rolls, doughnuts, cookies. Hopefully, we’ll be getting some flowers, too, and as far as I know, the Devneys are selling alpaca yarn.”
The interest is pleasing, since Dargis figured on getting only about 10 vendors for the first year, which is what new markets typically feature. And with two more weeks until the opening, there is a chance a few more vendors could sign up, she said.
For the most part, Dargis has enough produce vendors. But, she may add a few more, depending on how well those already participating do. If there is a need for more, she will certainly open up more spots. And if an interested vendor has something else in mind, well, that is open for discussion, too.
“If people are interested in selling something we don’t have out there, I’ll certainly entertain the notion all season,” she said. “We definitely have some more room for more booths, so it wouldn’t be a problem.”
The farmer’s market will be held in the old Lampert lumber yard, located next to the elevator on Spruce Street, just a block west of city hall. The space offers quite a few nice amenities to the market. Not only are there some covered bays that can be used — particularly during rainy evenings — but there is on-site parking available.
There are two outdoor storage buildings on the site. Right now, the market will use one of those, but when some of the other special events are going on, the second building can be used, as well.
The farmer’s market will not only be a showcase of some of the area’s vendors. It will also be something of a weekly mini-event, with special activities planned to feature some of Farmington’s organizations and businesses.
Opening night, July 9, is the “kick off” night for the market. To promote recycling in the community, every shopper will receive a free, complimentary “Chico bag,” a reusable bag that folds up into a little pouch. The Chico bag has a little clip on it so it can be attached to a purse or belt loop when it is not in use.
On July 16, Rambling River Center will be featured, with information about the center available, as well as exhibits from some of the activities. The following week, July 23, will be Kid’s Night, when the city will bring out the puppet wagon for a few shows, and kids can get their faces painted or pluck a duck from the duck pond for small prizes. The Dakota Valley Arts Council will host an art show for the July 30 market.
Having the market at this location in Farmington will hopefully serve another purpose, Dargis said — to bring people downtown and maybe promote some interest in the businesses located nearby. Actually, all of Farmington’s businesses have an opportunity to participate in the Aug. 20 market, too, which is Local Business Night.
“We’re hoping business people will want to participate in that,” Dargis said. “Basically, it’s no holds-barred. We’ll just see what people come up with.”
Still to come
Dargis is also looking for entertainers to perform at the market. Volunteer entertainers — maybe a soloist or a juggler — are something she would like to add to the market line-up.
Regardless, the biggest test of success will come once the market actually opens. Dargis has been out putting up signs around the community and putting flyers into the utility bills to let residents know the market is coming. Now, the market’s popularity remains to be seen.
“What I keep hearing from people in town, most people are pretty excited about it,” she said.