Last Friday, Our Kitchen Table hosted the vendors serving the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market for a 2011 market season review and 2012 season preview. At the beginning of last season, about a dozen farmers and growers indicated interest in selling at our two market locations. However, throughout the season, only a faithful three or four kept coming back regularly.
As managers of the markets, OKT hopes to attract more vendors who will commit to being at the markets week in and week out. Even though the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market has been running for quite a few years, roadblocks along the way have forced quite a few location changes. This has made it difficult for the market to gain momentum. The 2011 market season brought yet another location change. Growers expecting larger profits pulled out early on.
On the bright side, both the Garfield Park and Gerald R Ford School locations built a good community of customers by the end of the 2011 season. Even though vendor numbers were low, each week our customers found the produce they wanted to buy. The markets never sold out! These customers kept our faithful vendors coming back―and committed to returning next season. In fact, our vendors are now planning next year’s gardens to grow more of the specific foods that market customers will enjoy.
Would you like to see more variety and more vendors at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market? The best way to make that happen is to shop more at the market. Our vendors are good folks who enjoy doing a good turn—but they also need to go home with a little money in their pockets!
What would you like vendors to sell at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market next year? Contact OKT and let us know! OKTable1@gmail.com.