What is a Farmer's Market?
Definition: A farmers market (a.k.a. greenmarket) is a place where farmers sell their products directly to consumers. Ultra-fresh produce, pastured meat and eggs, artisan cheeses, hand-harvested honey, and other fresh, small-batch foodstuffs are the hallmark (and benchmark) of the best farmers markets. They serve not just as a place for farmers to get the best price and consumers to get the best products, but as venues for producers and consumers of food to come together, forge relationships, and exchange information.
Note: Some "farmers markets" have vendors that sell produce they bought from wholesalers and then re-sell to consumers. Are there bananas at your farmers market in Minnesota? Be suspicious. That produce is the same that is available in supermarkets, which is fine, but then why go to the trouble of going to a farmers market?
Last night we held the first Market Farmer's meeting of the year. We feel that the purpose of a local Farmer's Market is to promote our local farmers and craftspeople who are putting their own sweat, blood, and sometimes tears, into their products. So we felt we needed to hammer down some guidelines for next years Farmer's Market. Here's what we came up with so far (in some areas we'll have to get approval).
The Coudersport Farmer's Market will be held on Fridays, from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., instead of on Saturdays - except for one Saturday a month that will coincide with a proposed "Saturday on the Square" project by the Coudersport Chamber of Commerce. We hope this change to a weekday will give the people who work in town an opportunity to visit us. We will also set up on Festival and high volume Saturdays, like the Maple Festival, the 4th of July weekend, the Falling Leaves festival, etc.
The Market is free for those who are coming and selling their own produce - or up to 75% of their own produce or items (crafts, etc.) - with the other portion coming from a local farmer.
Anyone selling more then 75% of someone else's produce or items will be charged a fee.
That's about it. As we get closer to time - and following future market farmer meetings - I'll keep you updated!