[Market-farming] RE: Madison, WI, Market

Carol Larsen sunborn at mhtc.net
Thu Jan 30 00:25:15 EST 2003

Yes, I have been a cut flower vendor at the Dane County Farmer's Market
since 1975, give or take a year, more or less. I have ranged from being
into it lock stock and barrel to just keeping my hands in only a little
bit while pursuing a 'career'. I am back full time now. Can't stay away!
I have seen the market go from 3 cut flower vendors to almost half of
the vendors selling at least some flowers. I remember the first vendor
who marketed their produce as 'organic'. There are other markets in
Madison, such as the Hilldale market 30-50 vendors, I think, which I
understand has a waiting list too, but I am not familiar with it. Also a
new Eastside market on Fridays... you could contact the folks at the
Willy St Market as I think that they are working on this. Last year a
Southside market began but I am not sure it will return. There is a USDA
web site with a list of all the farm markets in the US.... not sure how
well the list is updated. http://www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets
At the Dane County Market on the square there are approx 300 member
vendors but only about 180 at any one market. Since the market has
instituted a waiting list I understand that there are usually about
90-100 people on it at any given time. The opportunity to be a member
comes up in about 3 years, give or take a year but it takes considerably
longer to have a set season stall for the full market year (we divide
the outside market season into 3 separate segments. On Weds the market
is moved to an adjacent area between the City /County buildings. 
Enforcement of the rules is done with inspections on the farm and at the
stands. If someone complains you can bet it will be looked into. I am
sure that 99% of the vendors abide by the 'grow, produce and sell by
owner' rule. There is a great web site: dcfm.org. I posted a notice just
a week or so ago say that the Dane County Farmer Market is looking for a
Market Manager. All the info on that (including salary range) is on the
web site. Contact info for the current Market Managers is there too so
you could request the DCFM rules and regs.

Carol Larsen
Sunborn Gardens

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