[Market-farming] rural markets

Brigette Leach avalonfarmshomegrown at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 17 19:49:18 EDT 2007


Just a thought...does Arkansas have a state-wide farmers market
organization? If so, it can potentially be a good resource for the
decision making process on whether to start a market, how to structure
the governing organization, and once up and running other resources such
a food laws, contacts, and such. Perhaps others on the list can comment
on the services and resources their state-wide farmers market
organizations provide. It could be helpful to many. I'd also be curious
who is eligible for membership in the organization...farm markets only,
or are farmers eligible as well.

Roxann, it sounds as if the town has some assets that could be
capitalized upon. From what you've said, people are looking for a way to
connect and find a sense of community. Farmers Markets can be the tool
to build it. Can you find support for a market from local government? Is
there a Chamber or other economic development body in the community? Any
possible assistance from extension service...either county or state? Is
there a local newspaper? Is a public/private school located in town? Do
you have your own fire department or does the service come from a
neighboring area?

I'm asking all these questions to keep you thinking about the resources
that might be available. Over the years, I've found it productive to
first identify a need, which you have done, and then assess the
resources available to address the need.

Good luck,
Brigette
Avalon Farms Homegrown
www.avalonfarmshomegrown.com

roxann wrote:

>Has anyone had any experience with farmer's markets in very rural locations? our town is very small, pop. ~ 400-500, but we're also pretty isolated. our town square is dying, as the businesses are closing and our wonderful old buildings are lying unused. the old mercantile store shut down recently and the owner is open to working with me to establish a market there. the town is a tourist rest-stop, crossroads in the middle of nowhereand lots of bikers pass through on saturdays. there is one general storewith a bathroom and necessities, and a grill, still open but she is flailing, too, and i don't know how much longer she can hold out. something like a farmer's market to bring the people to the square more often would likely help the few remaining businesses. the locals seem to enjoy comingout of the hills and woods for even the smallest things, so i am thinking this might be something that might help. 
>
>roxann, kingston, ar
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