[Market-farming] rural markets

Lynn Wigglesworth lynnw1366 at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 18 12:23:45 EDT 2007

In Pennsylvania, the organizations that assist farmers' markets
concentrate on the more populated areas. We are in a very rural area, and
the message I hear over and over from Farmer and Farmers' Market groups is
"that program hasn't gotten to your area yet". We started a new farmers'
market last year and haven't gotten any help. Local, county, state
government, cooperative extension...none have given much support. We have
no funding (except what we get from vendors' fees), had to find our own
location (we are not allowed on The Green in town), pay for advertising,
print our own fliers, find vendors, make our own signs, etc. with no help.
Running a farmers' market is a lot of work and out-of-pocket expenses; we
had our own lives and farms to run. 'Market Manager' is an unpaid position
in my market (vendors' fees barely paid for advertising), and I close down
my own Farm Stand on Fridays to do the Farmers' Market, but never made
more than $30-40 on a market day. And I'm doing it again this year (and
wondering why).

Lynn Wigglesworth
Peasant Farmer
Tioga County, PA

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Brigette Leach" <avalonfarmshomegrown at earthlink.net>
To: "roxann" <roxann at ancientearthwisdom.com>; "Market Farming"
<market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>; <afhg at ctsmail.net>
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 7:49 PM
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] rural markets

> 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
> >http://blog.ancientearthwisdom.com
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> >
> >
> >
> >
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