[Market-farming] (no subject)[board and farmers' market]

idyllwild farm idyllwildfarm at gmail.com
Sat Apr 23 16:43:27 EDT 2011

The BOH jurisdiction might be a question. As you relayed, I didn't hear a
lot of commentary focused on the public health, safety or welfare, which is
why the rest of the BOH might be voting approval without further comment.
Before I made a lot of noise, I'd want to talk to some other members of the
BOH to get their sense of it. I'd also want a clear understanding of the BOH
mandate in your community, since you have local home rule.
You could also think about running for the Board in the future.
Good Luck,

On Sat, Apr 23, 2011 at 9:56 AM, Road's End Farm
<organic87 at frontiernet.net>wrote:

> Hi Darnell,
> Is this a board on which the chair rotates with some frequency? It may not
> mean as much as you think that this particular person is now the chair -- he
> may just be the one who got stuck with it this year. (I serve on a town
> planning board that works like that.)
> If this is only one person on the board with a bug in his ear on the
> subject, I wouldn't worry about it too much. The rest of the board may be
> entirely used to listening to him rant for a while, and writing it off as
> just one of his pet peeves.
> If some of the soap ingredients do come from a local farm, can you offer
> board members a tour of the farm? How about offering tours of the rest of
> the operations?
> You might want to consider how large the market is likely to grow. The
> impact of a 40-vendor market is going to be bigger than that of a 6 member
> market. If the community in the immediate area is happy with you, this isn't
> likely to be a problem; but that might, or might not, mean that a market
> with 100 or 400 vendors would also be OK. If you're still growing, make sure
> you're considering space, noise, and traffic concerns.
> Also, make sure vendors are actually meeting the local production standards
> -- the market manager and/or board should be authorized to inspect vendors'
> operations.
> (How on earth do you consistently keep an exact 50% / 25% / 25% breakdown,
> anyway? Requiring at least 50% farm vendors, or even at least 50% produce
> vendors, makes sense; but you're not always going to have a number of
> vendors evenly divisible by 4, and you must have a large waiting list to
> draw from if you can always have that sort of exact percentage of types of
> vendors, even aside from that.)
> -- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
> Fresh-market organic produce, small scale
> On Apr 23, 2011, at 7:43 AM, darnell erickson wrote:
> I am looking for suggestions for a course of action from the members of
> this group....(and maybe a little sympathy too).....or a mild whack in the
> side of the head if I need it....(perhaps I am missing the bigger picture)
> Every year our market must get approval to operate from the local Board of
> Health.  Our market has grown from 6 full time vendors to nearly 40 in the
> past 10 years, and the Board of Health has chosen to require us to list
> every vendor and what they sell on our permit request.  In the past the
> Board has expressed concern that permitting sales of certain items (such as
> smoked fish, chocolates) created unfair competition for local businesses
> because we are being allowed a variance as a farmers market when it comes to
> building, structures and facilities (we are an open air market).
> Over the past few years one very vocal member of the board has expressed
> his concern over the things being offered at the market, saying that
> "nothing should be offered for sale at a farmers market that hasn't been
> grown in the ground and picked by a farmer".  This gentleman is now Chairman
> of the Board.  While stating that the "bell has been rung, and cannot be
> unrung" he then went on to attack Yarn and Soap offered at the market saying
> they are not Farm Products.  When challenged with the facts that the yarn
> was being made from locally shorn sheep and being spun at the market itself
> (mostly as an attractive educational booth for the kids) he said he'd "yield
> 50% on the yarn because sheep live on farms, but I don't care if its on a
> spinning wheel or a butane torch it's still not something that should be at
> a farmers market"  As to the soap (I am one of the soap makers), our Market
> Manager told him that Soap was a farm product and offered at many farmers
> markets.  He responded that just because others are doing it does not make
> it right.  He went on to state that he would lay long odds that nothing in
> the soap at our market came from a farm.  He warned us that he has seen the
> market grow further and further from his concept of a Farmers Market, and we
> should be very aware of that in the future.  Despite all of this, the board
> voted unanimously to grant our permit (and has in fact done so for the past
> 18 years.)
> Our bylaws require that 50% of our vendors are produce, 25% horticultural,
> 25% processed goods/other".  All of our vendors are required to grow/produce
> within our county.  Besides yarn and soap, both of which are side products
> of produce vendors, we have vendors offering baked goods, smoked fish
> (locally caught and prepared), herbed oils and vinegars, lobsters, cut
> flowers and arrangements, worm composters, worm tea, worm castings (one
> vermiculture vendor), lavender sachets, honey, beeswax candles,
> I have sent out a copy of the Board of Health meeting video to all of the
> market members and have invited them to join me at the Public Comment
> portion of the next BOH meeting to help educate the board and stand up for
> ourselves.  Our market manager and board president has suggested that we let
> sleeping dogs lie because we have to get this permit every year.  I am
> concerned that the dog seems to be waking up and growling and is about to
> bite me in the A**.
> When this reared its head two years ago I presented them with data
> regarding the USDA market, it's vendors and products, our state's Ag Dept's
> managed markets and their vendors and products, as well as data on the
> products at the oldest continually operating market in the country during
> Public Press.
> I feel strongly that those who sit in silence while their rights are being
> threatened shall inevitably lose them due to their apathy.
> I welcome comments and suggestions for handling (or not) this situation
> Darnell Caffoni
> Boxwood Gardens
> Cape Cod Massachusetts
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