Last weekend, one week before our first Farmers Market, we hosted a pre- farmers market lunch to get our farmers excited for this weekend.
The lunch took place at the Williamson Community Center, and was a potluck style meeting.
The main was objective, other than to get everyone together and enthusiastic about our early start date, was to clear up some topics that were left unresolved last season, such as operation hours, price guidelines, signage, heating and cooling beneath our structure, and other things.
Additionally, the meeting was planned so that we could open up a dialogue with our vendors about production. Last season, which happened to be our first full season of operation, our vendors did not work together as well as they could to plan what and when they were planting. As a result, they would all be overloaded with the same one product during any given market.
This season, the farmers themselves, came up with the idea of coordinating their stagger planting times. Since many of our farmers are older, it will make it easier on them, since they will have just enough of specific crops coming up each week, and not a huge surplus of stuff where they are forced to harvest more than they can both handle and sell.
The seed (and plant) swap, as well the meeting, was wildly successful. Nearly all of our farmers brought something, and they had an extensive dialogue about what has been planted already, as well as plans for the future. It was really great to see them all working and coordinating with one another!
This weekend, our farmers market will officially start, with three preseason markets before we are open every weekend starting June 1st. It was decided at our meeting last Saturday that we would stay open the same hours this year, from 8am-4pm. A long day but we are excited to start selling the produce in our high tunnels!!