Farmers’ Market Winter Meeting
February 8, 2006, 7:15pm
- Attending: Lois, Tom,
Mitch, Jack, Tess, Veronica, Melissa, Faith, Linda, Hanne, Sisters
Elizabeth and Bernadette, Amanda, Elaine, Peg, Doug, Barbara
- Lois called the
meeting to order
- Tess announced that
Bob Van Deventer, Top Notch Farm, will not be attending the market
this year. He has early tomatoes, green peppers, and cucumbers.
Any ideas on how to fill that void?
- Ideas were to actively
pursue new farmers to join the market that fill that void and/or
have the Annies stand sell some of Bob’s early produce until
other farmers have the same products. The committee said Annies
could sell Bob’s produce.
- Barbara said it’s
hard to consider coming back to the market and will leave the
market. Her sales dropped too much last year for it to be worthwhile
to come back.
- Lois said to advertise
voids in the market and to advertise for new farmers to join.
Amanda will work on this.
- Elaine of Mainely
Apples will be at the market this year and have apples and cider
available in September.
- Hanne of Cornerstone
Farm will bring lots of pork, some beef, maybe eggs, and maybe yarn.
She mentioned that if the Annies stand wants to carry eggs, she
would be fine with that.
- Tom, Lois, Mitch, and
Jack of Snakeroot Farm will bring perennials, vegetable and herb
seedlings, carrots, rhubarb, tomatoes, spicy greens, asparagus,
fiddleheads, mushrooms at some point. Tess mentioned that it would
be great if Snakeroot Farm would cook mushrooms at market to
familiarize customers with the mushrooms.
- Sisters B and E of
Transfiguration Hermitage will have breads, Asian foods, jams,
jellies, pickles, pies, cookies, prepared lunches, sugar snap peas.
- It was mentioned that
Pete Curra will be selling at the market.
- Someone mentioned
Judy’s goats milk soap and that that is a good product to make
sure either the Annies stand or she is there to sell it.
- Tom mentioned that
Amanda should send list of Annies products to Tom for the website
- Faith said she would
like to see spelt flour, oats, and grains at the market. Webb
Family Farm in Pittsfield was a possible farm to approach for that.
Either selling it at the Annies stand or seeing if they wanted to be
sell it themselves.
- Hanne mentioned with
Top Notch and Barbara Walch pulling out of the market that we have
room for farmers and that we should be recruiting farmers instead of
food going to the Annies stand. People agreed with that. Farmers
should be approached to sell at the market first before approaching
them to sell at the Annies stand.
- Amanda said she would
give information for Tom to post it on the Unity Market Day website
and the Maine Farmers Market Network website.
- All agreed it was
worthwhile to do the brochure again. Hanne suggested that we print
double the amount of brochures this year than was printed last year
since everyone ran out of brochures to hand out last year. Amanda
will redo the brochure and have the Board look at it and approve it
before it goes to the printer.
- Amanda mentioned the
UBR newsletter contains a full-page ad/information about the market.
The market pays for that ad, last year it was $400.00 for four
issues sent out to 2000 households each issue. This year the
newsletter will be scaled back to around 500 households, therefore
the amount would be no more than $50.00 to advertise in each issue.
There was a motion made to keep advertising in the UBR newsletter
and it was approved.
- Due to the amount in
the account people decided it best not to do paid advertising in
local newspapers. Instead, sending a press release to the papers
would be best. Amanda asked that if people already write articles
for a CSA newsletter that the farmers may do, to please send her
articles and she would get them to the local newspapers.
- All thought street
directional signs were worthy of investing in, if there is money.
Lois mentioned that there would not be a Winslow Farmers Market this
year and that she would look into getting their directional signs.
Amanda would look into how much it will be to have a few more made.
- A motion was made and
accepted to no longer advertise on the Rotary Placemat Ad that is at
the Homestead Restaurant.
- Lois asked if any
tents need to be purchased for the market? Tess mentioned that the
market vendors might want to think about having their own tents
rather than the market owning tents. Storage is becoming an issue
for the tents. All agreed not to purchase any new tents and that
the tents available should be used until they are no longer in good
condition. At that time it will become the responsibility of the
vendor to supply their own tent.
- Increase voting
membership to include Palmyra.
- No one could remember
if the Market Rules had been amended to add the town of Palmyra as a
voting member. A ballot was passed around to vote on adding
Palmyra. Sisters B & E asked if Windsor could be added as well.
It was added to the ballot and there was a unanimous vote in favor
of adding the two towns.
- Tom suggested that the
rules be changed entirely to take out that first paragraph in
section 7 of the rules, so that all members will be able to vote.
Hanne agreed that the rule should be changed since on first glance
it can be interpreted that only those towns listed are able
participate in the market. She stressed that we need more vendors,
so we should do everything to encourage new applicants.
- Tess mentioned that in
order to change a rule a notice needs to go out ten days prior to
the Annual Meeting or through a mailed ballot. Proposed changes
need to be developed either by the Board or by a group of at least
five Members petitioning the Board to have its proposed changes
- Board Nominations
- Three positions are
open on the Board. Linda Kersbergen’s two year appointment
ends at the Annual Meeting as well as Bob Van Deventer who will no
longer be at the market. Lois nominated Peter Curra to the Board.
Sister Elizabeth was nominated and Linda said she would be willing
to serve another two year term.
- Lois talked about that
if you are selling any products not grown on your own farm that the
product(s) need to be identified with a sign about where the product
comes from. Everyone agreed that this needs to be done better. It
is in the market rules, section 9.
- Tom aptly defined it,
if you pay for a product and then resell it, those are the products
that need to be identified at your booth.
- Hanne wondered if the
Maine State Law that requires that at least 75% of the product that
you sell at the market must originate at the vendors own farm or
food processing operation. Amanda said that that is something she
should be monitoring.
- Market Calendar
- Amanda reviewed the
start date of the market is May 6th. There are a lot of
Community events going on that day: Rotary’s Chicken BBQ,
Rotary’s Duck Race, Huge Community Yard Sale, and a Contra
Dance after the meal.
- The end date was
discussed and all agreed it should be the Saturday after
Thanksgiving. Vendors should make an effort to participate through
the end of the market if they have product available, so that the
market looks full and lively to bring in the customers.
- No market during the
Common Ground Fair
- Melissa mentioned that
she has heard from a few customers that handicap accessibility is an
issue. Vendors should be aware that some customers find it
difficult to step down off the curb to see the products. Linda
mentioned that that was why she had two legs of her tent up on the
sidewalk, so that customers could see her product. Others were
concerned about enough room for people to be able to walk along the
sidewalk if there were tents up on it. Melissa just wanted everyone
to be aware that some people are having a harder time seeing what
products are available and for the vendors to be aware of that.
- Hanne asked if
everyone felt that the Taste of the Market was worthwhile. People
felt that it was. Tess mentioned that it was hard sometimes to get
items from the vendors. Hanne asked if it is possible to grill
sausages. Tess said it is very important to keep sausage at
temperature and she found it hard to be able to do that. So she was
not cooking sausages for the Taste of the Market. Melissa said she
would be willing to prepare items for Taste of the Market as well as
cook meat products.
- Hanne asked if
Customer Appreciation Day went well. Tess said that shoppers didn’t
feel like they deserved an award for shopping at the market. It was
decided not to do Customer Appreciation Day.
- Amanda mentioned other
things she is working on to do during the market. One would be a
cooking class every 3rd Saturday of the month. Melissa
mentioned that great smells really bring in customers in to the
market – so cook outside if possible.
- There was no other
- The meeting was
adjourned at 9:15pm.
- Amanda Jamison