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Unity 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 update.

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 considered.

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 business.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Amanda Jamison