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UNITY FARMERS MARKET
Called to order 6:42 pm
Present: Lois Labbe, Tom Roberts, Elaine Olsen, Amanda Jamison, Scott Fairfield, Dawn Fairfield, Judy Rock, John McIntire.
Appointment of Interim Officers: Interim Market Master appointed Lois Labbe. Interim Secretary/Treasurer Dawn Fairfield.
Election of officers will be held during the Annual Meeting in April.
Co-op Stand/Judy Rock's proposal: Judy submitted a proposal for a co-op or collaborative stand featuring breads, soups, entrees & desserts, lunches featuring seasonal and locally grown ingredients, coffee, tea and cold beverages to go, seasonal smoothies, John's ice cream, Molly's hummus, local cheeses, eggs, chicken, local unpasteurized milk, local maple syrup. Judy stated that she would need the use of the UBR kitchen to prepare most of the baked goods & other prepared foods on Fridays before each Market Day.
It was discussed that this proposal was more accurately described as a Collaborative stand and that other vendors (John's ice cream & Molly's hummus for example) would also need to be members of the Market. Judy stated that her intent is to serve lunches featuring ingredients available from attending Farmers and would include recipe cards when possible.
Judy also stated that she would need assistance with the preparation and staffing time of the collaborative stand.
Judy also suggested a donation “barn” for UBR and a donation “vegetable” for the Market. Lois raised the concern that it would not be appropriate to request donations on behalf of the Market but agreed that donations for UBR would be beneficial to that organization.
Judy suggested that the Market consider moving the location of the set up from the front parking lot area to the back parking lot area. She mentioned concern about the vehicle traffic near Market Vendors as well as pedestrians. She suggested signs be posted in the front area of the building & that it be advertised as the Grand Opening of this season's Market. Amanda stated that the dumpster could be moved if the decision is made to change the location of set up. Judy stated that if the collaborative stand were approved, she would create the stand using the dining/meeting area of the community center with the back door open to the flow of traffic. She would access the kitchen through the dining/meeting area as well. This issue was tabled until the Annual Meeting.
UBR Proposal for Activities: Dawn reported that she is able to help UBR organize a Craft Bazaar and suggested that the Bazaar be held once each month to feature local crafts and artisans. The vendors attending the Craft Bazaar would not need to be a member of the Market and would instead pay a one-time space rental fee. $10 was a suggested amount. Judy also suggested that UBR consider a percentage of each Vendor's sales as the space rental price. It was decided that Dawn would work to contact local artisans to determine the level of interest.
Amanda explained that she could work such an event into the UBR activities calendar and stated that UBR's intent is to host an activity every Market Day and that the following activities are being considered: Gardening Classes, Cooking Classes, Taste of Market and Games. She also reported that the Rotary Club will be hosting the Annual Chicken BBQ & Duck Race on Market Opening Day, May 3, 2008.
Amanda also reported that UBR is requesting organizers of community meals buy as many local ingredients as possible to support local farmers and growers.
She suggested that a craft demonstration could also be a possible activity if vendors of the Craft Bazaar are willing to participate.
It was suggested that the Market work with UBR to find a way to enable Market Vendors to accept debit cards as payment. It was further discussed that perhaps a local bank such as DownEast would be willing to work with UBR to accept ATM cards from other banks on Market days without charging their normal ATM fee. It was also suggested that UBR would benefit from accepting debit & credit cards for donations and fee payments. Amanda stated that she would take this suggestion back to UBR to discuss.
Judy suggested a Shop Local campaign similar to the punch card system used to allow Market shoppers to earn a UMD canvas bag. She suggested that a collaborative effort with Market Vendors and other local stores could participate to encourage local shopping.
Amanda stated that she has learned that the distribution of WIC coupons is on the 3rd Tuesday of Odd Months and will most likely not be available during the month of May, but would be in July.
Based on the 2008 calendar, it was decided that closing day would be November 22.
Lois stated that there had been concerns raised during the last season about changing the time of the Market. It was decided that the operating times will remain as is 9am to 1pm.
Application for 2008: Lois stated that the current application due date is March 15th. It was decided that this due date will remain.
Amanda stated that she would work to locate last season's applications for use in contacting possible vendors for the 2008 season.
It was also decided that the closing month on the application should be changed from December to November.
It was confirmed that UBR will continue to mail paper applications to those who request it. Judy asked that UBR track their mailing costs so that the UMD can reimburse UBR.
An application was also received from Geri Gabriel of Lakeside Alpaca Farm in Thorndike. She is offering mill spun, hand spun and hand dyed alpaca wool and stated on her application that she would also bring her spinning wheel to be used during Market Day. This application was tabled for review for the Annual Meeting.
UMD Website & Brochure:
Tom reported that the Vendor descriptions needed to be updated as soon as possible after the Annual meeting so the 2008 brochures can be printed. He stated that approximately 1000 copies were printed last year.
It was discussed that each member should distribute brochures to designated areas and that each location should be checked at least monthly to ensure brochures are refilled. If each market vendor distributes to a designated area it will ensure that all possible locations will be covered.
Amanda requested that the UMD website increase the size of the link to go back to the UBR site so it is easier to find when browsing.
Judy stated that she is continuing to seek new market vendors to fill market voids. Amanda suggested UMD place an advertisement on the MOFGA website to recruit new farmers. It was decided that the advertisement should note specifically what the market voids are, such as milk, cheese, eggs & chicken. Amanda offered to draft the request and stated she would circulate the document via email for approval so it could be placed as soon as possible with the intention of recruiting new farmers in time for the brochure printing.
Amanda reported that as of December 31, 2008 the UMD treasury was $2770.85
It was determined that the Annual meeting would be held on or before April 15 to elect officers and review new applications.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 pm.