Just say no to Farmers Markets

Are you kidding me.  Does not almost every community have a Farmers Market.  Well, that would be every community but mine.  I went to my monthly garden club meeting today all excited because as chair of the Civic Development Committee I thought I had a great idea.  I want to bring a Farmers Market in our town.  As chair for the Civic Development Committee, I figure the farmers market could fall under something I could head up.  There are lots of farms in the north part of our county, surely some of them would like to bring their produce to sell.  I’m rather new to this community so I was unaware of a previous effort to bring a Farmers Market to our community.  The best place for the farmers market would either be at the central park or at one of the parks along the beach.  Sharon, the president of our garden club, was, I think, trying to save me a lot of trouble when she all but said, “it’s not going to happen.”  It seems the Greater Navarre Beach Art Association tried but failed to bring a market to our community.   The reason for their failure angers me.  The chamber of commerce is against it.  I am not political but I hate “Good ole Boy Politics.” One of the members of the chamber of commerce, a realtor, doesn’t want a farmers market placed on the beach because that would  be competition for “her” store.  The main public park doesn’t allow money making businesses on it’s property.  The latter makes sense to me, but using politics for personal profit at the expense of the community, now that just drives me crazy.   I’m at a loss as to where to go from here.  I was hoping someone out there might have a suggestion as to what could be done.  I don’t want to be bullied, but at the same time don’t want to waste my time on a battle that can’t be won.

Are You Kidding Me!

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10 Responses to Just say no to Farmers Markets

  1. meemsnyc says:

    Oh my goodness! That is terrible and so unfair. You would think the chamber of commerce would want to support local farms to sell their produce. I wish I had some words of wisdom, but I don’t. Maybe you can get support from a lot of community residents and get a petition going? Or how about you have part of the proceeds from vendor fees go back to the chamber and to the community. Maybe that will get them motivated. Or go to the Press. You can try to get a write up from a local paper. Bad press does wonders!

  2. PatioPatch says:

    Hello – without Farmer’s Markets we in the UK would have to rely solely on the supermarket giants 🙁 There should be a Farmer’s Market Association you could contact. Or maybe contact the Florida Agric Assoc for advice

    p.s. thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

    • Charlotte says:

      Hi Laura, thanks for the suggestion. Yes, here in my town we have to use the grocery stores. The only other choice, is to drive to the neighboring towns to go to their farmers markets. But why should I have to drive 30 minutes to their farmers markets?

  3. Susan Myers says:

    In my limited experience with government (which was extremely frustrating) the only way you’ll succeed is if you get a large number of people behind you…petitions, farmers, newspaper, local tv news. You’ll have to prove to the city that the community wants it.

    I wonder if a local u-pick farm might be able to host it. Don’t give up. Good luck and keep us posted.

  4. Wendy says:

    oh. my. god. I would be so angry too. I think you have some great ideas so far – to get the media involved would be a good idea. Are there any local health food groceries near you? I wonder if they could be the “official” hosts? Politics-wise, there’s a big difference between things “official” and “unofficial”. You have an absolutely fantastic idea and the energy to carry it through.

    I just posted recently about our farmer’s market. Our city has always been great, but with it’s new “revitalization”, town center, and “branding”, I think the farmer’s market has been integral in that process. I hope they can see the big picture here and look beyond some idiot who is just looking out for herself. THis actually really pisses me off.

  5. Carole says:

    Cambridge Farms has a farmer’s market on Hwy 87 at The Grocery Store on Saturdays. This is more towards Milton but you may enjoy seeing the wildflowers and a drive in the country. Cambridge Farms has a Facebook page.

    • Charlotte says:

      Thank you for letting me know this, I knew of the ones in Fort Walton and Pensacola but not this one. 🙂 I was hoping not to have to drive so far, but your right I just may enjoy the ride.

  6. Deborah Branning says:

    My husband John and I presented the Farmers Mkt proposal to the Santa Rosa County Commissioners and the Tourist Development Council in spring of 2009 representing Indy Artists. It was covered extensively in PNJ and Navarre Press. As Chair of Civic Development Committee you would be the one to go foward with the plan. We are very involved and participate with Farmer’s Markets, Palafox and Port City in Pensacola. As well as Windmill Market in Fairhope. I have all the logistics and would love to share. We had words of encouragement from the The Chamber, The County and the TDC in 2009. Now is the time for planning.
    I will contact you through the Garden Club.

    • Charlotte says:

      Wow, goes to show you just how small the world really is when you can vent on a little blog and get some help. Thanks Deborah, can’t wait to talk to you.

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