Farmers’ market moving forward without grant

For the past two years, the Logan County Farmers’ Market has received a solid boost from grant funding. This year, the funding made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture has run out.

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The 2015 season of the Logan County Farmers’ Market begins May 2 and again will include the children’s Power of Produce program about which market manager Chloe Manor, seated (home page photo), talks in a 2014 file photo. Among the early crops expected the first week is asparagus, including that grown by Lake Township farmer Bill Nichols, above, shown selling some of the vegetables to Dave Erion of Bellefontaine during the opening week of the 2014 market. (EXAMINER FILE PHOTOS | REUBEN MEES)

But organizers are not letting that prevent them from trying to build on the successes of recent years.

“We are in a lot better place than we were two years ago,” market manager Chloe Manor told vendors at a Monday evening meeting to plan for this year’s market, which will be open every Saturday morning from May 2 through Sept. 26.

“We built a cushion with the grant over the past two years. We are trying to make sure this is a viable option for growers and producers in our community,” Ms. Manor said.

The market will not have as many frills this year, such as the weekly activities coordinated by a part-time employee last year. The annual booth rate was also increased $10 per spot to $110 for the season. But the bulk of the effort to fund the market will be through volunteer recruiting and fundraising, market board president Jan Dawson said.

She said the board, which would like to expand its own makeup with interested individuals, has formed three committees to address fundraising, sponsorships and market growth.

One of the new programs they have identified this year is to distribute flyers with $1 coupons in the villages of Logan County to promote the market outside Bellefontaine.

“This is a trial project to attract people,” Ms. Manor said, explaining that they plan to distribute different color-coded flyers throughout various villages on a weekly basis. “It’s also an opportunity to see where people are coming from. We want to start working more on quantifying measures, which are useful when it comes to applying for grants.”

 

Read complete story in Tuesday's Examiner
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