The Brownwood Area Farmer’s Market, a summer tradition for years, opens next week in a new location, and, its organizers say, they’re hoping — and looking at ways — to grow the market.
“We need more vendors,” said Sherry Hall, the president for the market. “A lot of people who for years have sold at the market have not been able to, and our number of growers has gotten smaller the last couple of years.
“People think they need to bring a whole truck load of stuff to sell, but they don’t. Bring what you can and sell what you’ve got.”
Hall, who sells apricots, blackberries and two kinds of peaches, so she has some produce for sale throughout the season, said she sees it as a cycle.
“The more vendors, the more customers, the more customers, the more vendors,” she said. “We’ve just got to get it turned around.”
The market opens at 7 a.m. this Saturday at its new location, the parking lot in the 500 block of Brown, between Chandler and Adams streets. Market days until September will be 7 a.m. until sellout each Saturday, and 3 p.m. until sellout each Tuesday and Thursday.
The early season growers sales should include cherry tomatoes, squash blossoms, blackberries, apricots, lettuce and sweet peppers, Hall said. But also, there will be plants for sale such as oxalis, hanging baskets, cannas and ornamental sweet potato vines.
In an effort to increase participation and sales, the Brownwood Area Farmer’s Market and Downtown Brownwood Inc. are partnering to grow the market.
“During the ’80s the market had over 70 members,” said Mary Stanley, president of DBI. “DBI’s goal is to see the market revived and see it play a central part in animating downtown.”
For instance, Stanley said, the market could grow to the point where perhaps musicians and artists could set up during market days.
“The sale of coffee and scones is being looked at,” Stanley said.
In addition to selling produce at the market, handmade crafts could be offered, and also, nonprofit groups or organizations may apply to sell baked goods several times during the market season.
Membership in the Brownwood Area Farmer’s Market is $25 per year, Hall said, and while the membership must be made up of at least 51 percent growers, food vendors with licensed kitchens may also join and sell locally or homemade jellies, jams, baked goods, salsas, etc. Growers and crafters should contact Todd Price, vice president and market manager for the Brownwood Area Farmer’s Market at 646-1422.