South Burlington Farmers Market to Go Fallow for 2017
Common Roots Announces an Advisory Team to Re-envison the future
South Burlington. Common Roots, operator of the South Burlington Farmers Market, announces that the market will go on hiatus for the 2017 season. According to Common Roots, key vendors did well at the market, but attendance at the market wasn’t robust enough to support a wider variety of vendors. A survey conducted last fall through Front Porch Forum pointed to community concerns over the location, date and time of the market. The market will spend the year off creating a community advisory team.
The market has been operating for seven years, first under the direction of Healthy Living and more recently Common Roots. The last two years, the market has been held every Sunday in the parking lot of the University Mall. One of the key values for taking on the market is to extend the local food presence in our community and communicate the mission of Common Roots.
Without substantially raising vending fees, the managing expenses associated with the market were not balancing. The market currently receives no financial support from the city. The organization plans to build additional community support by forming an advisory team in hopes of re-envisioning the future, perhaps with a new twist.
The organization is already planning next steps. According to Common Roots Board Chair, Carol McQuillen, “We plan to increase community involvement by seeking the talents of our community partners. To achieve this goal, Common Roots is seeking volunteers to join an advisory team. To make this endeavor as successful as possible, we need a cross-section of the South Burlington community, consisting of individuals who represent and reflect the diverse professional and social spectrum of the community. The advisory team may discern a Farmers Market is not what our community desires. Looking at new trends will be part of the conversation and assigned tasks.”
Vendors have been understanding and recognize the need to re-evaluate. According to Amy Yandow from Sugartree Maple, “We understand that Common Roots needs to take a pause, reflect, and build an advisory team to plan creative next steps.”
POP (Power of Produce) Club, which was held at the market, will be connected to our other programs. Pop Club taste-testing will be at the CSA pick-up at the Farm at South Village on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The POP Club mini-lessons will also be available to the adults and children and at Community Food Share pick-up times: Sunday mornings at 9 am and Wednesday evenings at 4:30 pm.
Common Roots would like thank all of our vendors and partners, including Healthy Living Market who supported our early years. “We are proud to have hosted the market and can’t thank our partners and vendors enough. The success of the market over the past few years would not have been possible without Heather Tremblay (General Manager of Finard Properties at the University Mall), Lewis Creek Farm, Bergeron Farm, Mediterranean Mix, Sugartree Maple, and Maida Townsend who managed the Common Roots booth with other volunteers for the past four years,” said McQuillen.
Common Roots is a non-profit organization in South Burlington, VT with a dynamic mission to foster the relationships among farmers, educators, youth, families, and the wider community through place-based education and service programs. To get involved in the South Burlington advisory team, or to learn about the Common Roots CSA shares available for the season, please contact Carol McQuillen at 802-999-4270.