Wellington’s first Farmers Market is off to a good start. Market director Juliann Harvey is pleased with the variety of vendors offering meats, eggs, herbs, homemade foods and craft items. Twenty-five vendors are registered with an average of one additional request for booth space every week, according to Harvey.
“We’ve had some really busy nights with several hundred people and some rather slow nights as well,” she said.
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Young people are getting involved as well and are planning for home-baked cookies, nail painting and henna and handmade crafts and cards.
Another fun aspect is the Wellington Showcase in which any one of any age from Wellington can take the stage for 15 minutes of musical fame. The Showcase is planned for the last Thursday of each month. Sign-up forms are free and can be found on the WFM website: wellingtoncofarmersmarket.org.
The market is open 4-8 p.m. on Thursdays through October. Main Business memberships and Basic Business memberships (available for $50) provide an opportunity for advertising and to support the Market.
Existing on a small budget, a $400 fire permit fee required by the Wellington Fire Department, is presenting a challenge.
“We’ve postponed payment and may be able to get a waiver or reduction of the amount, but that isn’t confirmed,” Harvey said. “The Fire Department comes out to inspect safety in regard to securing tents for wind, ventilation for on-site cooking and general safety hazards. They have been really great to work with and helpful overall.”
In a few weeks she hopes the permit issue will be resolved and there will be a clear picture of how the payment will be worked out.
Fire Chief Gary Green explained that the Fire Department has a fee schedule for special events in order to ensure that the requirements of the fire code are met in regard to tents, electrical hook-ups, outdoor cooking and the use of propane gas tanks. Because the Farmers Market started out very small, Green has been willing to work with them to make sure they meet requirements without demanding the full $400 fee. The Fire Department will continue to make inspections throughout the season and will work with the market to keep their fee reasonable given the size and start-up status of the market.