Farmers market for Westminster planned in July

May 24, 1994|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer

Downtown Westminster's first farmers market is tentatively scheduled to open July 10 on part of the Sherwood Square parking lot on Railroad Avenue.

The City Council agreed to sponsor the market after hearing from a farmer, an Agricultural Extension Service agent and a state Department of Agriculture marketing specialist at last night's meeting.

The market will be strictly fresh produce and meats, not craft or flea market items, said Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein, who proposed the market several months ago as a way to bring people downtown on Saturday mornings.

"We're not in competition with any of the craft markets," she said. She said she is looking forward to "buying a good tomato in downtown Westminster."

Organizers plan for the market to be open from 8 a.m. to noon, weekly through October. Farmer Richard Weaver, who sells sweet corn at area markets and has handled recruitment for the market, reported commitments from eight producers and three or four more pending.

Mr. Weaver said he has commitments from producers of lamb, vegetables and dried flowers. He is talking with a fruit grower and a baker.

"The better [farmers markets], the ones that have succeeded, tend to have strong local support," said agricultural marketing specialist Pat McMillan.

City Public Works Director Thomas B. Beyard said the city will designate a liaison to the market manager, who will be chosen by the producers. He said the city will handle tasks such as blocking part of the parking lot on Friday nights.

Carroll fruit and vegetable growers can sell their produce at higher prices in Towson or Takoma Park. The willingness to commit to a local farmers market reflects cutting two hours off commuting time, said Extension Service agent Tom Ford.

"That's two hours of field work they can get done," Mr. Ford said.

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