A city-sponsored farmers market will sprout up in Brazil by the end of the month, according to City Plan Administrator Brandy Means.
Means said she hopes to stage the inaugural market, which will feature locally-grown fruits, vegetables and other produce, the weekend of June 24. She had originally planned to launch the program by the end of May, but said she ran into a few minor hurdles-- settling on a location, determining a fair registration fee and notifying local growers, among others.
"There's been so many little snags, it's unreal," she said.
After examining several city-owned lots, Means decided to stage the market in a lot at the corner of Franklin and Church streets, citing its proximity to shops on National Avenue and the historic homes of Meridian Street.
"There were several city lots (available to us)," she said. "We were just weeding out the perfect one."
Means has been in contact with a handful of area farmers and amateur growers since April. At this point, she said, all that's left is to mobilize the vendors involved and set a firm date.
"We'll call the people who responded. It'll probably be by the end of this week that we'll set a date," she said. "Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks it'll go."
The market will feature locally-grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and other produce-- though the list could expand if the venture is successful, Means said.
"It has a lot of potential," she said. "It can go in so many directions."
Many farmers markets allow their vendors to sell wholesale produce (some of which is grown hundreds of miles away from the market where it is eventually sold), but Means plans to keep the Brazil market staunchly loyal to growers in Clay and contiguous counties.
"The farmer has to be involved (in the selling of the produce)," she said. Exceptions will be made for a grower's family members or close friends, but "they have to be directly related to the production of the product."
The market will operate every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon in the City Hall parking lot. Means said the space should accommodate "20 or so tables," allowing each vendor an 8'x10' area to set up shop.
While large-scale commercial growers will be welcome, Means stressed that backyard farmers with small crops are encouraged to participate.
"That's the biggest market: People who don't grow hundreds of acres," she said.
Means has set the registration fee for vendors at $20. The one-time charge will secure participants a spot at the market for the duration of the season, she said.
For more information on participating in the farmers market, call Means at 446-0050 or visit the Planning and Zoning Office at City Hall to pick up an application.