- Planned fee won't be collected -- for now -- in favor of donations
With a city-sponsored farmers market set to open Saturday, Brazil City Plan Administrator Brandy Means has taken steps to encourage participation among area farmers and backyard growers alike.
Means had planned to charge vendors a one-time registration fee of $20, which would have secured their space at the market-- located on the city-owned lot at the southeast corner of Franklin and Church streets-- for the entire season. She has since decided not to collect the registration fee, at least for the time being.
Instead, Means is asking vendors who turn a profit to consider making a nominal donation.
"If they have a good day, I just ask that they make a donation for future market activities," she said. "Making money off of it was never the idea."
Means has confirmed the participation of a handful of vendors, but said she worries a recent string of rainy weather may have dampened the availability of produce.
In the interest of luring as many vendors as possible, she has decided to include growers who haven't pre-registered. Just bring a table, chairs and some locally-grown produce, she said, and you will be accommodated.
"I'm not going to turn anybody away," she said. "It's first-come, first-serve, so if you're there to get your spot, that's fine."
Vendors should arrive at the market by 7:30 a.m. Saturday to set up, she said.
Means stressed the market is open to backyard growers as well as professional farmers, a feature she hopes will encourage a wide variety of produce at the market.
The only hard-and-fast rules: The produce must be grown locally, in Clay or a contiguous county, and the farmer has to be involved in the selling of his product.
"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 inaugural market will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.