SIDNEY — Downtown Sidney will once again be “the place to be” on Saturday mornings with the annual debut of The Great Sidney Farmer’s Market on May 28 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Visitors of the weekly market will find a myriad of fresh fruit and vegetables from local farmers, homemade crafts and original art among the multitude of stands. Homemade jams and jellies are always a big hit as well as the abundance of available flowers and plants. But the Farmer’s Market is more than just a place to shop, buzzing alive with social activity and various types of fun, including educational and overall community-minded events and activities as well.
Sidney first began its downtown “market sales” providing the general public access to fresh foods and supporting local growers, bakers and crafters in June 1892. Since then, the market’s mission of improving the environment and building the community has continued to “link regional farmers, growers, and producers with consumers, putting fresh, wholesome, regionally sourced foods in the hands of those who most need and desire them.”
“More people are apt (now) to find fresh, local food. Buying local serves everyone,” said Amy Breinich, director of Downtown Sidney, of the noticeable food-conscience movement within the last several years. “We want everyone in the community to have access to fresh foods while also having the opportunity to support local bakers, crafters and food vendors.”
The longest participating farmer with the Farmer’s Market, for the past 25 years, Tom Brown, owner of Hilltop Harvest Farm, said they are a producer-only vendor. “’We grow it – you enjoy it’ is our motto. We have new vegetables every year; we try to see what will sell and what people want.”
“In the last four to five years, because of the food movement, people want to see a face connected to where their food comes from. People want to know, just as I would, what is used on their food, and I can respect that,” he said.
Brown’s suggestion is “the earlier the better the section, because we can only fit so much on the truck.” Also, if you wish to ask questions, he will have the time to talk.
Breinich said they are partnering with different agencies to provide various upcoming events at the market. From promoting Family Picnic Day, on June 11, where everyone is invited to bring a blanket and have lunch the square; to Chalk the Walk, from 10 a.m. to noon, in which shoppers can “rent a square for a donation and create (their) masterpiece” with the winner receiving a prize; to the Taste of the Market, on Sept. 10, where participants can try the assortment of food vendors listed in the passport book handed out.
The market currently has between 50 to 60 vendors already registered to set up on opening day, but interested potential vendors can find a list of operating rules and regulations, a registration form, the market map, and health department rules on Downtown Sidney’s website at www.downtownsidney.com/farmers-market.
Vendors are responsible for individual insurance coverage as well as all licensing, taxes, certifications, inspections, liability and safety.
For further questions contact Amy Breinich at the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce at 937-492-9122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.