All In 4 Health hosted a great training session today for farmers’ market managers. I got to chat a little with a lot of great minds in North Carolina’s local food system. Here are some highlights from today!
Deborah Crumpton got us started with some key considerations when starting a farmers’ market (difficult to make out in my blurry smartphone photo!): Venue – where is the market? By-laws – legal stuff Rules – what kind of vendors do you allow? Funding – how do you pay the market manager and keep the lights on? Manager – who is the point person for resolving conflict?
(The two previous tweet mispelled Dr. Ferrier’s name.)
There was another great presentation about @LoMoMarket, the Veggie Van. Kat Bawden’s discussion about increasing access for low income customers was a great breath of fresh air after an earlier presenter (who shall remain unnamed) basically brushed them off as a high effort low-reward market for most farmers’ markets. She also had great info for the market managers out there trying to figure out the hoops they need to jump through to start accepting SNAP (available here: http://bit.ly/guide_snap_nc).
All in all, it was a great day meeting other
Addendum: If you’re interested in innovation in our food system, please consider joining the Triangle Food Hack, which will bring together all sorts of food system innovators, activists and farmers in the Triangle (and people that do all three!). We’ll announce the events formally on Facebook and plan the events on Twitter (#TriFoodHack), (we’re open to other communication mechanisms if they are requested). The meetup is arranged non-hierarchically and we are open to input if you want to get involved!
There are of course exceptions. Walmart has of course driven out competition, managed to negotiate very preferential arrangements with local governments, and stood by while many other crimes have been committed on their property:
I see peer-to-peer/online farmers’ markets as a simple, but powerful tool to help local food systems grow much faster. Traditional farmers markets often are only allowed to grow at the speed of concrete. I’m excited about the alternative we can build with @goMarketNC (formerly @drmLocallyGrown). I think a lot more people should think about ways to bring #p2p and #sharingeconomy ideas to their local food system. Starting with locallygrown.net isn’t a terrible way to go, though I do sometimes wish for an open source alternative.