“Let’s pull back the reins; let’s make it happen next year,” said Nolan, adding that he is, nevertheless, disappointed. Nolan said he and others plan to consult with a group called Mass Farmers Markets to learn more about starting a market in Danvers. Finding the right location will be key.
Selectman Dan Bennett said a lot of questions need to be answered, including how the market might comply with Board of Health regulations and what rules the market might follow. For instance, would it allow vendors to sell only locally grown produce or farm products grown or produced throughout the state or New England?
Selectman Bill Clark, a farmer with a long involvement with farmers markets in the region, said it makes sense to hold off. “I think they are better off to wait a year and have it well planned,” he said.
Clark said organizers need to contact all the farmers in town to gauge their interest. That would include not only Clark’s farm, but Connors Farm, Gibney Gardens, Folly Hill Farm, Kane’s Flower World and Lanes End Farm, which is a horse farm. He said they should also contact the operators of Danvers Fresh Marketplace, a small grocery store that sells fresh produce downtown.
“If they have it, I’ll go to it,” Clark said of the Danvers market. But he also cautioned that it’s a lot of work to run, and dozens of volunteers will be needed.
Clark suggested that organizers approach the Salem Chamber of Commerce to see how this group helped organize a popular farmers market in downtown Salem several years ago. This market, which opens its sixth season on June 12, is made possible by Salem Main Streets, a downtown revitalization group; the city of Salem; and the Salem chamber.