Organizers in Greenport were ready to pitch a Saturday morning farmers market to the Greenport Village Board on Monday evening, but at the beginning of the work session Mayor David Nyce said he wanted to designate a special meeting for all interested parties to make verbal presentations to the board and public.
The group wants to use the ice-skating rink area in Mitchell Park and is attempting to operate under a mass assembly permit for 2011. Nyce said he has heard from proponents but wants the public to hear from the Greenport Business Improvement District, the Greenport Business Alliance and the Farm Bureau before the Village agrees to let the Greenport Farmers Market use prime real estate for the market.
Although the group formed in February of this year, the Greenport Farmers Market already has a Facebook presence, a website to support their cause, a brochure, and several vendors for the market. The proposed Greenport Farmers Market would operate on Saturday mornings from May 28 to Oct. 15.
Greenport Farmers Market President of the Board Lara McNeil hopes to have 22 vendors signed on to the project. So far Browder’s Birds, Blossom Meadow Honey, Garden Fusion, , Catapano Dairy Farm, and have signed on for this season. The organization hopes to have 20 local food and farm product booths, two booths set aside for wine products, a free booth to be rotated among local charities, and one booth used by the Greenport Farmers Market for promotion, education and electronic benefit transfer.
“We have a lot of positive feedback. Generally people are very excited about this” said McNeil. “We want to support local businesses and promote Greenport Village and the North Fork’s small farmers. While there may be some concerns about competitive products, we believe adding this new life into the Village will benefit all.”
McNeil said her group feels strongly that Saturday mornings would be the most beneficial day to run the centrally located market and the presence of it would bring more shoppers into the Village.
“Saturday mornings could attract the greatest number of customers looking to shop for the weekend. This includes working families, visitors, and the many part-time residents here in Greenport,” McNeil said.
Nyce has declined any further comment on the issue until after the April meeting because he is concerned any public comments made by himself, or any of the trustees, could “slant” the issue before all the information is made public.
This is not the first time Greenport has attempted to run a farmer’s market. The last attempt at a farmer’s market in Greenport only lasted three years and closed in 2002. Riverhead holds a farmer’s market on the Peconic Riverfront on Thursdays in the summer and fall.
The special meeting to discuss the Greenport Farmers Market will take place on April 8 at 6 p.m. at the Third Street firehouse.