By Lynda Jensen
DASSEL, MN The Dassel Chamber of Commerce and the City of Dassel are interested in establishing a farmers’ market in Dassel, starting in the spring of 2011. Input is being sought about this (click here).
According to discussion during the recent chamber meeting, it takes about six to eight months to start a successful new market from scratch.
“You’d be surprised at the amount of red tape involved,” commented Mayor Mike Scanlon at the chamber meeting. Selling such things as eggs and other food stuffs involves a fair amount of regulation, he added.
Producers, citizens and chamber members need to be found to participate in forming several key committees, as well, noted Wayne Medcraft.
He suggested Thursdays as being a good day, since many Dassel shops on Atlantic are open at that time. This day would not interfere with other farmers’ markets. It is hoped to have the market at the band shell in the park along Atlantic.
Currently, markets are in place at Cokato (Wednesdays), Annandale (Saturdays), Buffalo (Saturdays), Hutchinson (Saturday and Wednesdays), and Kimball (Fridays).
To start, producers need adequate notice in order to plant the necessary crops to supply the market with fresh fruits, vegetables, and other items.
It’s possible that Dassel may ask a successful local farmers’ market to see if it can act as a satellite of that market, Medcraft said.
If Dassel is successful working as a satellite, it will speed up the process, he added. “Hopefully Buffalo, Delano, or Hutchinson,” Medcraft said, adding that they are larger markets with more experience.
Either way, as a satellite or on its own, a project manager is required, Medcraft said, and a board needs to be established.
A six-member board is being proposed of two producers, one chamber member and one city council representative. The sixth member, the city administrator, will be an active member of the board of directors and will have an equal vote, Medcraft said.
The board will develop bylaws and establish the rules and regulations for the operation of the Dassel farmers’ market. A market manager needs to be found, which may be a volunteer with or without a stipend for his or her efforts.
“The market manager is a very important position and will greatly affect the successful operation of the market,” Medcraft observed.
Some reasons to establish a Dassel farmers’ market include:
• To provide a source for fresh farm produce grown locally for Dassel residents.
• To help revitalize Atlantic Avenue and bring more customers to downtown Dassel.
• To build community between Dassel residents and local producers.
The Dassel Farmers’ Market will be a farmers’ market for producers within 30 miles of Dassel.