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LJWorld.com weblogs Town Talk

Farmers' Market struggling to find downtown home for Tuesday market

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If you are a gardener, you know finding the right location for your garden is critical, and sometimes it's a bit difficult. Well, it appears that can be the case for finding the right location for your farmers’ market too.

The Downtown Lawrence Farmers' Market will be back for a second week at Lawrence City Hall, seeking a location for its Tuesday Farmers' Market. But finding a spot for the market is turning into as much of a chore as teaching my wife how to run the rototiller.

The market wants to move its Tuesday market — in case you missed it last week, the market has decided to discontinue its Thursday market — into the city-owned parking lot in the 800 block of New Hampshire Street. That parking lot is the home of the very popular Saturday Farmers’ Market.

But commissioners have balked at that idea. Commissioners have heard from some businesses in the area that the weekday market may take too many valuable parking spots on a Tuesday afternoon. In fact, the board for Downtown Lawrence Inc. now has sent a letter asking commissioners to reject the proposed Tuesday location.

Mayor Bob Schumm has tried to broker a deal for the Farmers’ Market to go into a little-used private parking lot that is near the requested city lot.

US Bank owns a small lot on the northwest corner of Ninth and Rhode Island streets that is sparsely used. City officials have checked and US Bank has an interest in allowing the lot to be used as a Farmers’ Market location. In fact, bank executives have expressed some genuine enthusiasm about the idea.

But that doesn’t appear to be the case with leaders of the Farmers’ Market. Avery Lominska, a board member for the market and a vendor at the Tuesday market, said it is critical for the weekday and Saturday markets to be in the same location. Otherwise, marketing the events becomes too burdensome.

“It is close to the location, but it is not the same location,” Lominska said.

Plus, Lominska said, the weekday market once was located on private property in west Lawrence, and they found that relationship to be more difficult than dealing with a public entity like the city.

Lominska is proposing that the city ask US Bank to open up its lot to public parking on Tuesday so that the downtown won’t lose any public parking spaces when the Farmers’ Market is in operation.

I’m not sure how well that idea will go over at City Hall. Commissioners will discuss the subject at their 6:35 p.m. meeting tonight at City Hall. I’ll report back when I learn of the location for the Tuesday Farmers’ Market.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to come up with a more simplified rototiller lesson.

Comments

bearded_gnome 1 year, 1 month ago

okay Chad! I missed that part of the long long long meeting! I don't see your update here!

what was decided at the meeting???

did they decide to locate the farmers' market at the former farmland location on the east edge of town? or at Merrill's house? or did they decide to locate it at "in front of the bank at 9th and Mass?" lol???
inquiring minds want to know!

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toe 1 year, 1 month ago

Sounds like a request for city money to build them a permanent home.

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gatekeeper 1 year, 1 month ago

Starting later this spring, there will be a farmers market in N. Lawrence, I believe at Pinwheel Farm on Saturdays. It's supposed to have items from many local farmers, not just Pinwheel.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 1 month ago

Put it somewhere that complies with the same sanitation requirements that other places who sell food are bound by. Hand wash stations, restrooms, dog free, and above all a place to hang your sales tax permit, your city liscense and your Kansas Department of Health permit. After all these things are in place, go right ahead. Anything short of this is screwing those who operate under state law as a business.

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d_prowess 1 year, 1 month ago

I agree with others that just because the same location would make marketing easier is not a good enough reason alone to allow this. I have used that lot many times during the week because it is the only parking I could find at the time. So to loose it for a whole afternoon seems to be a poor idea for the rest of the downtown community. I also am not sure I agree that the public would be too dumb to figure out that the Tuesday market is in one spot and the Saturday market is in another. This isn't rocket science. If you want to go to the market, you will take the extra 5 seconds to decide which location for that day.

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patkindle 1 year, 1 month ago

i thought they wanted to change the name to mutt and strut

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somebodynew 1 year, 1 month ago

Here is an idea - Make up some inexpensive signs to put in the City lot directing people to the lot a block away. Just because you want ease of marketing does not mean everyone shoud just bow down to you and say, OK.

I enjoy the market, but you are "asking" to use a public parking lot, but it sure seems like you won't take ANY alternatives. That doesn't sound as much like a request as it does a demand.

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Naturephile 1 year, 1 month ago

To KRichards and jhawkinsf and anyone else with a suggestion for where to hold the Market.

The problem is not in finding a space.

The problem is a marketing (no pun intended) and advertising issue .

If you have the Farmers Market in the same location both days then you only have to use one address on fliers or brochures instead of having to clarify the location every time.

Attracting new customers for the market will be more successful if there is consistency.

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Karl_Hungus 1 year, 1 month ago

When the Tuesday market was in that lot behind Pita Pit it never looked very crowded and there were very few vendors selling their wares.

Maybe if they move it to The Bird more people will come.....

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rockchalk1977 1 year, 1 month ago

Have it at tomatogrower's house.

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 1 month ago

South Park? Not too far away and a pleasant setting.

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George_Braziller 1 year, 1 month ago

It might work in the future but not right now. With the old library parking lot torn up and the library in it's current temporary location, parking in the area is already in short supply. Sometimes I even have to use that lot because I don't have a driveway and there isn't any place to park on the street.

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Keith Richards 1 year, 1 month ago

Use the library parking garage and pavilion space.

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irvan moore 1 year, 1 month ago

having the market at the same location both days makes sense, seasonal use of the area on tuesday afternoons is not a big hardship for downtown, they didn't seem to mind when it was in a parking lot a few blocks away

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