Despite lacking grant funding, the town is rallying around the farmer’s market and planning to launch on May 16.
During the 2015 season, the market will have a permanent structure in its usual location on Wendell Boulevard near the First Citizen’s Bank, including an open shed, picnic tables and some mulch and plants assisted by the town.
On Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m., the Wendell Chamber of Commerce will hold its first meeting and public forum to help recruit volunteers and brainstorm ideas for the upcoming season.
Chamber of Commerce past president Tracie Hicks is spearheading the project, saying that this season’s market will also incorporate activities that promote gardening and eating fresh vegetables. There will also be a few new vendors, who are unnamed until the first day.
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Wendell Falls is also assisting with promotion of the market and encouraging residents to visit downtown.
On May 1, the market will open for a preview weekend along with a flower and plant sale at the site and a community-wide yard sale.
Ideally, the chamber will create a board to oversee the market in the future. Hicks said that there is also discussion of a farm-to-table dinner, where diners can purchase tickets to a group meal.
“Sometimes you have to show people what we’re doing and say ‘hey, we’re serious about this,’” Hicks said. “We want people to come here, come together and work together.”
The newly launched market will not include the EBT program due to the lack of manpower and finances, though Hicks said that there was not much demand for the program in the past. Customers will pay by cash, though some vendors may offer the Square credit card reader.
“It’s a valuable asset, it helps bring people together,” Hicks said. “We’re a small town, we have it better. When you walk up, people know you, vendors get to know you. There’s more personal relationship to it.”
Wendell launched its first farmer’s market in 2008. Zebulon is also launching a market this spring.