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Story Archives: Produce not only product at WM Farmer's Market
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|Produce not only product at WM Farmer's Market|
Vendors dish up conversation, unique experience, too
When people stop to browse and purchase goods at West Monroe Farmer's Market, they are there for more than just tomatoes, strawberries or peaches.
People head to farmer's markets for the experience, said West Monroe Farmer's Market manager Bob Burgess.
"Nationally, throughout the whole farmer's market family, it is an experience to go to the farmer's market," Burgess said. "People come for more than just to buy."
"Some of them have coffee shops," Burgess explained. "Ours doesn't have a coffee shop, but I wouldn't mind building one. But regardless, people come to visit and talk with other people.
"A good example of that is (former West Monroe High School) Coach Jack Williams. When he comes down there he knows everybody. They stand and talk, and that's what we're trying to establish."
Vendors have returned to West Monroe's Farmer's Market to sell produce and goods in light of the arrival of spring. More vendors are expected to set up shop when they obtain permits from the city, Burgess said.
"As soon as they get their permits they are free to come in anytime," he said. "We have some there selling strawberries now and we'll get others in selling vegetables when they get the produce."
One of the new vendors is expected to set up shop soon, offering something never provided before this year. That vendor is WesMar Farms of Moreauville, which will offer goat milk, goat cheese and natural handcrafted goat milk soap.
This year, Burgess said the farmer's market will look to spice things up and add more color and attractions to entice people to stop by and meet vendors.
The farmer's market wants to work with local artists and musicians to provide entertainment to attract more people to the market.
"We're trying to attract the art community out there because the people who follow the arts are the people who typically have money to buy," he said.
"We need to get people to stop in here instead of stopping out by the red light."
The farmer's market plans to dress up the outside of the market in an effort to attract more people. The group also is working with independent supporters to make improvements at the facility. One of those supporters is Entergy, which the market hopes will assist in providing better lighting for improved security.
The market now has a "community garden" with everything from lettuce, blueberries and raspberries.
"Everything is in there and everything is growing," Burgess said. "People can come in and adopt a garden at no cost and they can plant whatever they want to plant. Anything that's legal, of course. We don't want none of that funny stuff."
The farmer's market also wants to offer community gardens for handicap people once special access to those gardens can be provided, Burgess said.