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Nicolas Lindholm
Nicolas Lindholm selling his organic blueberries at a farmers’ market. Photo by Jo Anne Bander for the Summer 2007 Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.


Articles
Farmers’ markets tend to conjure images of customers strolling aisles of outdoor stands on sunny summer days, but Maine’s evolving and expanding local food movement challenges the notion of a “typical” farmers’ market. True, most of Maine’s 100 or so markets operate outdoors in summer, typically closing anywhere from Labor Day to Columbus Day. Many markets, however, go into fall – some until Thanksgiving, and some through December or even the entire winter.

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A directory of Maine farmers' markets with addresses, hours, website addresses, and contact information.

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Nicolas LindholmOn any July or August morning, rain or shine, at a parking lot, town square or field somewhere in Maine, trucks disgorge boxes, coolers and baskets of seasonal produce, artisan cheeses, smoked meats and fish and freshly baked breads and pastries. It is farmers’ market season, and for local farmers, residents and tourists, it is time to savor the best of Maine’s local food.

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The Michigan Land Use Institute has shown that farmers’ markets across the nation not only offer a source of fresh produce in town but also draw customers to other downtown businesses. One national study showed that 60% of farmers’ market customers shopped at another downtown business.

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Here are a few ideas for promoting farmers’ markets from New Connections (late summer 2003) from the Regional Farm & Food Project in Troy, N.Y.

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Marcia Halligan of Viroqua, Wisconsin, reports in Growing for Market (July 1997) that Saturday morning radio spots that list items for sale at the local farmers’ market have been the most important promotion for the group.

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