A Market-A Musing

by Free Speech on January 21, 2010

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Lodi, WI
by  Gail  Lamberty

New Market Manger Gail Lamberty is excited about the Market's season

Northern Edge is busy with Rick and Annette’s offerings, but you might wonder how does the Lodi Valley Farmers’ Market hibernate for the winter?  November and December are recovery months, while January starts the brainstorming for the 2010 market.  You know your vendors are dreaming dreams of flowers and vegetables as they ponder the many seed catalogs in their hands.  A good cup of coffee, visions of warm sunny days, and plans for spring  help beat the cold of January and February.  Seeds are being evaluated and ordered.

You might ask what is your market manager doing in January?  Contemplating, evaluating, revising, plotting, planning, strategizing, scheduling, organizing, designing and looking forward to the next season.  The market team meet in December to assess the 2009 season.  We defined  what we saw as good and examined areas that could use fine tuning.  Most exciting is the 10th anniversary of the market in 2010.  What a major accomplishment!!  Congratulations to the entire community for making the Lodi market one of the very best around.

One of the best things about the market is the commitment to the vendors.  Vendors  enjoy the Lodi market for many reasons.  The great location with easy access for the vendors ranks really high. The Lodi community support is outstanding.  The special events not only bring shoppers, but bring delight to the vendors as well.  The salsa contest brings out the best from the garden, the best from the recipe box and the best from the tasters.  Fun is an important component for the almost 30 Fridays farmers truck their goodies from across town or down the road to market.

The commitment to the vendors extends beyond the Friday afternoons.  I applied for a scholarship to attend the Midwest Value Added Agriculture Conference and Wisconsin Local Food Summit later this week in Eau Claire.  With a simple explanation of the dedication to keeping vendor costs as low as possible, the generous donations of Lodi organizations, the wonderful partnership with the Lodi food pantry, the scholarship was graciously given.  It will surely benefit our vendors in the information that will be shared  our monthly newsletters.  Breakout sessions “Help, Hints and How-to of Local Foods Policy” and “Projects for Value Added Farmers” will benefit the market and our vendors.  Keynote speaker Will Allen of Growing Power (creating food systems in in the inner city of Milwaukee) and Michael Perry’s presentation titled “Never stand behind a sneezing cow”, would be reason enough to attend.

Market team members will be meeting in February to plan for the 2010.  This is your market and we value your suggestions and opinions.  All are welcome.  Contact me at gail@shopstop and tell me what you would like to see at the market in 2010.

I’ll tell you what I learned about standing behind a sneezing cow when I return..

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