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Vendors take issue over selling space

Posted June 21, 2009

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— The down economy is bringing more people to the State Farmers Market in Raleigh. But selling space is at a premium and some vendors take issue with how it is allocated.

Vendors take issue for selling space Plant growers want more space at Farmers Market

Cindy Lane, with Smithfield Nursery, had four spaces to sell her plants, but due to summer produce, she said she had to downsize.

“We condensed down to half,” Lane said.

During the summer, certain spaces for plant growers get bumped for produce farmers, according to the Farmers Market guidelines

“We have a perishable product that needs to be sold. It doesn't need to be lying around,” produce farmer Larry Carter said in defense of the guidelines.

Due to the rules, three plant vendors this year had to downsize or leave the Farmers Market.

“The growers do know and it is in our rules that after a certain date, that space may be minimized for plants,” said Monica Wood, with the State Farmers Market.

However, Lane says the rules are outdated. A decade ago, the farmers market was nearly all produce. Since then, the plant industry has bloomed, she said.

“We're not a 6-week season. We're a nine to 10-month season,” Lane said.

“Basically, it's been a balancing act, trying to make sure all the products fit into what space we have,” Wood said.

Some plant sellers say, instead of the summer produce growers taking away their spaces, they would like the building split down the middle.

“That's all we're asking for, this half be (used for) plants and that half (for) produce,” Lane said.

“We're open to listening to growers and trying to find out better solutions,” Wood said.

“The guidelines need to be updated to include the plants as a major role in the farmers market,” Lane continued.

Some plant vendors also suggest forming a committee made up of Farmers Market officials, agriculture officials, produce farmers and plant growers so new rules can be implemented.


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  • Honesty Jun 22, 2009

    SO the "Farmers" that grow seasonal food are being pushed out of the "Farmers Market". It isn't a nursery. Folks can go to a nursery to by plants, shrubs and flowers, that other growers want to sell.

    Is is possible that the Farmers Market offer some alternative options for setting up a Nursery for the plant vendor and let the food/produce farmers use the Farmes market.

    Seems this area has need and interest in both and the seasonal growers need more space...

  • ncwebguy Jun 22, 2009

    They have the room to build another structre out there, so why don't they do that?

    Or maybe take the old "garden center" space that used to sell pottery, statues, etc. and move the year round plant vendors over there?

    It is a *farmers'* market, not nursery market, set up to sell NC produce. There are other buildings to sell to grocery stores, etc. as well. Do the plant vendors do any selling there, or are they looking for a cheap way to sell plants without having to open a nursery?

  • FromClayton Jun 22, 2009

    vendors: we've got lots of room at the clayton market. email claytonmarket@earthlink.net for more info.

  • SME2 Jun 22, 2009

    It sounds like sour grapes on the plant growers part. Since money is tight, they probably are not selling like they usually do.

    Who on here would rather buy some plant versus fruit/vegetable you can eat?

  • doubletap357 Jun 22, 2009

    I guess they figure food is more important and live plants can be kept longer than picked produce.

  • thefensk Jun 22, 2009

    I guess the "rules" don't allow the plant sellers to sublet part of "their" space?