Local News

Vendors jockey for prime space at State Farmers Market

Posted July 2, 2010
Updated July 3, 2010

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— The Fourth of July weekend is one of the busiest times at the State Farmers Market, and some vendors complain that market officials aren't doing enough to make room for more growers.

More than 45 vendors are set up under the roofed area at the Farmers Market, while others have set up tents in the parking lot to sell their produce and plants. The outdoor space costs about the same at the covered stalls but doesn't include amenities like electricity and running water.

"I can't have a fan, and I can't process credit or debit cards," flower vendor Scott Blount said.

Instead of a spray wand, Blount brings a water barrel and hand waters his plants, while the plants drink in the heat.

"My lilies are burned up. I've already taken $1,000 worth of plants home," he said.

Some plant vendors under the roof take up two spaces, and Blount contends that the Farmers Market has a rule that managers are supposed to limit vendors to one covered stall after mid-May to accommodate more growers.

"That rule's not being enforced," he said.

State Farmers Market generic Covered stalls in high demand at Farmers Market

Farmers Market Manager Ronnie Best said no such rule exists.

"We go through this, it seems like, every year. It's a juggling act," Best said.

Vendors with space in the building from the previous year enter a drawing for spaces the next year. If any pull out, vendors on the waiting list can get in on the drawing.

Blount said the Farmers Market should support as many growers as possible by giving more prime, covered locations. Best said there's a chance that Blount could move into a covered stall later this month.

"Bottom line is, we just need more space. We need another building," Best said, adding that the Farmers Market might do away with tent spaces next year because they take up parking spaces.

18 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • ncplantboy Jul 13, 2010

    IT IS NOW JULY 13 AND WE ARE STILL UNDER THE TENTS AND THERE IS SPACES AVAILABLE...THEY ARE GIVING PEOPLE WHO ARE ALREADY INSIDE TO MOVE OUT OF THERE SPOTS THAT THEY DREW FOR IN THEIR LOTTERY TO THE EMPTY SPACES AND WE WILL GET WHATS LEFT...DOWN AT THE END OF THE BUILDING.I FEEL WHEN YOU DRAW FOR A SPOT YOU SHOULD BE MADE TO KEEP IT..JUST ANOTHER UNFAIR AND STUPID PRACTICE AT THE FARMERS MARKET.ITS JUST DISCRIMINATION

    SCOTT BLOUNT
    STILL STRUUGLING UNDER THE LAST TENT REMAINING..NO WATER OR ELECTRICITY

  • pattyaastle Jul 7, 2010

    People should be nice and helpful, not rude and surly. It has been an eye-opener for me to see and hear this. Whatever happened to Southern Hospitality?

  • pattyaastle Jul 7, 2010

    and here's the response from Mr. Slade:
    Thank you for your letter and email of June 29th. We do appreciate the business of the two plant venders under the tent at the Raleigh Farmers Market.



    Ron Moore and I met yesterday with the two plant venders under the tent (and the market manager) at the Raleigh Farmers Market. Effective immediately, we are adjusting their future daily rental fees. We are waiting for the city to approve and turn on the electricity for the newly installed electricity outlets adjacent to their tent. The plant vendors that are moving inside have a higher priority and were asked to leave the “connector building” until something became available in the “plant building”. The manager feels certain that there will be space for the tent venders inside the “plant building” on July 5th or 12th as in years past.

  • pattyaastle Jul 7, 2010

    man, it cut off my last comment...adding the last part:
    chose to be
    outside, that he provided tents at his cost, (which by the way he didn't do willingly, it was an
    argument). He told me the vendors are on a waiting list but new vendors have moved inside.
    They do not chose to be outside. They chose to sell their wares, just like everyone else. But
    everyone else is inside. Mr. Best has given these vendors a difficult time since they came to this
    market. These same vendors pay and bring in money for this market. I am upset as to how these people are being treated. I feel it is discrimination and totally unfair.

  • pattyaastle Jul 7, 2010

    Blow is a copy of a letter I wrote and thought I would share it:

    I am writing today as I feel there is some information you should know.
    I was at the farmers market several times over the past few months. I have noticed some
    "injustices", if I may be so bold to use that word.
    • There are people there selling live plants that are outside on the extremely hot pavement.
    • No electricity for fans or for using credit/debit card machines.
    • They pay the same whether they are inside or out, $45.00 a day, and the spaces are
    smaller outside than in. • They had to fight to have "tents" put up. • They have been there selling 7 days a week, since April 1st. • New vendors are moving inside as we speak. • Because of the extreme heat, plants have to be carted to and fro. • No running water readily available. This to me, and several others, feels wrong. I was told just now, (Monday, June 28, 2010, 10:50 am) by Ronnie Best that they chose to be outside, that he provided tents at his co

  • ncplantboy Jul 6, 2010

    THANK YOU MARK..WHAT IM FIGHTING FOR IS JUST NOT FOR MYSELF BUT FOR ALL THE VENDORS THAT HAVE GONE THROUGH ALL KINDS OF PROBLEMS WITH POOR MANAGEMENT OF THE PLANT AND PRODUCE VENDORS.MY FACTS ARE VERY STRAIGHT AND TO THE POINT.I NEVER RECEIVED A COPY OF THE RULES AND WERE AVAILABLE ONLINE UNTIL JUST RECENTLY WHEN THEY WERE ALTERED AND CHANGED BY MARKET MANAGER RONNIE BEST

    SCOTT BLOUNT

  • markfd12 Jul 6, 2010

    Mr. Blount, I'm not going to argue and this is my last post. Get your facts straight please. Produce the plant guidelines that states growers go one in and one out please. Someone is bound to have a copy if it exsist. I have no trouble unloading now or in the spring but.... if the number of vendors double we all will have trouble.If you are going to higher ups in the government to better the market I commend you. Just speak for all the market to better everything.

    Mark Lane

  • ncplantboy Jul 6, 2010

    MID DAY YOU WOULD HAVE PLENTY OF ROOM TO UNLOAD.WHEN WRAL DID THIS STORY AS MOST STORIES THEY LOOSE SOME FACTS IN THE EDITING PROCESS.THE ONLY THING THAT WAS WRONG WAS WHEN RENEE CHOU SPOKE OF VENDORS SHOULD HAVE 1 SPACE SHE WAS SPEAKING OF THE ONE SPACE THAT IS ACTULAAY 2 ONE INSIDE THAT CONNECTS TO THE ONE OUTSIDE.FUNNY THAT SOME OF THE VENDORS PARK VERY CLOSE TO THEIR SPOTS INSTEAD OF THE PARKING AREA NEAR THE FORLIFT STORAGE ARE BUT THEN I GUESS IT WOULD BE AN INCONVENIENCE FOR SOME OF YOU TO NOT HAVE YOUR VEHICLE CLOSE AS YOU LIKE

    SCOTT BLOUNT
    GROWER AND OWNER GROWIN GREEN NURSERY
    LOCATED IN THE TENT

  • ncplantboy Jul 6, 2010

    IM NOT GETTING IN AN ARGUMENT MATCH WITH YOU SMITHFIELD FLOWERS..I MADE NO BOGUS RULES . IF THERE WERE NO ROOM FOR EVERYONE THAT VENDORS WERE TO GO TO ONE IN AND ONE OUT.SINCE THIS WAS ON THE PLANT GUIDELINES UNTIL MR BEST CHANGED THE RULES THIS YEAR AND ELIMINATED THAT FROM THE PLANT GUIDELINES.GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT..I TOO WAS ON A WAITING LIST.WHEN THE SECOND TENT WAS UP WRAL SHOULD HAVE COME THEN AND SEEN THE SITUATION.THIS SELF ELECTED ADVISORY BOARD IS A JOKE THAT ONLY BENEFIT YOU PEOPLE THAT HAVE A SPOT INSIDE WITH A TOTAL DIFFRENT VIEW OF THIS ALL TOGETHER WHICH IS..ELIMINATE US FROM GROWING OUR PLANTS TO SELL AT THE MARKET AND STAY HOME.I GROWN MY PRODUCT AND AM PROUD TO HAVE GROWN THEM IN NC.YOU HAVE NO IDEA OF WHAT IM DOING TO HELP THIS PROBLEM GET BETTER.I HAVE GONE TO HIGHER AUTHORITIES TO LOBBY AND GET A BETER MARKET WITH GROWERS PRODUCING THEIR OWN PRODUCT.YOU WOULD HAVE ROOM TO UNLOAD YOUR PRODUCT IF YOU WOULD GET THEIR EARLY OR LATE AFTERNOON INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR M

  • markfd12 Jul 6, 2010

    ok my last post got cut off. If more vendors are added that doubles the number of vendors. Instead of making one load a day like now twice the amount of vendors would be making two loads a day. Mr Bount is also lucky because when we tried to first sell at the market ,we were put on a list and called when space was open. Their were no tents then as you have now. This isn't a perfect world.Instead of Mr Blount going to Steve Troxler's office and complaing or whining, maybe he needs to take a different approach and lobby for money for a bigger facility. Also why did WRAL only interview Mr Blount and Mr Best? Other plant vendors and produce farmers should have been given the opertunity to voice thier concerns. Without WRAL getting everyone's opinion this story is funny and without any merit. Get your facts straight WRAL before running a story.

    Mark Lane

    Smithfield Flowers

More...