DANVILLE — After several fitful attempts last summer, the Danville Farmers Market is ready to make a go of it this year under new management. Connie Mercier, Danville, is the chief organizer and the market manager.
In the story about the Danville Farm market it should have said vendors within a 25-mile radius of Danville Village Square are eligible to participate. The News regrets the error.
The first session of the year is scheduled for Tuesday at Memorial Park in Danville. Troy Cooper, OSU Extension agent and manager of the Mount Vernon Farmers Market, thinks the Tuesday evening hours will make the market a success.
“When we originally talked about it, the vendors thought that would be a good time,” Cooper said. “When Connie [Mercier] went around asking people about it in Danville, they were almost unanimous about Tuesday nights. And the vendors said they had to have someplace to go between Saturdays, and [that] Tuesday would work best for most of them.”
The idea for the Danville Farmers Market came from a meeting Mercier attended.
“I belong to the Mount Vernon Exchange Club,” Mercier explained. “Dodie Melvin asked me to arrange for some speakers and she gave me some names. I contacted Dr. Howard Sacks of Kenyon. He came and spoke to us about Food For Thought. He mentioned Mount Vernon, Fredericktown and Gambier have farmers markets, but not Danville.
“I’m from Danville, and I got to thinking about it. I went home that night and couldn’t sleep. It was just on my mind. The next day I e-mailed him and said I’d like to start one.”
Sacks told Mercier to contact Cooper at the Knox County OSU Extension Office. She did, and also met with some Amish members of the Danville community and members of Danville Village Council.
“We had a meeting and it was successful,” she said. “So we’ve just built from there.”
The market will be open to vendors from Knox County who live or grow produce within a 2-mile radius of Danville’s Memorial Park. Vendors need to have completed the quality assurance program offered by the Extension Office.
The Mount Vernon Farmers Market is held on Saturday, and many vendors have a week’s worth of produce they can’t sell. The only other community farm market is in Fredericktown on Friday nights. For many vendors, that was too close to Saturday. Most of the initial vendors are excited about the prospect of having a farmers market in eastern Knox County.
“We’re going to be selling a whole spectrum of vegetables,” said Phil McMillan, who will be teaming with Jim Jarvis to sell at Danville’s market. “We’ll have some fruits, but mostly corn, beans, cabbage, tomatoes — things like that. I think the world’s turned around on healthy eating. We will be trying to make the prices where everybody can afford them. Prices at the stores are outrageous.”
Arthur Bolduc is also involved with the market and intends to be a vendor. Bolduc has long been an advocate and practitioner of organic growing methods.
“When you have a garden you need to pick every other day,” Bolduc explained. “So you need three markets. We have Saturday [in Mount Vernon] and then by Monday you might be able to sell some more vegetables. [The Danville market] would be an extra market. It’s right at the head of Apple Valley.
“A lot of people don’t like to go to the Square [in Mount Vernon]. It’s crowded and there can be some parking problems.”
Bolduc said the Danville Farmers Market would be another outlet and, being close to Apple Valley, there is a large potential market.
“And a lot of people in Apple Valley have gardens,” he added. “They could use an outlet. And it would encourage people to do a little gardening, which they should be doing up there. They’d be eating better, it’s less expensive and they wouldn’t be traveling as far.”
For more information about the Danville Farmers Market contact Mercier at 599-6552.