SOUTH PORTLAND – After two years located on Hinckley Drive, the South Portland Farmers Market will move once again, this time to the parking lot at City Hall.
In addition, the market will now be open on Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., starting May 4, instead of the Thursday-evenings time slot it’s occupied for the past several years.
Market manager Caitlin Jordan, of the Alewive’s Brook Farm in Cape Elizabeth, said the move to the City Hall parking lot is designed to avoid shutting down Hinckley Drive to accommodate the vendors, a situation that made the City Council unhappy.
Jordan also said that changing the market time from a weekday to a weekend was a suggestion made by city staff to make the market more successful.
There’s been much controversy regarding sinage and location of the farmers market since it began operation in 2011, but Jordan said she’s hopeful that the new location will help make the market more visible and also help it to grow.
“We’re making this final adjustment in hopes of making the market more accommodating to people’s schedules, allowing more people to come to the market every week,” she said.
Jordan is also hoping that the controversy surrounding the market is now well in the past. So far, more than a dozen vendors have signed up to sell their wares this spring and summer.
But she added that, “If customers don’t commit to coming to market, the market will not continue. If (residents) do not come to the market, then (it will be clear they) don’t want a (local) market.”
The vendors committed to the South Portland Farmers Market this year include Tortilleria Pachanga, Piper Ranch, Maine Saltwater Creations, Left Field Farm, which sells organic vegetables, Jordan’s own farm, Bella’s Granola, Red Sky Farm and Sweet and Savory, which sells baked goods, among others.
Jordan said the whole goal in offering a farmers market in the city is to “provide residents with fresh local produce and products and provide for healthier living options.”
– Kate Irish Collins