Township Farmer’s Market In ‘Early Stages’ Of Planning

11-15-16-meeting Open Space

Members of the Open Space Advisory Committee discussed a possible farmer’s market in the township at their Nov. 15 meeting.

A market that would feature produce and other products primarily from township farms is in the early planning stages.

The market would be located in the field at the corner of DeMott Lane and Amwell Road, at least initially.

The market would probably run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays from mid-May or June through about September, said Fran Varacalli, the township’s open space consultant.

The market was discussed at the Nov. 10 Township Council meeting, and also at the Nov. 16 Open Space Advisory Committee meeting.

At the council meeting, Councilman James Vassanella (D-Ward 5) said that in light of the effort to rejuvenate the Hamilton Street business district, he hoped that the market could be held on Hamilton Street, the site  of a somewhat successful market in the past.

But Deputy Mayor Ted Chase said the plan was to have it in the field.

At the open space meeting, Varacalli said the market could also be held in the parking lot next to the Senior/Community Center, at the rear of the municipal complex.

She said there was a concern that too many people on the field would kill the grass, and also over what would happen if the field was wet.

“This is in the early stages, there are a lot of details to work out,” she said.

Varacalli said an online survey asking for people’s opinions on the market received more than 400 responses.

“Ninety nine percent of the people responded ‘yes’,” Varacalli said.

Committee member Bob LaCorte said the location and day were good for the market “because you’ll get all those people going to the library.”

Varacalli said the market’s location is not yet finalized. She said a concern with having it in the rear parking lot was that it would not be seen by passers-by.

But, she said, an issue with holding it on the field is people parking along DeMott Lane.

“We’ll see how it goes,” she said.

Varacalli said that initially, Franklin Township farmers would be given preference.

“We’re not going to do it if we can’t get enough farmers,” she said. “We’re not going to do it if we just get five.”

Other vendors would also be invited, she said.


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