What of the Farmers’ Market?

On George Loper’s website, he’s currently featuring a short piece, complete with photos, about the Farmers’ Market. This 30-year-old Saturday morning gathering of local farmers has floated around town, homeless, for many years now, though it’s been in a parking lot on Water Street for the past few years. Much lip service has been paid to finding a permanent location, but nothing has been done. What say you, cvillenewsers? Should it be given a permanent location or at least a better one? Is this an institution that requires better quarters, or does its impromptu feeling help make it what it is? If not in its current location, where should it be?

8 thoughts on “What of the Farmers’ Market?”

  1. I think it should be at the top of the parking garage. Most beautiful views downtown and never filled up on the weekend.

  2. I rather selfishly like it where it is. It’s not far at all from where I live. I think some complain about the parking. If you don’t have the patience to wait for a spot (or don’t get up early enough to get a good spot), then you have to pay to park. Those of us who frequent the downtown area are probably resigned to (or used to) such a thing, but it irks a lot of people (IMHO).

    Is there any reason to move it?

    I haven’t noticed them outgrowing their space (which doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t happening). Do they get charged an arm and a leg to set up there? I know that they recently imposed some (light) parking restrictions, and prohibited dogs from being walked in the market… But I’m not sure that that has anything to do with anything.

  3. I think having it at the four ends of town (South, West, East and North) on different days, plus downtown on Saturdays, would be great. It doesn’t have to be fancy and I bet the cost of renting land would be far cheaper off of Route-29 South. With all the farming around central VA, I bet there’s enough supply and the demand should be there too (hopeful thinking) :-)

  4. How about having it in Court Square? The courts aren’t open on the weekends, so it shouldn’t get in the way of things. That is really Charlottesville’s oldest, most historic part of town. We should be leveraging that into an attraction of some kind.

    Plenty of parking is available a few blocks away in the Market Street parking garage.

    As far as how to set up booths in that space is concerned, we should be looking to Roanoke’s very successful model. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to get Bern Ewert’s opinion on this (Bern was City Manager of Roanoke and responsible for the development of their market).

    While the consensus seemed to be that he wasn’t City Council material, Bern is a very sharp guy that knows a whole lot more about urban planning and downtown improvement than anyone else I know of. If there is anyone in town whose opinion I would respect on this matter, it’s his.

    By the way, I cannot claim credit for the idea of moving the City Market to Court Square. I heard that one from Waldo some months ago.

  5. I don’t care where they put it as long as they move it from that damn parking lot. I’ve been towed from there at three in the morning more times than I’d like to relate, and I’m sick of it.

  6. Not that it’s at all relevant, but working late hours, catching a midnite movie, or hanging out with friends until certain bars close, all come to mind as reasons I’ve ended up being towed.

    I understand that whole "up before dawn" thing that goes with being a farmer (note: stereotypical, I know), but isn’t 3 a little bit early? Are there really people shopping at 4am?

    And how come these same farmers aren’t towed for not being out of the parking lot in time? (As in, when the market closes according to the same signs that get me towed?)

  7. One other suggestion for a permanent facility for the farmers market would be in the parking lot of the Amtrak station.

Comments are closed.