Groundbreaking Held for New Vance Farmers Market
On Friday, March 23rd, Vance County held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new farmers market. The site is located on Parkview Drive East, which is just off Beckford Drive in the same development as the Social Security Administration office. The nine-acre parcel was purchased by the Vance County Farm Bureau at a price well below market value, thanks to the generosity of the property owners who saw the future market as a vital enhancement for the community. The Vance County Farm Bureau then donated the site to the County.
The project was initiated in 2009 with a grant from the North Carolina Tobacoo Trust Fund Commission to fund a feasibility study and building design. A citizen committee was formed to manage the project, with staff support from the Vance County office of N.C. Cooperative Extension. With positive results from the feasibility study, an architect was hired to execute the plans.
In 2011 Vance County received a second award of $300,000 from the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission toward site preparation costs and construction of the facility. It is estimated that an additional $400,000 needs to be raised to fully fund the project, and additional grant applications have been submitted in an effort to raise those funds.
It is hoped that site preparation activities can begin by early summer, although the exact schedule of construction will not be determined until those additional funds are secured. It may be possible to construct a portion of the facility with funds on hand so that vendors could set up at the site for the 2013 season.
At the March 23rd groundbreaking, Peter Daniel with the North Carolina Farm Bureau noted that “It’s a win for the community, a win for the farmers, and a win for health, with more access to fresh fruits and vegetables” (as reported by Wes Platt in The Daily Dispatch, 3/24/12).
In a transitional step to the future site, this year Vance County’s Saturday farmers market will move to the parking lot of the City Operations Center on Beckford Drive. The use of the site has been generously provided by the City of Henderson for the 2012 season. The Wednesday market this year will again be held in the parking lot of the YMCA on Ruin Creek Road. The tentative opening date this year is April 18th.
Vendors of produce, baked goods, and homemade crafts that would like to sell at the market should contact Wayne Rowland at 252-438-8188 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the guidelines and details of the application process.
Pictured above, left to right, are:
Magnolia Williams, Vice-chair of project committee and vendor
Peter Daniel, NC Farm Bureau
Bill Teague, Chair of NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission
Thomas Shaw, Vance County Farm Bureau
Pete Burgess, Vance County Farm Bureau
Terry Garrison, Chairman of Vance County Board of Commissioners
Pete O’Geary, Mayor of Henderson