March 22, 2023
A Note from Amanda Nofzinger
When I was a little kid going to the Farm Market with my grandparents in Michigan, I never really thought about what it would take to run one. I had no idea that that little seed of tradition would lead me into the role I play today.
Now that I am the Farm Market Manger, let me share with you what it takes to organize the summer market.
- Update the Rules and Regulations and create the coming year’s application.
- Redo the website by taking down last year’s information and begin updating it for this year.
- Update/open the vendor application and post it online.
- Email all previous and waitlisted vendors.
- Update/open applications for food trucks and entertainment and notify previous year participants.
- Answer any questions from vendors applying to the market.
- Begin the process of renewing SNAP benefits.
- Look into other nutritional programs like WIC and Produce perks.
- Recruit volunteers and new members for our Farm Market Committee.
- Once the application process closes, prepare them to be viewed and sorted by the committee.
- Meet with the team to select vendors.
- Notify vendors of their status.
- Begin to create the calendar for food trucks, entertainment, and community partners.
- Collect fees and insurance from accepted vendors.
- Create the map and place vendors in spots for the market.
- Finalize SNAP and WIC details to make sure they will be up and running on time.
- Finalize schedules for food trucks and Entertainment.
- Update website with all vendor info, market map, and any other information.
- Finalize market map.
- Prepare blacktop and storage space for the start of the season.
- Last minute details.
- Update on social media about opening day.
- Draft weekly newsletter to be sent out and updated each week.
- Answer emails or inquiries about the market.
During Market Season (May 23 – September 12 this year), each market day:
- Update social media pages.
- Set up tents, tables, and supplies for the day.
- Guide vendors, food trucks, and entertainment to assigned spots.
- Set up SNAP and make sure it is running properly for the day.
- Open the market.
- During the market, make sure everything is running smoothly and answer questions/help customers.
- Touch base with every vendor to make sure they are happy.
- Collect leftover produce to be donated to the Hilliard Food Pantry.
- Collect SNAP coins and catalog for reimbursement each month.
- Tear down and store all tents, tables, and supplies.
- Once the market is over, store and organize supplies and equipment for next year.
- Evaluate vendor surveys and make plans for changes for next year.
- Reimburse vendors and make sure ledgers match.
- Take care of any remaining details and then rest until we start again in December.
- Plan our volunteer and vendor thank you meal in August.
- Be prepared for food truck cancellations and adjust accordingly.
- Organize the outreach tent.
- Attend to the entertainment to make sure they have all they need.
Writing all of this out was a little overwhelming and took me back to when I first started and COVID hit. It seemed like I was going to drown in all of the little details that had to be completed. It can be exhausting juggling so many moving parts and people.
But there is hope.
Take it one step at a time.
Breathe and then take another step.
There is no greater feeling for me than crossing something off of my To-Do list. That’s how I keep sane and make sure everything gets done on time and done correctly.
If you struggle with everything on your plate, that’s okay. You are not alone. Make a list or ask for help. You do not have to bear that burden alone.
I know for me, there is no way I could make the market run all by myself. There are so many volunteers behind the scenes. I lean on them for strength and help on the overwhelming days.
Thank God that we don’t have to do this living thing on our own.
If you’d like to volunteer on the Farm Market Committee or at the Market any Tuesday, May 23 through September 12 (except July 4), you can sign up here!
I hope that we will see you all this summer at the market. And remember, take one step at a time!
Farm Market Manager