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Afton readies to launch seasonal farmer’s market

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The concept of fresh produce is nothing new to Afton. 

Which is why, it may come as a bit of a surprise that the rural community has never had, or even allowed, farmer’s markets in the community. 

That could change next month, however. 

Afton City Council discussed the AABA’s proposal during its April 21 meeting. 

“Afton is full of farmers, so a market feels natural,” said Lacy Vreeland, owner of Eye Candy REfind and co-chair of the Afton Farmer’s Market committee. “Let’s give the farmers an opportunity to sell their product.

“We have everything prepared, we just need the OK.” 

 

FINDING A FOLLOWING

The AABA has been trying to get a farmer’s market for a few years now, Vreeland said. 

“I’m a doer,” she said, “so I took it on.” 

The Afton Farmer’s Market is proposed to be held from 4-7 p.m. every Thursday, May 21 through October, in the south side of Town Square Park. 

The committee has 23 vendors identified who sell produce, farm fresh eggs, cheeses and meats. 

The farmer’s market will also have several artisans, such as an alpaca farmer, selling wearable products. 

Vreeland said the committee wanted to get the Afton Farmer’s Market up and running this year, so that when the County Road 21 construction project gets into full swing, the group already has a following. 

Vreeland said she believes having a farmer’s market in Afton will only be a benefit to the city and its businesses. 

“It’ll increase traffic to our beautiful, charming city,” she said. “It will bring in more audiences other than the ones those that come for our other events.” 

Additionally, Vreeland said, people in the community like them, Vreeland said. 

“Every other community in our area has farmer’s market,” she said. “Farmer’s markets are really popular right now because people like to support their local growers. 

“Plus, being healthy is really important to people today.”

MOVING FORWARD

While City Council seemed in support of the proposal, an issue needs to be addressed first. 

The city’s ordinances lists farmer’s market as a forbidden use. 

“Is there a way to have a work around?” City Council Member Bill Palmquist said. “I love this idea.” 

The solution to the problem is that City Council intents to hold a public hearing, either at its May 19 meeting or at a special meeting, to change its “unpermitted use” table to not include farmer’s markets. 

Vreeland said she is looking forward to bring fresh produce to the residents of Afton. 

“Afton is very much known for their farmers, their artisans,” she said, “and this is a way to help support people have a craft.” 

The Afton Farmer’s Market can be found online at facebook.com/AftonFarmersMarket?fref=ts. 

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

(651) 702-0976
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