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Growing a market experience

Impact Austin, City to create permanent farmers market location

Advocates for a permanent farmers market location will soon have a reason to celebrate.

Starting Friday, June 18, a new type of farmers market will be setting up in a permanent location, the old parking lot south of the former Terp Ballroom.

The farmers market is part of a collaborative effort between the City of Austin and Impact Austin.

Renderings of proposed permanent farmers market buildings to be built in the parking lot south of the former Terp Ballroom. Photos provided

“Impact Austin was approached by the City of Austin almost a year ago about collaborating on a permanent location for a farmers market site here in Austin,” said Impact Austin Coordinator Mary Anne Duren. “Last fall, we helped them spearhead a community engagement session to involve the community in the architectural design of a permanent structure or canopy site.”

The site, which previously hosted a farmers market, was unanimously approved by the Austin City Council during its May 3 meeting.

Duren said Impact Austin used the architectural design to seek funding for the building; however, they did not receive the necessary funds. As a result, this year’s farmers market will see those involved bringing their own tents and canopies, as is typical with many farmers markets.

Impact Austin is continuing to seek funding for the permanent structures.

Duren noted that the purpose of the farmers market is “to grow a market experience which nourishes and inspires community.”

“Since the goal of this market is to grow an experience for community members, we are seeking engagement from local musicians for live music and local businesses for food trucks and ready-to-eat food items in addition to the variety of vendors we will seek to engage in the areas of produce, meat/eggs, honey/maple syrup, baked/canned goods, plants, handmade crafts/arts/goods, live demos, and local wellness,” Duren said.

As such, Impact Austin has worked to get the community heavily involved.

A new farmers market would set up shop in the parking lot south of the old location of The Terp on weekends. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

“We have built a board of directors with a lot of community leaders from groups like Hormel, the YMCA, the City of Austin, Parks and Rec, Mayo; a lot of key organizations in the community that care about healthy living and local food,” Duren said. “They have created bylaws and vendor rules and guidelines for the market.”

“We’re working with vendors who want to be engaged in this process of being a part of this market,” she added.

The market will run this year from 3-7 p.m. on Fridays from June 18 through Oct. 15. Duren noted that next year’s farmers market will begin on a date in mid-May.

“This market will be specifically for a weekend-type crowd to create an experience for the community to come to,” she said, noting that the weekday farmers market off Main Street will continue to operate as normal.

Impact Austin will engage people about the farmers market through its social media pages. There are also plans to make a social media page specifically for the farmers market.

Anyone interested in being vendors can find registration and application forms on Impact Austin’s website at www.impactaustintogether.org.

“We are accepting vendors within a 125-mile radius of Austin, with attention to vendors located within Mower County,” Duren said.