Tricounty News

The Kimball Area Farmers' Market

Thank you to all of you who expressed interest in the farmers' market at the recent Kimball Expo. A special thank you to the Kimball Chamber of Commerce for supporting us with a booth. As most of you know the KAFM committee is run strictly by volunteers. Our committee consists of a director, treasurer, secretary, and three advisors, as well as people to set out the signs each week. No one is paid for their time except the vendors. The vendors pay a fee to be a part of the market. This fee goes to pay for things like insuring the site for liability which is close to $200, as well as licensing with the state of Minnesota, and advertising. Not to mention the days we would like to have someone there to play music or have an event. We try to keep our fee as low as possible so we look for any opportunity that is free.

For vendors, paying their fee for the season shows their commitment to be there for the Kimball Community. They spend a lot of time and care creating/growing/washing/harvesting/baking their products. As some of you know, this pays off with the best caramel rolls anywhere! As well as the awesome interesting fruits such as moon and stars watermelon. Some people wait all winter without jam just to get chokejerry jam next season. Could you ever go back to store-bought soap after you've tried ours? They work hard to bring a quality product to Kimball, and are happy to be there. However, they must be able to get paid for the work they've done.

This is where you get the conundrum of vendors and customers. The vendors won't stay if it isn't worth their time (i.e. few customers). The customers aren't drawn to the market without variety. So what's a market to do? How this works is that when the vendors have a successful market, they tell their friends to sell too. That brings in variety. It also shares the budget load for overhead. We can expand to have events. To have a successful market day takes dedicated customers. Many Kimball residents are thrilled to have a market in town and visit it regularly. Thank you. Other Kimball residents are thrilled to have a market in town but have never been there. This year, give it a try before it's gone.

Why are we different from the Swapper's Meet? Because we have to be, because we want to be. We are part of the MN Farmers' Market Association. They have certain rules we need to fulfill. The Kimball Area Farmers' Market by-laws state that all produce must be grown within a 50-mile radius of Kimball. It must be sold by the grower, or family of the grower. That means you are getting the freshest produce, and reducing green house gases in transport. The produce is picked and washed that morning! Breads are started early that day! You are actually supporting a grower in your area, keeping revenue nearby. We do not allow retail sales. This is your chance to get to know the person producing your food. Knowing that you are helping to support the families in your community is a great feeling. Who knows better how to prepare something than the person who grows it? You can also put an order in for extra caramel rolls to pick up the next week for company. What a personal way to shop.

The St. Joe market was once a little market on the grow just like us. Give us a try this year. We have a new location at the Kimball United Methodist Church right across from the high school. We will be ready to serve you Friday's 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. beginning June 17. Committee director position available. If you tell two friends and they tell two and so on and so on ....