Kala Godard, of Four Hearts Farm, was driving up to an hour each way to various farmers’ markets to sell her farms’ goat cheese and other goat milk products. It was during the long commute, leaving her local community each week to sell in another town, that she began to think about launching a market in her own town. After five weeks, on July 22nd, the Waterboro Farmers’ Market launched.
Godard teamed up with Delani Goeben, of Midnight Farm, to plan and organize the market this summer. They found a great location on green space next to the Taylor Frey Leavitt House, a property owned by the town and operated by the local historical society. The organizers had to approach the town selectmen to get permission to host a market on this particular site, and they received unanimous support among the elected officials.
Facebook was an instrumental tool for spreading the word and collecting feedback from community members for the market organizers. “We sent Facebook polls to community groups like the PTO and we received only positive feedback and support.”
“On our very first market, it was a very rainy day, but we still had over 150 shoppers come to show their support. Nearly all the vendors sold out.”Kala Godard, Market Coordinator at Waterboro Farmers’ Market
According to Godard, the organizers chose to have the market on a Monday for a few convincing reasons. For one, they didn’t want to compete against the larger, more urban and established Saturday markets. Also, their hunch is that Mondays are a day when people are getting back into their routine and may need to do some food shopping. “The restaurants are closed, and people may not want to grocery shop on their weekends, so our market fills a need for people leaving work on Mondays”.
Overall, Godard reports that the vendors are feeling satisfied with their sales from year one. “On our very first market, it was a very rainy day.” says Godard, “but we still had over 150 shoppers come to show their support. Nearly all the vendors sold out.” Many farmers and shoppers are making more local connections. Local shoppers were unaware that there are so many agricultural producers in their own town. Godard thinks that many farmers are growing their sales on their farm through the local connections they’re making at the market. The market organizers are hopeful that the Waterboro Farmers’ Market can become a community asset for years to come.
In total, the Waterboro Farmers’ Market has 11 vendors, including: produce, pork, honey, goat cheese, soap, cider, micro-greens, baked goods, bread, and herbs. The Waterboro Farmers’ Market is open every Monday through the end of October, from 2-6 pm, at 6 Old Alfred Rd. Stay up to date about market happenings on their Facebook page.