Dayton’s Bluff looking to grow a market

“Market on the Bluff” is a project of the Dayton’s Bluff community council. The council’s hoping to build up a farmer’s market in the neighborhood. (photo courtesy of Diane May)

Now in its second year, the organizers of the Dayton’s Bluff “Market on the Bluff” are hoping to create momentum for a community farmers market.

The first market of the season took place Thursday, May 29, and will continue into the summer. And while the first year was perhaps a bit slow, things are looking up for the second year.

For one, the market’s moved to a location at First Lutheran Church and off of a hot patch of pavement in front of the Dayton’s Bluff District Council offices. The new location is at 463 Maria Ave off of East Seventh Street, just north of Metro State University and on the edge of Swede Hollow Park.

Deanna Foster, director of the Dayton’s Bluff community council, described the new spot as being “in a very pastoral kind of scene.”

For instance, she said, two wild turkeys ran through the parking lot during the first night of the market this year, as well as a deer.

Tim Page, the market’s manager, said they’re hoping to keep a consistent set of produce vendors this year.

For one, they’ll have the small organic farm Dream of Wild Health, which is an American Indian oriented educational farm, selling produce every week at the market, as well as growers from Big River Farm.

In hopes of generating additional foot traffic, the nearby Urban Roots will have its community-supported agriculture pickup site there at the market at the same time.

To make the market more accessible to all, vendors are now able to accept EBT and credit cards in addition to cash.

If a customer uses food stamps, the vendors match the first $5 the person spends, thanks to a food stamp program the market organizers are taking advantage of.

Foster said that she’s heard it takes about three years to get a market built up to a good sustainable level-- only in their second year, Foster said they’ll keep pushing.

“We’re just going to hang in there,” she said.

-- Patrick Larkin


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