Downtown Smyrna is home to a consignment shop, the library, a sporting goods shop and more. Could a farmer’s market be added to the group in the near future?
A group of Smyrna residents is trying to do just that with the help of the town and the Delaware Economic Development Office. The idea of a farmer’s market is something Robin Bruner, a member of the Smyrna Downtown Renaissance Association, has been interested in for quite some time.
“We’ve been talking and talking saying wouldn’t it be great to have a Farmer’s Market in Smyrna,” Bruner said.
All the while, talk stirred within DEDO about farmer’s markets in general. Carlyn James, an AmeriCorp VISTA worker within the office, has an interest local agriculture. She took this interest to her boss Diane Laird, an email was sent out, and Bruner responded.
“Robin was one of the few people who responded. She said that Smyrna was interested and that there was a couple of people on board, they just needed structure,” James said.
A few short months later and Smyrna’s Farmer’s Market is a work in progress. James has been helping to facilitate the process but it’s a town project. So far, the group has only met a few times and is still trying to figure out the specifics: what to sell, where it should go and when to start.
“This is very preliminary. It could be next year, it could be late fall. This is all very preliminary,” James said. “It’s too early but the goal is this year.”
Why start a farmer’s market?
The idea behind bringing a farmer’s market to the downtown area is to get some fresh produce in Smyrna.
For James, with her interest in local agriculture, she just wants to give people better access to fresh produce. “There aren’t really any farmer’s markets close by so people have trouble accessing, finding local produce,” she said.
Moreover, she said a downtown market would fit in to the historic character of the area.
“Smyrna has a lot of historic assets and a lot of natural assets that the town says is often overlooked,” James said. “We want to put Smyrna on the map.”
Where would it go?
The individuals involved in the planning process, which includes residents and some town employees, are still in the initial planning stages. However, the town’s manager of planning and zoning, Janet Vinc, brought up a few possible locations to a recent meeting although none of these are set in stone.
Page 2 of 2 - The first possible location is the parking lot adjacent to the Harry Levin Center for Pharmacy and History. The second possible location is the municipal parking lot off of Main Street. The third is South Market Street Plaza.
What would be sold?
Thus far in the planning stages, the group would like to see a variety of products from produce to meat to diary and more. James even said there could be arts and crafts.
“We want diversity, a large variety,” she said.
Bruner said this is a good chance to sell a variety of things since downtown doesn’t have businesses such as a coffee shop or bakery.
“This is an opportunity for us to fill in the gaps for produce not available in downtown,” Bruner said.
Email Jennifer Dailey at email@example.com.