Time changing for Farmer's Market

The West Point Farmer's Market is making a change to begin at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 24 - Aug. 9.
Staff Writer

In an effort to make the Farmer's Market more accessible to working families, Growth Alliance Director Lisa Klutts has announced that the bell will ring to signal the opening of the 2018, Farmer's Market, May 24, at 5 p.m., an hour later that the usual 4 p.m. opening.

"From the first time the Farmer's Market opened in 2011, it has started at 4 p.m.,” Klutts said. "I've been here for five years and I keep trying to think of ways to make it better. That's the reason for the time change."
According to Klutts, the demographic for the opening of the Farmer's Market has been retiree. She wants to broaden the appeal and make it accessible to everyone.

"I've had a lot of comments from the working community," Klutts said. "They can't make it to the market for the opening bell. When they arrive, the produce they were wanting to buy has already sold out. I want to make the Farmer's Market fair for everyone."

Certain types of produce is more popular than others, explained Klutts. Strawberries have been known to sell out in the opening 10 minutes. Peaches, watermelon, corn and blueberries are also in high demand during the summer. People who work until 5 p.m. will have a chance to take advantage of the fresh fruits and vegetables brought by local farmers.

“I did a Facebook poll to see what sort of response I would get to changing the time to 5 p.m.," Klutts said. "It was almost all positive to opening an hour later."

Klutts said the farmers and vendors were very enthusiastic about having an extra hour in the fields or for preparing their produce for the market.

"We don't know if opening an hour later will warrant changing the closing time, as well," Klutts said. "This is an experiment. Usually everything is sold by 6 or 6:30 p.m. We might stay open later if the change in the opening time deems it necessary."

Klutts said she wanted to announce the change early to give people enough time to become accustomed to the idea.

"I do a lot of my announcements via email, Facebook or some sort of social media," Klutts said. "But I know there are a lot of people in West Point who aren't interested in receiving notices that way. So I want to start spreading the word now so everyone will know to come an hour later this summer."

She understands that change is sometimes hard, but she wanted everyone to have the same opportunity to come to the Farmer's Market when it first opens and have time to purchase what they want.

"I want everyone to have the same opportunity," Klutts said. "I know it's frustrating when you want to buy the absolute freshest produce available for your family and by the time you get off work, what you wanted is already sold out. And this is the freshest way to buy fruits and vegetables aside from growing them yourself."

Klutts said the time change isn't set in stone. If it doesn't seem to work well, the Farmer's Market can go back to starting at 4 p.m.

For more information or to ask questions, call 662-494-5121.