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Farmer’s Market looking for vendors for mid-June opening

Times Observer file photos The Warren Farmer’s Market is on the hunt for additional vendors. The market it set to open on June 19 and will run each Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at the Midtown Lot in downtown Warren.

It may be just under two months until the Warren Farmer’s Market is back in business but the planning is underway.

While the market is healthy, there’s space for more and new vendors.

And while fruits and vegetables might be the staples of the market, the general theme to guide what can be included in the market is something a person is making or growing — that brings plants, herbs, soaps, candles, syrup and honey to the Midtown Lot each Saturday morning over the summer.

“We basically have a stable, small group of vendors,” Josie Gerardi explained; but she said that number is about six and was once 24.

Inspection requirements pushed many of those vendors away but Gerardi said she went through the process and “it actually wasn’t that difficult,” suggesting that many “didn’t want to go through the hassle.”

The market’s 2021 season is set to open on June 19 and run each Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. through Oct. 30.

Girardi said there is a signup process through the City of Warren and directed people that are interested to email warrenpafarmmarket@gmail.com or call (814) 730-0809.

The cost to participate is $50 for the entire season — 20 weeks.

“That’s a substantial amount of time for the amount of money you have to pay,” she said, noting that people can also participate on a weekly basis for $5 per week.

“You have to sell what you produce yourself,” she explained, except for large vendors who can have up to 20 percent of their product sourced from somewhere else.

“If you really have a lot to sell as a vendor, you can make a considerable amount of income from it,” she said.

Starting in June might sound early given the typical growing seasons in our area, Gerardi said the early weeks can feature plants and herbs as well as early items, such as blueberries.

While 2020 presented challenges no one foresaw, she said the Farmer’s Market “actually went quite well,” with one of the larger vendors suggesting it was his best year.

She suggested the pandemic resulted “in a lot of people enjoying gardening more than they ever had” and also called it “Saturday morning socialization.”

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