News

Local Farmers' Markets become one year-round Market

Eastham, MA – After three seasons, local non-profit organization, Community Development Partnership (CDP), is transferring the ownership and management of the Orleans Winter Farmers’ Market to the Orleans Farmers’ Market, Inc.

The Orleans Winter Farmers' Market was established in 2014 as an economic development initiative of the CDP to provide access to locally grown produce and agricultural products, while raising the visibility and availability of local agriculture on the Lower Cape. In November 2016, the CDP and Orleans Farmers’ Market announced they would co-manage the Market for the 2016-2017 winter season. With that season recently complete, marked by a final market on Saturday, April 29th, the groups have jointly decided that the Orleans Farmers’ Market will take over the ownership and management of the Market next winter.

“The CDP has a history of developing and delivering programs to fulfill an identified need within the community,” said Jay Coburn, CDP Executive Director. “We saw an opportunity to provide growers and producers with a place to sell year-round, and for consumers to access local produce and products throughout the winter. As the Market established itself, a partnership with the Orleans Farmers’ Market was a natural progression. They have a long-standing history in the community, transitioning the Market to them was the next logical step. We’re pleased they’ll be incorporating the winter market into their fold.”

Orleans Farmers’ Market President, Gretel Norgeot said, “We are quite pleased to become a year-round market going into our 25th season. The Orleans Farmers' Market started in 1994 with about 8 vendors and has grown to be a food hub on the Lower Cape for fresh Barnstable County grown produce.” Norgeot continued, “The market adds value to the community by supporting many local growers, providing the freshest produce possible to an ever increasing number of consumers, and providing a weekly bonus to SNAP, WIC and senior coupon customers.”

Over its three seasons, the Orleans Winter Farmers’ Market has served 58 vendors and generated over $128,500 in sales. Hundreds of consumers have purchased produce and locally made products, like—tomatoes, scallions, leafy greens, potatoes, beef, juices, jams & jellies, soap, eggs, cheese, pasta, honey, bread, chocolate, baked goods, coffee, poultry and pork.

Market vendor, Seawind Meadows has been with the Market from the start. They sell grass fed and finished highland beef. Owner, Laura McDowell-May said, “The Orleans Winter Farmers’ Market has enabled us to maintain an income stream throughout the year and expand our customer base. Operational costs are at their highest in the winter. Having the Winter Market to offset some of these costs has been tremendous. Kudos to the CDP for providing this economic opportunity for local growers and producers for the past three years. We look forward to continuing to be a part of the Market going forward.”

To complement the Market, the CDP has offered Market vendors support through business counseling and targeted workshops. “We’ll still be here to support farmers, producers and artisans in this capacity,” Coburn said. “We’re committed to strengthening local small businesses. And these businesses are helping to pave the way for a sustainable future here—it makes a lot of sense from an economic development perspective.”

The Orleans Winter Farmers’ Market was made possible due to the financial support of title sponsor, Cape Cod Healthcare, along with grant funding from the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program. “We are grateful to Cape Cod Healthcare for demonstrating their commitment to the health of our community through their support of the Market,” said Coburn. “And to the USDA for their investment in the growth of local growers and food producers.” Coburn continued, “I’d also like to acknowledge the Nauset Regional Middle School for their partnership from the beginning. They enthusiastically shared their space, providing a comfortable community setting for the Market.”

For information about the Orleans Farmers’ Market, please email orleansfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

ABOUT THE ORLEANS FARMERS’ MARKET

 The Orleans Farmers' Market started in 1994 with a handful of vendors in the parking lot of the Orleans Bowling Alley.  The second season found the market at the Cape Cod Five Operations Center on West Road.  The market grew to about 15 vendors and stayed at C.C.5 until 2000.  

In 2001 the market moved to Old Colony Way.  In 2003 the market was incorporated as a non-profit.  The market now has more than 30 vendors and operates from May to November.

The purpose of the Orleans Farmers Market, Inc. is to coordinate a farmers market which will enable local agricultural growers the opportunity to provide a healthy local food source to the community of Orleans, MA and nearby towns. The corporation also seeks to raise social consciousness about sustainable food production on a local level and to provide education about local food production and nutrition in an atmosphere that promotes healthy eating, a strong community connection and consumer participation, particularly low-income families.

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