Van Buren launches its 1st farmers market

1 year ago

VAN BUREN — As part of Van Buren’s ongoing revitalization, the town held its first farmers market on July 13, and will continue to do so on alternating Thursdays and Saturdays throughout the summer. 

The market wouldn’t be possible without the help of residents volunteering their time for the community, Town Manager Luke Dyer said.

The farmers market building was constructed about 15 years ago, but it was unusable because it was built on a slope and had no floor.

“People were actually parking their cars underneath it,” Dyer said. “So it really never got utilized as a farmers market.”

Dyer said town Councilor Peter Madore pitched the idea of fixing the building.

“[Madore] said he would be happy to come and put a floor in, and we took some money out of our TIF district fund and we were able to put in a brand new floor and make it level and able to be used,” Dyer said.

Dyer also commended residents Danielle Segen and Lisa Borm for taking on the responsibility of managing the event. 

“The two of them have been making sure we have people here and announcing on Facebook who we’re going to have for vendors,” he said. 

One of the vendors, Woodland-based cupcake shop Stacy Cakes, sold out of all its products within the first half hour of the town’s second farmers market on July 20. 

“And the week before we had another baker here, which is York’s Bakery,” Dyer said. “They bake from their home here in Van Buren, and they were sold out within a half hour. So it seems like bakeries are pretty popular.”

In addition to organizing, Borm was also selling products from her business Barefoot and Braless Gardens on Thursday. The offerings included herbal products, farm fresh eggs and a couple books written by Born. 

Borm, who is originally from western Nebraska, moved to Van Buren from Indianapolis, Indiana, two years ago. She said the name of her business was inspired by “a bottle of wine,” and by a comment her husband made while she was working on their garden in Indiana.

“He said ‘that’s where you’re happiest, when you’re out in the garden barefoot,’” Borm said.

Frenchville resident Aimee Michaud sells a plethora of handmade products via her business “Inspired Creations” at Van Buren Farmer’s Market. (Chris Bouchard | St. John Valley Times)

Aimee Michaud of Frenchville sold several handmade products through her business “Inspired Creations,” including resin-dipped fiddlehead and flower necklaces, earrings and intricate crafts made with hand-bent wires. 

She said that, in general, farmers markets this year seem to be less profitable than in the past. 

“I can’t complain,” she said. “I come back with more money than I came with, but I do find that this year is different than it has been in the past. People just aren’t spending much. I’m making about half of what I used to.”

But Michaud still plans to make an appearance at future farmers markets in Van Buren.

“For me, it’s a day out and a way to make some money to feed my crafting habit,” she said.

And while it’s only been going for a couple of weeks, Dyer said the farmers market is already bringing more people to Van Buren.

“People are enjoying it,” he said. “And last week, honest to God, it’s the most vehicles I’d seen on Main Street in a very long time. And they were all drawn right to the market.”

An earlier version of this story listed an incomplete name of a business. The business is Barefoot and Braless Gardens.