Farmers’ Market largest in years

BY ERIN MARSHALL | JULY 31, 2014 5:00 AM

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The liveliness surrounding the Chauncey Swan parking ramp on Wednesday evenings has only gotten larger.

In the recent years, the Farmers’ Market has added a number of vendors.

The Farmers’ Market, in Chauncey Swan parking ramp, runs every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon through Oct. 29.

“Since we’ve added more vendors, we’ve seen in an increase in the number of people who attend the market,” said Tammy Neumann, the Farmers’ Market coordinator. “All the vendors play a role in bringing the customers there.”

One of the vendors added to this year’s market is the Bread Garden Market, which has an employee riding a bicycle selling gelato.

“It’s taken a while to get a foothold,” said Frankie Schneckloth, the creative coordinator for Bread Garden Market. “It’s new, but it’s going well.”

People are getting used to seeing Bread Garden in a new place, Schneckloth said.

Recent changes to the Farmers’ Market have also included expanding the market’s location.

The Farmers’ Market now uses the entire the Chauncey Swan parking ramp as opposed to half of it, Neumann said.

The Iowa City Marketplace (formerly Sycamore Mall), has been added as a location for the market as well.

The new additions were not affected by the extremely wet summer.

“The flooding did not affect the market,” Neumann said.

“We didn’t have any problems with the floods,” said Jarrett Mitchell of Wake Up Iowa City, a coffee shop. “The weather’s more of a problem for people coming from north of town, when the Dubuque Street exit is closed.”

Because the Farmers’ Market is in the Chauncey Swan parking ramp, people come to the market even when it rains, Mitchell said.

Other vendors appreciate the location of the market as well.

“I just hope they never move it out from underneath the ramp,” said Jerry Dill of Dill’s Original Kettle Korn.

The larger crowd of people do not only have more options to shop, they now have new art to view.

A mural under the College Street Bridge, part of a project put together by the Public Art Advisory Committee, was finished this week.

“I really was not involved in that, although we’re very excited about that,” Neumann said.

Though the mural only recently premièred, a few vendors have already seen it.

“That mural underneath the bridge there — that is neat,” Dill said. “It looks nice.”

Vendors have also had the opportunity to take part in a pilot food truck program approved by the Iowa City City Council.

Vendors that applied to be part of the program have the opportunity to set up their trucks at specified locations and times throughout the week.

Participating vendors include Bread Garden Market and the Box Lunch.

“It’s introducing a new layer to our local producers,” Schneckloth said. “It’s giving the public another option to try something new.”

Liz Wohlford, owner of the Box Lunch, agreed.

“[People] like the idea of coming to the park and having their lunch,” Wohlford said.

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