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Farmers market coming to Finland

By Ken Vogel

The Clair Nelson Center in Finland will be hosting a farmer’s market beginning June 27 from 5-7 p.m., and continuing every Friday through the month of September. Between now and then, the details are being hammered out and vendors sought. According to the center’s kitchen manager, Marc Smith, there’s still time to reserve a space.

“We have a covered picnic shelter that will hold six vendors, and the market will be open rain or shine,” he said. Available space will be issued on first come basis for full season vendors and can be reserved through September or one evening at a time.

“Cost for full season vendors is only $50 for the whole season,” said Smith, “there is a minimal cost of $5 a day for non-full-season vendors.” The fee includes electrical hook ups but outside vendors are responsible for bringing their own equipment.

“Vendors will need to provide their own tables, extension cords and tent covering for the sites outside the picnic shelter,” Smith said. A covered picnic shelter space is about 48 square feet. Outside spaces are up to 100 square feet and there are a few guidelines he’d like vendors to observe.

While craft items are welcome, Smith said, the goal of the farmer’s market is to the focus on edibles.

“We want to keep this a true farmers market,” he said, “so we ask that all craft vendors bring food related items.” Smith added the center plans to have credit and debit card capability available for the convenience of shoppers.

So far local residents have shown interest in the market and some local farmers have already signed on.

“We are pleased to have Round River Farm on board,” said Smith, “quality locally grown produce is what this is all about.” Round River Farm is an organic farming operation owned by David and Lise Abazs, familiar names in the community and the movement toward sustainable agriculture.

“I am very excited and glad to support the Clair Nelson Center in this venture,” Lise Abazs said, “it will be a great opportunity to get fresh produce to people who are unable to grow their own.” And in the spirit of having something for everyone, Smith has also been in contact with the folks at Toimi Farms to ensure that meat lovers can satisfy their cravings, too.

All in all, it appears that Finland residents and visitors will now be able to gather the ingredients for fresh, healthy meals without leaving town, and according to Abazs, that’s just one of the benefits.

“It should also prove to be a great gathering place to meet and talk on a Friday evening,” she said.

For more information or an application contact Marc Smith at (218) 353-0300.