JANESVILLE (WIFR) -- The Janesville Farmer's Market will open for its 10th season on May 3rd. It will still have plenty of food and crafts to offer its customers,including honey, maple syrup, cheese, meat, eggs, flowers, bedding plants,bakery items, olive oil, crafts and more.
"A colder and longer than average winter may delay the start of most seasonal produce," says Market Manager Stephanie Aegerter, "but it won't hamper the market season, which will be the largest one yet with more vendors and more variety."
With the expansion, the market will be returning to its original No Dog policy. Numerous negative incidents involving dogs have led the Board of Directors to repeal the muzzle-based policy that was adopted in 2011. The former policy required dog owners to either carry or muzzle their dogs. The muzzle-based policy was hard to enforce and very unpopular. One problem with previous dog policies was signage. Aegerter hopes to deliver the "No Dogs" message with clear signage that is friendly and light-hearted, in contrast to the harsh, red-lettered signs that were used previously.
"We want people to know that the No Dog Policy is in place to protect both dogs and people," Aegerter said, "A busy market can be a challenging environment for even well-behaved dogs. We had several close calls and some property damage last year."
Other changes this year include more active recruiting of prepared food vendors (olive oil and local restaurants) and allowing CSA deliveries at the market. Aegerter hopes to offer more entertainment and family friendly events throughout the season. Generous sponsors such as St. Mary's Janesville Hospital, Mercy Health System, WCLO/WJVL, and Kutter Harley Davidson have helped the market grow and flourish. Helgesen Development Corporation's sponsorship of the entertainment helped support 10 weeks of local entertainers last year. The market is currently seeking community sponsors for the 2014 season. Sponsors will be recognized with signage a the market and throughout the local media.
Janesville Farmers Market is an all local, outdoor market in the heart of Downtown Janesville. The market sets up on North Main Street between Milwaukee Street and Pease Court every Saturday morning May through October. The market strives for a ratio of 75% farm/food vendors and 25% local artisans. Local nonprofits, entertainers and business sponsors provide family friendly activities, helping to make the market a popular Saturday morning destination.