The Great Falls Farmers Market is an idea that was born during the focus groups and later confirmed by the 2020 Vision Survey of what the community would like to be by the year 2020. Rob Watters launched the first Great Falls Farmers Market in May 2007 at St. Francis Episcopal Church on Georgetown Pike. Later that summer, Mike Kearney brought the market to the Great Falls Village Centre, where it operated until the 2011 season when it was moved to the Village Green Day School parking lot. Unfortunately, with minimal parking, the market suffered greatly and barely had a pulse when Mike Kearney asked me to take it over just before the opening of the 2012 season. Thanks to the generosity and consideration of Jorge Kfory, owner of the parking lot next to Wells Fargo Bank, the market once again was returned to its location in the Great Falls Village Centre for the 2012 season and has run all winter, for the first time, in that location.
In the spirit of the original intention, we envisioned the creation of a virtual village square where the community comes together for four hours to shop together, support local farmers, nurture local entrepreneurs, and learn about local community news, talents, offerings, etc. To grow the community toward the fulfillment of that vision, we each share a part in choosing a vibrant village center where friends and family can meet and greet each other—by dedicating some time each Saturday to be together and enjoy shared moment in the sun. The other option—to take another road that is cheaper, quicker, faster, has more choices, yet diminishes the possibility of realizing our best hopes for a vibrant sense of community—is always a possibility.
What is the community farmers market? It is a farmers market just for us. It is a market that is striving to bring the best to our community, to encourage entrepreneurs of all ages who want to share something they grow, make, bake or produce with us. Other farmers markets may offer more choices today. However, if you commit to the Great Falls Farmers Market, your presence helps to build a thriving market that reflects our standards, values, and inspirations and encourages the formation of local businesses emerging out of our community and local farms nearby.
We love the families who come by every single Saturday, just to hang out or even just buy a bun for breakfast. We love the book writers, the bracelet makers, the jelly girls, the local bakers, the pumpkin growers, etc. who have joined in our market—even for a short time—to experience what it is like to share their wares and be part of the event. Such forays into community marketing require receivers of the gifts being shared. The conversation between vendor and visitor will become ever more wonderful, as more of us choose the success of our community's farmers market and make the fun happen! We are in the early days of a wonderful journey.
The Great Falls Farmers Market will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 20, and is growing in size very week. The summer market begins April 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The summer produce vendors arrive at the market on April 27.