January 16, 2019

Dear Friends of the Berwyn Township Farmers Market-

After lots of thoughtful discussion and deliberation, the Berwyn Township Board and the Berwyn Public Health District Board voted on Monday to discontinue this year's Berwyn Township Farmers Market. For the record, David Avila voted nay on the Health Board. Please know that this was not an easy decision for anybody.

Last year we increased the frequency of the market to every Sunday in hopes of increasing attendance. The number of attendees did not improve.

We have been criticized for not having more farmers at our market. This was not for lack of trying. We have attended farmers’ markets in Oak Park, (both the summer and winter markets), Lyons (until they could no longer sustain their market), Brookfield, La Grange, Burr Ridge, Hinsdale, Chicago (Daley Center, Weiss Memorial), and many other markets in Illinois, as well as some in Wisconsin. The repeated response we have received when asking farmers to join our market was that the farmers would not be willing to attend a Sunday market. Sunday was their one day off, their one day to spend time with family.

We considered attempting a Tuesday evening market, a night that is currently not "taken" for Farmers Markets in the area. This is an evening when our staff is currently here until 8:00 p.m. It made sense from the standpoint of being proper stewards of tax dollars entrusted to us. When we reached out to farmers, the ones currently in our Sunday market, and an additional 50 that were not, we could not get a strong enough commitment to even consider holding a Tuesday market.

We do not want untruths or rumors to fly. We are of the belief that our residents are due an explanation as to what is, or isn’t, currently transpiring with the Farmers Market. There have been discussions about not having sufficient volunteers or staff to run the market. We made it work, despite the challenges, staffing was not the concern. The market was set up and taken down without issue during each weekly market.

Simply put, the part of the Farmers Market that we felt was missing was the community involvement. It is difficult, if not impossible, to gage the desire and the needs of the community when the community isn’t present and has not provided input.

To this end, YOU have an opportunity to speak your piece and engage in the discussion. A small group of community minded individuals will be meeting to discuss of how our residents can support the efforts of a community run market.

***Please note this is NOT going to be a Township or a Health District led discussion. I am hoping that the discussion will be a positive one with ideas for the future rather than a rehashing of the past. I trust the organizers of this discussion will share salient comments, ideas, and feedback after the discussion has happened.


THE INVITATION IS REPRINTED BELOW

After careful and intense deliberation, Berwyn Township and Health Services has reluctantly decided to no longer manage the Berwyn Farmers Market. Please join us for a meeting Wednesday, January 23rd, 7:30pm at Unity Church (31st and Euclid) to discuss the future of the Market as a community run event.

Después de una cuidadosa e intensa deliberación, el municipio de Berwyn y los servicios de salud decidieron a regañadientes no administrar más el mercado de agricultores de Berwyn. Únase a nosotros para una reunión el miércoles 23 de enero a las 7:30 pm en la Iglesia Unity (31 y Euclid) para hablar sobre el futuro del Mercado como un evento administrado por la comunidad.
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Comment on Facebook

How about having it at Proksa Park or a Saturday??? This is ashame and no excuse theres no reason why our town cant keep a farmers Market going and having a variety of vendors helps that.

This isn’t set up for success. There’s more traffic at the other markets (Oak Park) because they are on Saturday and have more food vendors. With Berwyn’s being on a Sunday and lacking food vendors, you’re asking for people not to attend because they got what they needed the day before at another market. If Berwyn had a market on a Saturday I would much rather support my local town that I live in than attend a different town’s market. Also common things were missing from Berwyn’s market that are why many go to markets (i.e. fresh donuts or pastries, variety of fresh produce).

Berwyn Township Farmers' Market, just promoted your meeting to try to save your market on Riverside Farmers' Market Facebook page. Let us know if we can help.

A community discussion on how we can make a farmer's market a reality in Berwyn is scheduled for next Wednesday, January 23rd at 7:30pm at Unity Lutheran Church located at 31st Street and Euclid Ave. www.facebook.com/events/2095881277165386/?ti=icl

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him/her drink! There was minimal attendance from the Berwyn buyers! If I was a vendor, why would I take time and set up and leave with no $$$$.

Something doesn’t add up. Why not Saturday. How is the logical next step a Tuesday evening?

Thanks David Avila for trying. What will the Township do with the money not spent on this? What a shame-- this was really a Berwyn Rising event and I'm so sad to see it go

As a vendor I was very sorry to read this. We always brought out new products each week and had reasonable prices. We love our customers in Berwyn and some we knew from other events. Many of the customers stated that every Sunday was too much. Others stated not enough variety. As for the weather there were only 2 dates. The first where it was very hot and another time it rained. As a vendor I showed up and I always had a tent. We can't compete with Mother Nature..... I advertised all the time on a variety of formats of social media. I told customers at other shows about the Famers Market. If I could stand on my head sideways I told people everywhere and anywhere about this Famers Market. What surprised me was the fact that people in Berwyn didn't know it existed. I am not a resident of Berwyn and I have to say Berwyn is our number 1 place for us to sell. The customers are fantastic. No where else that we have gone as vendors have we had as much success. I hope something can be worked out for the people of Berwyn. There's nothing like fresh fruits and vegetables along with something extra. Many people stopped by us just to see what we had that was new. Another park another spot another day something. Wishing the residents of Berwyn a positive outcome on this difficult situation.

I absolutely love the Berwyn farmers' market and would hate to see it go. Personally missed several dates because of the weather. Having two young children, it is important that I keep them cool or have periods of rest in the shade. When I would go I would regularly contribute to multiple vendors there. Would be great if we could keep this special part of our community.

How about a Saturday?

It’s too close to the better established ones in Oak Park and La Grange. I wonder if it offered more Mexican-American prepared food (food trucks) if that would draw more customers.

So sorry to hear this.

Thank you for trying

😫

OK cool guess I can Unlike this page now. Thanks for your efforts.

Veronica Otero Rosales

David Saad Kamil Surma

Oh no I loved going.. hope you find a new place.

Kelly Powell Kubicz

Layla Elissabeth 😲

What if efforts shifted to community gardens?

Wild Ones West Cook Group

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5 months ago

Berwyn Township Farmers' Market

Thank you to all of our Hometown Heroes!First responders were honored today at the Berwyn Township’s Farmer’s Market. We would like to personally thank everyone from the city for setting up this wonderful event and everyone who attended to show their support for the Berwyn police & firefighters 👮‍♂️👨‍🚒🇺🇸 ... See MoreSee Less

The mission of the Berwyn Township Farmers Market is to ensure that our community is a place where community members will be able to obtain a variety of fresh and prepared foods while supporting local farmers, small businesses as well as the local economy. The market is seen as an important public space within the community where residents of the city, region, and visitors can mingle. It is envisioned that the market will contribute to the enhancement of the community food system by expanding access to high quality, fresh food and support growers in the region.