Thursday, May 01, 2008

Freight House Farmer's Market this Saturday

Also Saturday, a bunch of whiners hanging out at the mall. Who cares.

If you want an idea of the type of petty childish junk that the people behind the previous farmer's markets are into, just check out commenter QCMike and his lame efforts to imply that the Freight House Farmer's Market is unsanitary. He also attacks the fact that they'll have live music and entertainment. He's the Karl Rove of Farmer's Markets apparently.

Here are the articles:

Freight House market opening despite flood -QCOnline

Farmer's market plans still on for riverfront

For years we've had what's become known as the Green Bean War. Two markets, one which allows semi-commercial products and one that doesn't, who refuse to cooperate. They have located on opposite sides of the driveway to the parking lot near the stadium, causing many traffic dangers. Steve Ahrens comes along and says we need to fix this. For various reasons they can't come to an agreement, so in a move straight out of 3rd grade, they take their market and leave. Except... apparently many vendors weren't too happy with their leadership, or its decision to abandon downtown for mall-town. These folks are staying near the Freight House for a new and better market, which is the only one I'll ever purchase from. A market for grown-ups, if you will.

Now the secessionists are claiming that Northpark will be a great location, and at the same time trying to pin all the blame on others. If Northpark is such a great place, why didn't they move there over the previous decades? They suggest the move will solve the traffic problem. I know the first place I think of when considering no traffic problems is Northpark and the Kimberly Road area. Locating at a farmer's market at a mall seems somewhere along the lines of locating a vegetarian restaurant in a meatpacking district. Malls and outdoor vendor-based markets are at opposite ends of the retail spectrum.

So there's my rant for today. It was inspired by QCMike.

Check out the downtown market this Saturday, and every Saturday and Wednesday for the rest of the summer. Its open 8am-1pm. This particular Saturday the market will be held on River Drive near the Freight House, due to the flooding. Park in the adjacent Community Health Care parking lot. If you make the trip out to the concrete wasteland, encourage the vendors to come back to downtown. Its the farmer's market with character.


Anonymous said...

Green Bean War???

I love it. 1st laugh of the day. And yep, I and my friends won't venture to NP Mall for fresh veggies.
Those gals are screw-weee

Anonymous said...

Imagery is fullof beanshimselfand it smelllike highheavens.

Matt said...

I've not kept up with all the news/drama of this situation, as the details don't really interest me. But I can say that, as someone naive to the minutia of this, a choice between going to one farmer's market in the Northpark Mall parking lot and another down by the river is an absolute no-brainer. I'm going to pick the less-congested, earthy-feeling downtown one every time.

pioneer98 said...

I've said before that I have yet to meet a customer who is excited about the farmer's market at Northpark (even in article comments there was maybe 1). These vendors are putting their own petty interests ahead of their customers preferences! Last time I checked, without customers, markets generally don't do too well.

I also said before their best bet might be to hold theirs on different days (Sundays and Thursdays, perhaps) so they are not directly competing with the downtown market. But it doesn't seem they're as concerned about having a successful market at Northpark as much as they hope to see the downtown one fail. Just like 3rd graders.

Prediction: they'll either move to some other city or switch days before they summer's over. Either way, QCMike and company will be trying to tell us they made the changes because the alternatives were BETTER, and not because they couldn't beat the downtown market.

Anonymous said...

One bit of clarification - it wasn't actually Ahrens who spearheaded the drive to consolidate the markets. Many unhappy vendors came to the Levee Commission to beg it to make changes. That's when the Levee Commission tasked Ahrens with making it happy.

Since then, the leadership of the two markets that are moving to Northpark have tried to spin the situation as a power grab by the commission and Ahrens. But that really isn't the case.

Anonymous said...

Erck. That should read "make it happen" not "make it happy"

Anonymous said...

I'll be supporting the downtown market for sure.

QuadCityImages said...

Keith (whose spacebar is apparently broken)and others love to accuse Ahrens of doing this all because he wants to control the market.

I was sure that's not true, because there's no reason for it. He doesn't get paid more to go down early on a Saturday morning to collect booth fees, and he gets no benefit of having to manage a farmer's market as well as a riverfront. It makes no sense.

The scenario presented by 11:20am is way more plausible: a combination of vendors sick of the pettiness, and a levee commission sick of the dangerous parking situation.

Judging by the great success of the indoor Winter markets, I think that the new Freight House Farmer's Market will be just fine.

darcy rostenbach said...

i just discovered your blog and I find it terribly entertaining to say the least! I can't wait until tomorrow's markets so all the rumor will be put to rest! Granted, I am a little too optomistic. We, as downtown vendors, are just sick and tired of the ugliness. We all offer quality products. Let all the rest go you guys! The split will be healthy and make all of us better in the long run! To all of our customers, please, take what you hear with a grain of salt. Every story has two sides and I have found the truth to be found somewhere in the middle, please let it be about the produce not the politics! Enjoy your purchases no matter the location.
Be happy and healthy Quad Cities!