Struggling Farmer's Market May Leave Radburn, Join with Glen Rock
Fair Lawn and Glen Rock are in preliminary discussions about creating a joint farmer's market next year that would be located near the towns' border on Harristown Road.
The Fair Lawn Farmer’s Market may relocate to a more visible location next year after failing to generate adequate returns for its vendors at its current home in the center of Radburn.
Three vendors have abandoned the market in the past two years after failing to turn enough profit, and primary vendor Silver Lake Farm is making just enough to survive, the market’s coordinator, Jane Spindel, reported to council Tuesday.
“I think the word is out that Fair Lawn just doesn’t make the draw for making money,” Spindel said.
In an effort to reinvigorate the farmer’s market — which currently runs Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. from late June through mid-October in the New Song Church parking lot — Spindel said she’d been in discussions with the environmental committee in Glen Rock to jointly host the farmer’s market at the former Walsh Pool on Harristown Road.
The location, right off Route 208, would be more visible to highway drivers and also has access to bathrooms and electricity -- amenities the current farmer’s market setup lacks.
“Between the two towns there should be a lot of potential,” Spindel said. “We have a large population, people love to come and if it’s in a more visible spot like right off of 208, I think, personally, it’ll draw a lot of people.”
Even in a more visible location, Mayor Jeanne Baratta expressed concern that the market’s struggles were more a matter of when rather than where it is set up.
“I think Wednesday is the problem,” Baratta said.
While Spindel acknowledged that a weekend market would be ideal, she said the current farmer is already committed to another market on the weekend and that finding a new farmer who is available on the weekend could prove difficult.
Spindel said one consideration is bringing in a second farmer to set up in the evening on Wednesdays for the after-work crowd.
“A lot of people are complaining they’re missing it coming home from work,” Spindel said. “If I could get a farmer to overlap, even a small family-operated business that could take it until 6:30, 7 o’clock, it might be a bigger draw.”
Council agreed that with the current set up clearly not working out for the market, it was worth exploring any opportunities to combine the market with Glen Rock next year at Walsh Pool.
With council’s approval, Spindel said she’d report back to her contacts in Glen Rock to gather their thoughts and move the process forward.