Announcing our 2016 Season

Oakley Farmers Market has some new and exciting big news to share!

happyvegetable

This winter we have been working diligently on finding a new location for the Market. We are sad to leave the Oakley United Methodist Church . Based on customer and vendor feedback we are moving to the parking lot of the Screendoor at 115 Fairview Road, Asheville, NC 28803.

Our 2016 Vendor Application is now available. If you or know of anyone who wants to join us as vendor at the Oakley Farmers Market please pass this information along to them.

The market will be open from May 5, 2016 until September 29, 2016 on Thursdays from 3:30pm to 6:30pm.  Stay tuned for more details on coming market events and news about this season’s vendors.

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NCGS § 66-255 Changes to Farmers Market Requirements

NC Revenue Building

Please consider writing your NC state legislators and asking them to reverse new requirements which make farmers markets monitor the sales tax status of their vendors. This requirement is burdensome in that it over-extends are already busy volunteers and detracts from other market activities.

You can read more about these requirements over on Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s website.

Below is a sample e-mail that you can send to your legislator, who you can locate on the North Carolina General Assembly website.

Representative *INSERT NAME*,

In response to the changes to N.C.G.S. § 66-255 and its application to specialty markets (see here to the legislative analysis from the NC Farm Bureau and Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project – http://fromhere.org/news/new-nc-legislation-n-c-g-s-%C2%A7-66-255-to-impact-farmers-markets/), I respectfully request that you make an effort to remove this requirement from the farmers markets.

I certainly understand the need to ensure that the State collects the money that its due, but, this regulation represents one more hoop that detracts farmers markets from their core missions.  The regulatory burden on farmers markets is already onerous in that individuals who are volunteering to bring a service to their community which feeds people, provides farmers with an accessible marketplace, and encourages entrepreneurship (within a venue that is unmatched in its value for startup businesses) get caught up in trying to understand a confusing myriad of rules at all levels of government.

I feel that it’s irresponsible to make the farmers market complicit in aiding to collect sales tax.  Farmers markets simply provide a temporary rental space for vendors to engage in the sales of their wares (similar to say a mall or shopping center).  The relationship is that of a tenant and a landlord and it’s an overstep to imply that a landlord has any responsibility in ensuring that the tenant is paying their basic civic debts.

Please consider revising this legislation and allowing farmers market volunteers to return to our actual mission rather than overwhelming community oriented folks who may not be well versed in accounting and tax issues with this unnecessary bureaucratic process.

Thank you,

*YOUR NAME*

2014 Market Applications Now Available!

Fresh Local Produce

The Oakley Farmers Market is now accepting vendor applications for the 2014 market season. Local farmers, value-added food producers and crafters are welcome to apply.

Vendor membership is $150 for the season for applications received by the early-bird deadline of Feb. 24. Membership rates increase to $175 after Feb. 24.

The 2014 market will be held 3:30-6:30 p.m. Thursdays May 8 – Oct. 16 in the parking lot behind Oakley United Methodist Church, 607 Fairview Road, Asheville. Online applications are available at oakleyfarmersmarket.wordpress.com/forms/. For details, contact Carly Esslinger at oakleyfarmersmarket@gmail.com or call 828-407-0188.

City Council to Take Action on Food Action Policy

Urban Farm Tomato

Image Credit: TCDavis (http://www.flickr.com/people/tcd123/)

Thanks to the work of the Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council, Asheville City Council will consider a proposed food action plan to move the city toward food security and to provide a more supportive atmosphere for urban farming.  Posted below are the documents to be considered.  Please consider contacting City Council (here’s their contact info) to express your support for the plan.  You can also attend the meeting to show City Council that this is something that our community truly supports.  Please share this post in order to garner as much support as possible! Continue reading

FACT’s Fund-a-Farmer Project

Photo Credit: SMcGarnigle (http://www.flickr.com/people/mcbarnicle/)

Photo Credit: SMcGarnigle (http://www.flickr.com/people/mcbarnicle/)

This grant may be of interest to vendors at the Oakley Farmers Market or others interested in humane animal farming techniques.

Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) is now accepting grant applications for its Fund-a-Farmer Project!   The Fund-a-Farmer Project provides small grants to qualifying humane farmers who need assistance in improving the welfare of their farm animals. Grants of up to $1,500 will be awarded for projects that (1) help farms transition to pasture-based systems, (2) improve the marketing of their humane products, or (3) more generally enrich the conditions in which farm animals are raised. Working, independent family farmers that raise pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows and/or beef cattle are eligible to apply for any of the three types of grants.  Projects involving goats and sheep are only eligible for marketing grants.  Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by May 1, 2013 for awards made in August 2013. View guidelines and apply online at www.fundafarmer.org. Contact Lisa at grants@foodanimalconcerns.org or 773-525-4952 with questions.

Gearing Up for the Festival with Cider, Roasted Chestnuts, and PRIZES!

Well here we are!  One week left of good ol’ market fun before our first annual harvest festival on October 25!  What better way to kick off the excitement this week than with hot apple cider and roasted chestnuts from Sakshi’s Old Fashioned Roasted Nuts!  Who needs dinner after that?  Parents, bring the kids down for a fun apple print activity at 4:30pm, and stick around for children’s story time with the Oakley Library at 5pm.  Enjoy music this week from Tristan Buie-Collard.

Speaking of the harvest festival, remember to bring the kids and dogs down for our kid and pet costume contests!  Our great prizes include handmade kaleidescopes, a $20 gift certificate to Biltmore Village’s toy store Once Upon A Time, and a $50 handmade leather dog collar crafted from the talented hands of our roasted nut vendor, Sakshi Gantenbein.  And your generous donations for a delicious dinner enter you in our raffle for three gift baskets full of hand crafted goodness from our many vendors, each at a value of over $40!  We are so excited to celebrate our first season with you, so stay tuned all week on Facebook, our website and with our newsletter for more info on all the fun that awaits.   Take in the autumn flavors this week with a variety of greens and root veggies like beets, carrots, turnips and radishes.  Roasted veggies are abound with broccoli, potatoes, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, and winter squashes.  Get to bakin’ with fall apples and remember to get your Jack O’ Lanterns too.  You can still find sweet summer flavors with okra, squashes, eggplants, bush beans and peppers. 

Remember to visit Rachel’s Delectables for holiday orders for pumpkin mini cheesecakes!  Vandele Farms is running a great sale on bone in soup meat and breakfast sausage.

See you at the market!!

Harvest Festival! Looking back and looking forward!

The leaves are starting to change in our lovely neighborhood, and there are just a two market days left in our inaugural season! We want to thank all of our vendors, volunteers, and community members in making such a wonderful farmers market possible in our own backyard. We’re not done yet! Come celebrate with us at the Oakley Farmers Market Harvest Festival! Its going to be a great way to celebrate the bounty of our local farmers and crafters, and an excellent way to close out our first year.
The market steering committee is still hard at work! They’ve been hard at work not only closing this year out with a great celebration, but planning for next season! The committee has drafted a letter to the Mayor and Members of City council about our successes and challenges we’ve faced in our first year. Read all about it here.

See you at the market this week!