The first weekly Farmer’s Market & Community Event Nights on the Square in Historic Versailles will begin this weekend. Local farmers, bakers, crafters and artists will be selling fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers with family entertainment provided as well.
The Versailles Area Chamber of Commerce is also looking for more area producers, crafters and musicians to participate in this event as well. Call Jim or Jan Tatangelo of Roca’s on the Square at 573-378-7350 or 573-789-5881 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on having a booth at the event.
The goal of the market is to provide top quality products. Produce must be grown within 100 miles of Versailles with exceptions only in the case of specialty items.
There will be one local non-profit organization allowed to have a free booth as a fund raising event for a determined market day. After that, these organizations can participate in the event at a reduced charge.
10 tips for going to the Versailles Farmer’s Market
1. Get there early. What vendors bring with them is all they have to sell. If they run out, they will pack up early.
2. Take cash. This isn’t the grocery store. Some vendors may have credit card capability and some may not. They may take a check, but let’s face it, cash is just easier.
3. Come armed with knowledge. Know about what you would pay for an item at the store. Items may or may not be cheaper than they would be there. While fresh, locally grown produce or home-baked goods may be worth more to you than something mass-produced from aisle 7, don’t go crazy here. Make sure you’re paying a reasonable price.
4. Don’t be afraid to haggle, especially if you’re buying a lot. One of the beautiful things about an open air market of any kind is that this is not a retail situation. Vendors shouldn’t be offended by customers looking for a better deal. It may not always work, but there’s no harm in trying.
5. Take time to search through the items for what you want. Feel that melon. Smell it. And take home the best one of the bunch. You’re shopping here because you want something better, fresher and tastier than you think you could get somewhere else. Don’t shy away now.
6. Have an idea of what you want to make with the produce you’re buying and when you will make it. For food lovers, it can be challenging to walk away from the market without buying more than you can use. Resist temptation. If you buy more than you can use, it could go to waste. And that would just be a shame.
Page 2 of 2 - 7. If you don’t see an item you’re interested in buying, ask the vendor about it. That variety may not be in season right now. Or if it’s a baked good, the vendor may start making it in the future if they think people would buy it.
8. Be open to new people and experiences. This is an opportunity to know the actual grower or producer of what you’re eating. So do it. Start up a conversation with a vendor. Maybe ask them how they deal with garden pests or what their favorite way to fix green beans is. You’ll likely learn something new. At the least, you’ll have extended a branch of friendliness.
9. Look around. This farmer’s market is located in the heart of historic Versailles. The downtown square is home to architecture dating back to the late 1800s, including the Morgan County Courthouse at its center. For those who live in the area full time, it may be easy to take the atmosphere for granted, but it’s really worth it to stop and appreciate your surroundings on a day-to-day basis. Many of the downtown buildings also house local businesses, including gift shops, restaurants and other shopping.
10. Take family or friends and make it an adventure. All life’s experiences are better when they’re shared.