No Sunapee Farmers’ Market This Year

There are 80 farmers’ markets operating across the Granite State, but plans for a market in Sunapee this summer did not bear fruit. A Sunapee farmers’ market is a “no-go” this year, said one local vendor who was looking forward to both selling and buying locally. The insurance requirements for small producers, gardeners and artisans, make it impossible, she added, and for some individuals the cost was going to be $500 required by a town contract.

The market was to open in July and then in August, but now organizers are going to revisit the idea next year.

Sunapee Town Manager Donna Nashawaty confirmed last week that a local farmers’ market in the Old Town Hall is not coming together this year because each vendor needs proof of insurance, which eliminated most people that had signed on. If the vendors form a cooperative, they could secure a group insurance policy, Nashawaty said. Or they might be able to work with an existing non-profit, such as the local Chamber of Commerce.

“The bottom line for a farmers’ market in the OTH is that it would require either professional growers who already carry the insurance or the formation of a non-profit or some sort of corporation who could purchase a policy,” another potential Sunapee vendor said. “As long as it is in a facility requiring general liability insurance, it will not be a financially viable option for people who have a home garden or kitchen.” She’s calling around to see if she can get into another farmers’ market in the area.

The town owns the Old Town Hall and looks at guidelines published by New Hampshire Local Government Center, the town manager said. The Center has a publication, Cultivating a Successful Farmers’ Market that recommends specific insurance coverage.

However, farmers’ markets and towns operate differently, according to one of the Sunapee organizers. “We were caught unaware.” She’s looking towards next year. The town was supportive, she said.

“We will probably have some work to do over the winter if we want to make it happen,” a disappointed local artisan said.

One Response

  1. I am very disappointed to hear that the Farmer’s Market will not happen this year. We often go to the Farmer’s markets in our town and were looking forward to being able to go to one in Sunapee when we are up there. I do hope that things can be sorted out so that a market can start up next year. Locally grown produce is much better for the environment, usually much more tasty, and more fun!!

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