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Greenfield has healthy appetite for farmers market

Greenfield officials want to know if residents are interested in a local market, and what they would like to see at it.

Greenfield officials want to know if residents are interested in a local market, and what they would like to see at it. Photo By Scott Ash

March 6, 2013

Greenfield - Surveys are dull, but crunching into carrots or cucumbers that were picked only hours before is nice.

A survey from a committee that is trying to set up a farmers market for Greenfield this year might just result in picked-this-morning fruits and vegetables right here. The survey is aimed at discovering how many residents would be interested in a local market and what they would like to see in it.

There is still time to take the survey, which ends Friday. Those who are a bit more enthusiastic and want to help set up a farmers market also can volunteer on the online survey atsurveymonkey.com/s/greenfieldmarket.

The survey takes only five or 10 minutes to fill out, said Darren Rausch, director of the Greenfield Health Department, which is taking the lead in the effort.

Healthy attraction

The Health Department has always stressed eating more fruits and vegetables for better health, Rausch said.

"I feel that more access to local fruits and vegetables is a win-win," Rausch said - a win for residents who to eat more healthfully and a win for local farmers

Mayor Michael Neitzke couldn't agree more, noting the energy and vibrancy farmers markets can deliver to a city.

"I think it would add a lot to the community," Neitzke said.

So far, the survey results have been very encouraging, Rausch said. An overwhelming number of respondents say they already shop at farmers markets and would like one in Greenfield.

One of those is the wildly popular West Allis Farmers Market, and Rausch acknowledged that Saturday afternoon market isn't the only one nearby.

"Farmers markets surround us on four sides," he said, referrring to the markets in Hales Corners and Greendale, open on alternating Saturdays, and in New Berlin, open every Saturday.

Complementing the others

The goal for the Greenfield farmers market would be to complement rather than compete with those venues.

"We're not trying to steal anyone's business," Neitzke said. "There seems to be a market for it, a good market."

Based on the survey results so far, people seem to like weekends best for a market.

"So, we're looking strongly at Sunday," Rausch said.

But much will depend on whether sellers will be available, considering their commitments to other markets, he said.

This first year, organizers hope the market can open in mid-June and run through October, he said.

The location for a Greenfield farmers market also has not been determined, but Rausch said, "We're leaning heavily toward Konkel Park," where the market might be in the parking lot or inside the park itself.

Konkel Park is desirable because it's highly recognizable and has lots of traffic going past it on Layton Avenue at 53rd Street, Rausch said.

Many details remain to be worked out, however, so that a market can fit in with the heavily used park.

"We want to be respectful of people coming to other events in the park," Rausch said.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: an online survey asking residents whether they want a Greenfield farmers market, what they would like it to sell and if they would like to help create it

WHEN: Friday deadline

WHERE: surveymonkey.com/s/greenfieldmarket

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