Burlington Cultural Capital

Burlington’s year-round farmers’ market greets residents with rows of booths overflowing with produce, handmade crafts, and prepared dishes. The market gives Burlington residents the opportunity to shop directly from local farmers and artisans, catch up with neighbors, and eat incredibly fresh (and delicious) food. Most residents have a deep rooted desire to support local farmers, to help continue and promote the rich agricultural history in Vermont. I think that \Deep culture is consists the unspoken and unconscious rules in any community. The farmers market is very integrated into the economy, community, and culture of Burlington.

In 1982, the summer market moved to City Hall Park, where it has been set up every Saturday for over thirty years. And, in 2008, the market responded to shoppers growing interest to buy local by adding an indoor winter market. Over the years, the market has partnered with many local businesses and organizations. Additionally, the market works closely with the city departments of parks and recreation, public works, and police.

The Burlington Farmers’ Market Steering Committee is responsible for running the market. The Steering Committee consists of eight elected members who represent the markets interests and establish long-term goals and visions for the market. The Steering Committee is also in charge of the community organization, the Burlington Farmers’ Market Association.

The Burlington Farmers’ Market has a very positive economic impact on the city for the fees it pays, the shoppers it attracts, and the sense of genuine community it fosters downtown. For example, the farmers market pays the city over $34,000 annually to rent space at City Hall Park and provide parking spots for vendors to unload their products. Additionally, “During the summer season alone, average gross receipts at businesses located near the market total to nearly 4.7 million dollars” (Burlington Farmers’ Market, 2013).

The market often acts as an incubator for new ventures that grow to become successful local businesses. “About a third of farmers’ market vendors live in Burlington” (Burlington Farmers’ Market, 2013). The market wants to keep a balanced mix of products for sale, while also ensuring that they continue to support local farmers. So, the Burlington Farmers’ Market Association proposed that venders should be at least 55% agricultural, and should sell no more than 30% of either prepared foods or crafts. Also, the market requires that all vendors must live in the state of Vermont and only sell what they produce, so shoppers can be certain that they’re buying locally.

Burlington Farmers’ Market. (2013). Retrieved October 01, 2016, from http://www.burlingtonfarmersmarket.org/about/