here is a letter i got from gerald in response to your posts. i am re-posting my response afterward, too.  you can, of course, continue to provide honest feedback and discussion points. i am looking forward to hearing what you have to say:

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Hi All.  I am the co-founder of the market.  I REALLY thank you for the comments.  All are good.  No, we don’t expect to raise ALL the money on donations alone.  Yes, we have a 51 page business plan.  No, we were not turned down by a bank – not yet at least.  Yes, we have talked with investors and continue to do so.  Yes, the seed money will go to some advertising as well.  By destination”, we mean that unlike farmers’ markets that are only in a parking lot (which are what is around here, we will provide a bit more.  We used “destination” specifically to set ourselves apart, though we work with and promote, other local farmers markets.

No, it’s not a scam. I’ve personally spent the last 27 days working 14 and 16 hours to construct the project on KS, and then promote it.  We’ve been working on the entire project since last July.  We are seeking seed funding because, first we don’t have it; second the Town is only minimally working with us, and has a list of requirements we must fulfill BEFORE we open the doors inside; and, I hate to say it, but they may just shut us down outside this year if we don’t show that we are at least working to meet their requirements.  We entertained a vendor-owned co op, but the vendors were not interested.  Farmers, at least around here, want to farm; not co-manage a market.

We did run a market in the lot last year.  The reasons we are seeking the funding is spelled out in the project.  As for the amount we’re seeking, neighboring towns are spending $200k on their markets!  THAT is all through “grants” (which means TAXPAYER’S MONEY).  The reason I posted here is that I have been following the Oak Park issue, and knew I would find like-minded people.  These “grants” are one of the reasons that Big Government affects even small towns.  Why shouldn’t the government have a say when you’re asking for their money.  IN our case, we are basically pre-selling stuff to raise the money.  It’s not free money, and it’s not government money.

We;re also doing it to keep the costs of our vendors down – as Christine points out, “you’re lucky if you make anything.”

We’re also doing this because of the things Sheila points out.  There’s not much in Town to attract folks.  However, we have beautiful new sidewalks, lampposts, new Town Center, beautiful new Town Park (I designed the new gazebo), and are sprucing up nicely.  Actually, there are tons of people who go THROUGH Mount Jackson – both folks traveling on I-81 looking for something to do and people going to the nearby Bryce Resort.  There’s just little reason for them to stop and shop because we don’t have the businesses.  We don’t have the businesses because there are no people.  It’s most definitely a chicken and egg scenario.  Providing affordable space under one roof to artisans and food producers is one way to minimize everyone’s risk.  Actually, the mentality of the town is a has-been is one of the very reasons we are doing this.  All over America, developers are paying to develop NEW TOWNS that embody the planning principles found in small towns, such as ours.  We already have that, right here!  We just need to realize it and change our attitudes.  Everyone locally complains about how there is nothing to do.  Well, put your money where your mouth is and support this, and there will be a great place to spend a morning, afternoon or all day.

Again, thank you for the comments.  They are very insightful.

Sincerely, Gerald

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ok- i’m going to put some money where my mouth is! i actually wrote a fan letter to joel salatin (!) last week and asked him for advice about what to get involved in, and then like magic this post showed up on my blog. i think people raised some legitimate concerns, but i am going to choose to believe in your dream- and i hope others will too! best of luck to you- please continue to keep us posted on your progress, and please continue to keep us updated on what we can do to help -julie