The Brattleboro Farmers’ Market has been awarded a $6,300 United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant to purchase a two acre lot of land adjacent to Route 9 long associated with the market. The purchase will ensure the market has a permanent home, where every Saturday between May and October more than 50 farmers and small businesses provide fresh local produce, crafts and a popular place to visit with friends and neighbors.
“The Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market has demonstrated its ability and dedication to providing access to locally produced foods,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Ted Brady. “Farmers markets are at the heart of connecting consumers with our working lands. USDA Rural Development’s investment in Brattleboro will help people eat healthier, make them aware of locally sourced produce, and build community. ”
"We have been working for years to acquire a permanent home for the Brattleboro Farmers' Market,” said Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market President Ra van Dyk. “Now, thanks to a grant from USDA Rural Development, guidance from the local USDA staff, and the generosity of Green Mountain Power, we are in the process of securing a key piece of our market for future generations of farmers, craftspeople and the customers that they depend upon."
The market, which is more than four decades old, has been working to secure the Route 9 location over 15 years. Until very recently, the market has been leasing its vending space from three separate landlords, including Green Mountain Power. It purchased the Creamery Lot several years ago, which added much-needed parking, and made improvements to the lot using a USDA Rural Development Business Enterprise Grant. In 2013, Green Mountain Power offered to sell its portion of the parcel, which includes about a third of the parking area and the heart of market.
The grant was awarded through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities program, a Farm Bill authorized program that aims to ensure rural communities have access to essential community facilities. USDA RD administers and manages housing, business, and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. For more information on USDA RD or the Community Facilities Program visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/nh-vtHome.html or contact USDA RD at (802) 828-6000.