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Farmers Market will open at existing location in 2022

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The Adams County Farmers Market will be launching its 2022 farmers market season on Stratton Street in Gettysburg, at the same location as in previous years, with permission newly granted from the site’s future developer.

The recent purchase of the Gettysburg Station Lot and plans for an upcoming development project had cast some uncertainty on the Adams County Farmers Market’s 2022 location. However, in recent weeks the market received official permission to move forward in the same space. The Adams County Farmers Market has utilized the Gettysburg Station Lot to hold its open-air farmers market for the past 5 years.

“The developer has given permission for us to use the same site for at least some part of 2022,” said Market Manager Reza Djalal. “So we will definitely be launching this farmers market season in the same space that our shoppers are currently familiar with. It is important to note that there is a chance of having to change locations mid-season. What we know right now is that we are 100% guaranteed to be able to hold the farmers market ‘through July,’ according to the new owner of the site. Our hope is that we will be able to finish the season without interruption, but that will be predicated on the timeline of the developer’s project.”

“The nature of development projects is simply that they take time,” said Ellen Dayhoff, Site Development Committee Co-chair for the Adams County Farmers Market. “Our hope was, if the lot would remain vacant for at least a portion of the 2022 season, then we should keep using it while we can.” At this time, a land development plan has not been submitted by the developer, but may be submitted as soon as “March or maybe before,” according to a recent Gettysburg Times article.

“This does not diminish the eventual need to change locations in the future, whether that be this year or next,” continued Djalal. “But now we can better educate customers about where to find us next. It will help to be able to communicate directly with customers at the farmers market.”

Last year’s farmers market season was the most successful ever for the organization. The Adams County Farmers Market welcomed many new vendors as well as dozens of returning vendors, and combined vendor sales increased by 65% from 2020. The ‘bounce back’ from peak pandemic also benefited the Adams County Farmers Market, with an increase of 56% in customer foot traffic due in part to lifted Covid restrictions and more visitors to Gettysburg. Market vendors and customers alike expressed high levels of satisfaction with the 2021 market season, which culminated in two extra ‘pop-up’ Christmas markets last month.

The Adams County Farmers Market has also facilitated a high volume of food assistance benefits which assist lower income individuals such as SNAP/EBT recipients, WIC clients, lower income senior citizens, and lower income Latino families. Last year, the farmers market administered more than $66,000 in food assistance programs, which helped promote consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables while serving more than 1,200 food insecure residents of Adams County. One shopper using SNAP/EBT said, “It is a wonderful program, you do a great service to the community.”

However, the growing success of the Adams County Farmers Market has strained the capacities of its current location at the Gettysburg Station Lot. Limited free parking available in the vacant lot, which at one time was enough to accommodate the market’s number of customers, has recently become insufficient to fully meet the needs of shoppers. The lack of clearly defined parking spots and unusual puddles of muddy water in the parking area have also been reported by customers as issues.

“Parking is at a premium now, and if customer traffic keeps growing at the rate it has been then the market’s current location will definitely become a limiting factor for us,” continued Dayhoff. “This highlights some of the factors we will be studying as ways to improve the farmers market when we change locations.”

More announcements about a future location for Adams County Farmers Market will be made later this year, after important details have been confirmed. In the meantime, fans of the farmers market should plan for ‘business as usual’ in the regular Stratton Street location. “The best way for market supporters to stay informed as to what’s going on is just to come to the market on Saturdays and talk to us,” said Djalal. “We’ll do our best to communicate updates to our fans. Each day the path forward for the farmers market becomes a little clearer, and we are deeply appreciative of all the support we’ve received. Our top priority is continuing to provide a vibrant, community oriented farmers market atmosphere here in Gettysburg.”

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