The Clayton Community Farmer’s Market is more than halfway through its season, and it’s seen more success than organizer Sabrina Mehlhorn could have hoped for.
“We counted more visitors at each market than what I was expecting for the first season, for the first year of the market,” she said. “I’m really surprised and happy about the community support.”
On average, Mehlhorn said, she’ll see around 700 or 800 people come to the bi-weekly market, held in the parking lot at Clayton Heights Secondary School. She originally thought she could see 300 to 400 people at a market, and most of them would be there for fresh produce.
“As it turns out, it’s more things that people don’t see that often at markets,” she explained. “Gifts, jewelry, soaps for example are very popular. And then we have a few vendors who have pet products, which are very popular too — especially because we are right next to the dog park. We have lots of visitors coming with their dogs.”
Mehlhorn said the vendor support was another huge surprise for her first year hosting the market. She expected to get around 30 at each market; on average, she sees 55. About half are there every week, while the rest are first-timers or infrequent visitors.
With four markets left in the season, Mehlhorn is already looking to next year.
“We’re hoping to make this a weekly market next year, just because I think it’s going to be more like a routine for everyone in the community,” she said. “We’re thinking of doing that, especially with the big success this year.”
The next market will be held at Clayton Heights Secondary on Aug. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mehlhorn said patrons can expect to see the “usual suspects” — baked goods, soaps, in-season fruits and vegetables — as well as a new vendors, including one that sell teething toys and one that sells dog gear.
For more information, and for the dates of other farmers’ markets, visit claytonfarmersmarket.org.