Mitchell Park farmers market hearing set for April 8

Proponents — and perhaps foes — of a proposed Saturday morning farmers market in Greenport’s Mitchell Park packed the Third Street firehouse Monday night, only to be told they’d have to wait two weeks for a hearing.

Village Board work sessions have lengthy agendas and it wasn’t possible to accommodate a discussion of the farmers market on Monday, according to Mayor David Nyce. He apologized for the delay, but asked that people return for a hearing on Friday, April 8, at 6 p.m. At that time, he agreed to listen to organizers, representatives of various groups such as the Greenport Business Improvement District and the Long Island Farm Bureau.

Organizers of the Greenport Farmers’ Market are asking the Village Board for access to the Mitchell Park skating rink area on Saturdays this summer. The rink is dismantled in the off season and the area operates as a misting field where a light mist emanates from spigots to offer visitors a way to cool off during hot weather. The water would, of course, be turned off during the farmers market operation.

Greenport Planning Board chairwoman Lara McNeil is president of the fledgling group and fellow Planning Board member Eileen Rich is slated to manage the operation. They have won endorsements for their plan from the BID and the Greenport Business Association.

The market plan calls for 24 vendors and identifies a few that have already signed up to participate. The vendors would offer a variety of goods, including organic poultry and eggs, honey, organic plants and vegetables, coffee beans and goat cheese.

Organizers are proposing to run the market from 8 a.m. to noon from Memorial Day weekend until Oct. 15.

The group is optimistic that it can succeed, despite the demise of a previous Greenport farmers’ market, which struggled for three years and ended in 2002.

“They did not have a visible and central location,” the new group states on its website, The previous farmers market operated first in the Adams Street parking lot area that runs north of Front Street and was later moved to the building that previously stood at the corner of Front and Third streets.

“It may just have been a little too soon,” the website said of the earlier effort. “The local food movement was not as prominent in many circles as it is today.”

[email protected]