Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Fontana’s new farmers market

by Rob Ireland

May 17, 2012

FONTANA — The organizer of a farmers market hopes to provide a place for people to purchase fresh, locally grown produce in the village.

Maryanne Bruss, who owns the Coffee Mill on Porter Court Plaza, is organizing Fontana's Farmer's Market, which will be every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at the Porter Court Plaza off Highway 67. The farmers market will start June 2 and end Oct. 20.

"I personally love farmers markets and I think it is something Fontana could benefit from," Bruss said. "The residents can benefit from it and we have a beautiful plaza with Porter Court Plaza. It would be nice if it could be used, it gets used for Memorial Day weekend when the garden club has its big sale. Other than that it doesn't get much use."

The plaza has been reserved by Bruss, and she is still looking for additional vendors, who can reach her at (262) 749-8913.

Bruss anticipates Fontana's Farmer's Market will continue to grow throughout the season.

"The location is good, I think the community would really enjoy something like this," she said. "I think the residents and visitors of Fontana would be given something to do, and I think everyone would love it."

The Coffee Mill opened May 14, and Bruss thinks her shop and a farmers market will go hand-in-hand.

"Someone can get a cup of coffee, stroll around the farmers market, pick up fresh produce and fresh meat for their cookouts and enjoy the rest of their weekend in Fontana on the lake," she said. "I think they just compliment one another."

According to the Fontana Farmer's Market rules and regulations, all food should be grown within 50 miles if labeled as "local."

Seasonal specialty items that are not grown in Walworth County may be sold if the items are clearly labeled with their growing location.

All of the vendors participating in the farmer's market will pay a $50 fee for a seasonal stall. If they sign up after June 2 they will pay a $75 annual fee.

If a vendor just wants to rent out a stall for a Saturday it will cost them $10. All of the money that is collected in fees will be donated to the village of Fontana's Park Commission.

Vendors at the market will be allowed to sell homegrown produce, edible grains, nuts, berries, maple sugar, honey, cut or dried flowers, house plants, garden accessories, meats, vinegars, cheese, home canned goods and handmade items from natural products.

So far, Bruss said she will have fresh vegetables, fresh pork and sausage, hanging baskets, perennials, annuals and bushes. She also has a honey vendor coming later in the season.

Live animals and rummage items can't be sold. Alcohol also isn't allowed on the premises.