Farmers market says Mintzer transformation on track
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | October 05,2012
Greg Cox of Boardman Hill Farm talks in a short video on YouTube about the transformation of the former Mintzer Brothers property on West Street into the new home for the winter farmers market.
Greg Cox is adamant that the new winter farmers market will open next month.
“We’ll make it,” said Cox, one of the organizers of the Vermont Farmers Food Market. “We had certainly hoped we would have more (money) than we do so we could do more than we had planned. ... Money’s tight, but we have so many volunteers. We will be safe and legal and open on Nov. 3.”
The organization is transforming the long-vacant former Mintzer Brothers property on West Street into the new home for the winter farmers market. It will share the space with the Vermont Food Bank and other ventures, including a commercial kitchen.
“We originally needed about $100,000, but we have taken off, probably, about $30,000 to $40,000 in in-kind — people donating labor, people donating materials,” Cox said. “It’s unbelievable how much people have rallied. That helps us. Instead of dollars, we’ve made it up with contractors coming in and doing it at cost. The $100,000 is no longer $100,000. No worries — we’re there.”
Some workers are even getting paid in farm shares for next season, according to Cox.
“We closed on the property July 5,” he said. “It’s not even three months since we closed. To do what we have done — it’s unbelievable and it all comes down to one word: community. Folks that had money have given us money. Folks that didn’t have money have given us time.”
Art Jones, director of the documentary “The Blood in This Town,” produced a short video on the transformation, available on the Vermont Farmers Food Center Facebook page. The video shows the work under way as Cox and fellow organizer Bill Clarke talk about their ambitions for the property.
Cox said the main building has electricity, water, a new sprinkler system and a fire-safety permit. Contractors were pouring concrete for the bathroom Thursday and a number of other bathroom materials were being donated.
Plenty of work remains to be done, and the organization is calling for volunteers to join them between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on each of the next four Sundays.
“We’re happy and we’re excited, but we’re tired,” he said. “It may not be pretty on Nov. 3, but it’s going to be amazing and, in the future, it’ll be pretty, too.”