Racine makes a great move in working to create more sustainable food.
Buy Local! Buy Wisconsin!
From the Racine Journal Times
RACINE — When no new business is sprouting, do the next best thing: Have farmers sell what they raise.
That is the present philosophy of the West Racine Business and Professional Association. On Wednesday, the group will ask the Racine Redevelopment Authority if it can host a weekly farmers market on the city-owned 3100 block of Washington Avenue, near West Boulevard.
The city acquired the block in 2005 and cleared away the former, mostly dilapidated buildings. But since then, the block has stayed barren.
The most recent stumble in a string of failures there was when an Illinois developer with a contract to develop the block lost interest. That leaves West Racine without either a developer or a renewal plan for the block.
Getting permission from the city for a market should be a snap. "We have let the association use the space for special events in the past," City Development Director Brian O’Connell said Thursday. "I expect that we will let them use it for this."
West Racine businessman and Alderman Jim Spangenberg said the idea is for a farmers market there one or two days a week throughout harvest season.
"It’s a top 10 intersection in the City of Racine," he said. And so far, farmers have been receptive to the idea.
"They were excited," Spangenberg said, but added: "It’s just in the formation stage. We’re going to keep working to still get
He said the association will ask the city to add gravel in some areas so farmers can drive in, and plant grass on other parts of the block.
Another source of money could be the West Racine Business Improvement District, which is funded by assessments on district properties.
This is a great idea. Helping to get folks closer to the source of their food! Helping small farmers!