The Belle Plaine Historical Society will no longer be involved with the Belle Plaine Farmers' Market, according to multiple sources.
Rick Krant of the historical society stated that difficulties associated with the coronavirus and typical licensing requirements as well as the associated liabilities linked to both were among the reasons for the separation. The separation comes after around seven years of the historical society orchestrating the market.
"This just seemed like the appropriate year," Krant said. "It was becoming pretty labor intensive."
The separation comes about a week after the City of Belle Plaine approved a large assembly permit for the market, which was set to take place outside the Hooper-Bowler-Hillstrom House north of downtown, but on Monday, June 22, the historical society opted to drop its involvement with the farmers' market due to the perceived risk of policing vendors, who are required to have a cottage food license to sell food from private property.
The vendors who were slated to sell their goods at the Belle Plaine Farmers' Market have since organized their own weekly market, which is set to take place outside Borough Bowl at 235 S. Ash St., from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, beginning June 24.
Eve Hennen, one of the vendors who has organized the effort, said the vendors who intend to set up either have a cottage food license or are in the process of finalizing one, so she is not concerned about any risks in that regard.
Hennen said that members of the public have come to her and have expressed eagerness for the market to open. Now, as the vendors shift their efforts to the Borough Bowl, who welcomed the group with open arms, they hope they will be able to fully capitalize on the remainder of the shortened season.
"It’s nice to know that people are eager to support their local people," Hennen said.