Like many of the things sold there, the DeWitt Farmers Market is growing.
To help accommodate the expected growth, market manager Teresa Martens has solicited the help of two people to help with marketing and social media.
Cassie Dunlavey, the Central DeWitt high school art teacher, is Martens’ new assistant manager and will take on a handful of duties including flyer procurement and distribution and gathering sponsorships.
The other additional helper is Central DeWitt agricultural science teacher and FFA adviser Amy Grantz, who will take the reins of the market’s social media presence.
“They stepped up to help me and that’s been amazing,” Martens said.
Their help is appreciated because Martens anticipates this year’s DeWitt Farmers market will be a busy one. At last count, Martens said she already has 11 confirmed full-time vendors. That eclipses the number of vendors who participated full time last year — eight — and the number could grow as the event gets closer.
The 11 vendors also do not include those who are not full-time vendors. Last year Martens said there were 16 part-time vendors.
“Last year we lost two of our elder bakers, and they are considering coming back part time this year,” Martens said. “But it’s hard to get a feel for that until we get closer.”
Vendors who have committed to the 2021 DeWitt Farmers Market include a mixture of full-time, part-time and youth vendors. New vendors are:
• Relax, Bake It Easy by Jessica Mente
• TADA Meats from Maquoketa
Returning fill-time vendors include:
• Heilmann Hawkeye Acres, who are Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) certified
• Mairet Farms, WIC and SNAP certified
• Martens Garden of Eatin’ - WIC and SNAP certified
• Drew’s Cheesecake, a youth vendor
• Elyce B’s Tees, a youth vendor
• Ron Lippens Eggs & Denny Greve Jellies
• Marianne Wagemester & TM Candles
• Andrea O’Hanlon Soaps & Scrubs
• Laurel Lane Crochet and Crafts
• Pat and Kathie Austin with homemade crochet and sewn crafts
Part-time vendors include:
• Shirley Morrow on the first week of every month
• Xavier’s Creations, a youth vendor whose dates have yet to be determined.
In addition to what Martens hopes is more vendors, she said financial backing for the market is growing, which she hopes to parlay into attracting more patrons.
“We have a huge amount of sponsors this year,” she said. “I’m freaking amazed at that.”
Martens hopes the extended advertising reach — she wants to reach Eldridge and other surrounding communities — can translate into more attendees.
“With the increased visuals that Amy is creating and increased sponsorships, I have high hopes for the attendance,” Martens said.
Sponsorships are being accepted until May 1, which gives organizers enough time to then print and distribute flyers.
Many of the COVID-19 restrictions put in place during last year’s market have been relaxed, Martens said. The market should be like it was pre-COVID. Masks will not be required like they were in 2020.
Martens said when it comes to regulations, she uses guidance from the state.
“There’s no restrictions like there was last year, per se,” she said. “They tell people to be cordial and give distance and be nice. (Governor Kim Reynolds) has not mandated masks for us since it’s an outdoor function.”
The 2021 rendition of the farmer’s market opens for the first time May 13 in its typical spot on the east side of Lincoln park along Fifth Avenue. The market will begin at 3:30 p.m. and go until 6:30 p.m.