Chicken bog brings in over $1200 for Farmer’s Market rental fees

Market Moves to Zion St. for August

County Councilman Dan Ruff, a Farmer’s Market supporter, stopped by to pick up a chicken bog meal. Assisting with the distribution are Farmer’s Market vendors, from left, Judy Wilkes, Stephanie Shirley, Jamie Vaine, Julie Tomsuden, Valerie Clowney and Michelle Taylor.

WINNSBORO – Monday was pick-up day for those who ordered Chicken Bog meals for a fundraiser dubbed the “Save the Market Chicken Bog Fundraiser.” Market manager Jamie Vaine said the community response was overwhelming, raising more than $1,200.

Sponsored by the Fairfield Farmer’s and Artisan’s Market, the chicken bog meals were prepared by market vendors Jamie Vaine (green beans), Michelle Taylor (chicken bog), and Stephanie Shirley (homemade dinner rolls). Vendors providing the food for preparation included: Meadow Lou Farms, Wilde Rose Farm and MT’s Favorite Things.

The meals were distributed by market vendor volunteers Monday evening under the clock in downtown Winnsboro.

“We sold 124 meals at $10 each,” Vaine said. “We’re hoping this will pay the better part of two months of rent.”

The county is charging the market $50 per hour when they occupy the building. Last month, that came to $950 for 19 hours of occupancy. There were no charges from the Town Monday night for using the town clock property to distribute the chicken bog meals.

“We save money on our Tuesday night markets by holding them in front of the Mt. Zion government building on Zion Street because that space is also owned by the Town and is free,” Vaine said.

Last month, the group raffled off a $495 Fire Disc grill donated by Porter Gas. In July, they offered $1 chances to win a $25 market voucher to be used to buy market foods, plants, and merchandise.

While the market building behind the clock was renovated three years ago by the county to house the farmers market at no charge, the county began levying the $50 per hour fee in April.

County Council Chairman Douglas Pauley said at a recent intergovernmental meeting the county must charge the market just as it does other groups who rent the building.

Several government officials, including County Councilman Dan Ruff, Rep. Annie McDaniel, and Ridgeway Mayor Heath Cookendorfer noted that the market is a non-profit that provides an important service to the town, bringing people into town to shop and dine.

Because the county has never installed air conditioning, heat, a sprinkler system or other systems in the building that are required by the fire marshal to accommodate large gatherings, the market is the only organization currently eligible to use the building.

Market vendors addressed council last month, asking for a meeting with county officials to discuss the rental fees. While The Voice learned that the meeting has taken place, vendors say county officials discouraged them from discussing with others what was said in the meeting.

In response to a request from The Voice for comment about the meeting, Pauley emailed the following response.

“We had a meeting with several members of the Farmers Market Committee and it was a great meeting. This is not an issue between the Farmers Market and the County as it is being made out to be. This is simply a procedural matter on how the County wants to charge rental rates for county buildings by nonprofit organizations going forward.  We were informed by the Farmers Market that they would be moving to Zion St for the month of August just for short time,” Pauley wrote.

To save money, Vaine said the Saturday markets will set up free of charge for the month of August on property owned by the Town in front of the Mt. Zion government complex. The Saturday markets are from 9 a.m. – 12 noon.

“We will also offer our Tuesday evening market at that same Zion Street location on Aug. 29, from 6 – 8 p.m.,” Vaine said. “Shoppers will find some very nice end of season locally grown vegetables, meats, plants, and a lot of locally made crafts and other merchandise.

“We also offer senior vouchers, EBT and participate in Healthy Bucks as well as Market Bucks which allows shoppers to use debit and credit cards at the market,” Vaine said. “We appreciate very much the support from the community and we work hard to offer more local items for shoppers.”

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]