Freight House Farmers’ Market moved again due to flooding

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- With the Mississippi River rising again, the Freight House Farmers' Market finds itself back at the Scott County Administrative Center on West 4th Street this weekend.

"We’re getting pretty good at this," said Freight House Farmers' Market Executive Director Lorrie Beaman of the second move away from the river.

"Its’ better this weekend, people have found us," she said, but she added that hauling equipment and products back and forth has been hard and impossible for some vendors. She said only about 75 percent of the regular vendors were able to set up shop at the Administrative Center.

"This weekend (the water) came up so fast, a couple of them thought they were gonna be able to access the (indoor) market. It was surrounded by water too quickly and they couldn’t get in and get their products to even bring it up here this weekend," she said.

Carol Scherer who manages the meat business at Scherer Custom Meat, wondered if customers would be able find her family's booth, selling locally grown, natural meat products.

"We worry about it being an inconvenience for our customers, because they are used to the layout down at the Freight House downtown," she said.

Scherer Custom Meats doesn't have storefront and the farmers' market is the main outlet for three generations of Scherers to sell directly to customers, she explained, adding that customers have been supportive but they have had their own struggles.

"Our customers are dealing with wet basements, drying out their basements, how to get mowed. So if it's a sunny Saturday, they’re trying to mow rather than come down to the market."

She said a good weekend in May would normally bring ten to twenty thousand people to the market, but she had seen half as many this year and it was affecting their bottom line.

"The month of May is over and we did our financial reports for the month. We are running about half of the normal income that we normal have. That's pretty true for all the vendors down here this year. It’s been truly a struggle, because the community is dealing with the flooding as well," she said.

Beaman said she hoped to be able to move the farmers' market back to the Freight House location in a couple of weeks. She said the biggest blow was the cancellation of most Wednesday night markets. Most lots were still in use during that time and could not accomodate the vendors, she said. 

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