Gaeta Farms ejected from Farmers’ Market

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Gaeta Farms has been ejected from the Weston Farmers’ market, which is causing great concern and may have serious repercussions.

Gaeta Farms has been an anchor tenant since the market began  38 years ago. The farm posted on their website this weekend that they had been told they had breached the code of conduct and would no longer be welcome. They dispute this:

Breaching the code of conduct they say: My dad has always loved this market, this is where we started. His voice is for the market and what’s best for all farmers and the other vendors who attend, he wants this market to succeed. Is his voice too loud? The community needs to know that the board is giving the farmers a hard time with the move to the new location next year, which doesn’t give us enough space to operate safely. His voice is sticking up for us farmers.

In an email, Sabrina Gaeta, Joe’s daughter, said the issue goes back three years.  “Vendors have left, customers are no longer attending and nothing is being done to promote the market or address the issue that we have less vendors year after year.”

Next year’s  move to John Street has also been very contentious. Sabrina Gaeta says that vendors do not want to move to the John Street location because the space is not big enough. She also says they have not been supported by the BIA.

The Gaetas say the new John Street location will be too small for all the vendors and their wares, and cannot be used safely with the trucks and loading that needs to be done.

Losing Gaeta Farms may have serious repercussions for the market. Several people have told me that an inspector came on Saturday and found the market had too few vendors to qualify as a farmers’ market. This appears to mean it will be downgraded to a flea market.

I’ve emailed Frances Nunziata and the BIA, but I haven’t yet heard back.

Sabrina Gaeta said, in closing:

After 38 years my dad just wants to retire peacefully from the market and move on to spend time with his grandchildren. He doesn’t want me to pursue this, but the community needs to know how unfair we were treated. Out staff lost their jobs on Saturday, income they rely on. What hurt us the most: they took away the opportunity to say goodbye to the community, our customers who have become friends. We deserve the right to say goodbye.

 

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

8 thoughts on “Gaeta Farms ejected from Farmers’ Market”

  1. Does anyone know *why* the farmer’s market (I should say, its remnants) is relocating to the John Street location?
    When the John Street tower was in the planning stage, the plaza was touted as a future location for the farmer’s market. This was obviously impractical, but the current Metrolinx lot seemed to work out OK.
    Is Metrolinx just unwilling to continue with the arrangement? did the BIA make some kind of deal with Rockport?

    It is an almost comic shame that those running the show in Weston couldn’t retain the one obviously good and useful thing this neighborhood had going for it. Blame rest chiefly with those who naively boosted for 22 John Street, handing over centrally located public lands with tremendous potential to private developers. Some lessons are never learned, and history repeats: after all, the entire central block between Little Ave and King Crescent was once municipally owned.

  2. If it is a matter of space, why can’t the farmer’s market be located at Weston Lions arena parking lot? Isn’t this the best solution?

    1. I totally agree with you TruthTeller. The Lions Arena parking lot would be a wonderful solution. Which is probably why the BIA won’t do it.

  3. I’m saddened with the news that Geata Farms has been taken out of the market. No thanks to our obviously forward thinking BIA. The BIA has allowed this to become a flea market. I support the farmers who are there and never bought my produce or flowers from the resellers trying to disguise themselves as farmers. Instead of trying to promote the farmers and bring more true farmers and artisans to the market, the BIA got rid of one of the best. Shame on all of you and shame on Frances Nunziata’s office for allowing it to happen.

  4. ” Instead of trying to promote the farmers and bring more true farmers and artisans to the market, the BIA got rid of one of the best. Shame on all of you and shame on Frances Nunziata’s office for allowing it to happen.”

    That says it all.

    I will add that the Residents Group has been of no help either. When John St tower was built it was clear from the diagrams that the market would not fit into the space available. In addition, you know noise complaints would eventually lead to more issues. Pretty simple to see that this would happen.

    But NOPE. The Residents Group, BIA, Nunziata all bought into what Paul Bedford was selling and look what the results are.

    No one will go to Lions Park – not visible to the main street

    Only options I say are the existing UP/GO Lot (best option), Ward Parking lot, along Little Ave and within Little Park, SuperStore Parking Lot or even closing a portion of Weston Rd from John to Little Ave?

  5. Please – with leadership intervention, working together, communication-can we not find a new home/ new management for our market? I don’t want this to end in very sad goodbyes-and Sabrina is totally right- a chance we never even got- to say goodbye to an old friend! He has to come back out of retirement! How could the one good thing about Weston- our market-get so screwed up as to fail when the plan was to honor and revitalize it! Paul Bedford-is not where the fault lies-the fault was the designers/ bia/- design 101 is that all parties are first consulted and the needs of the space addressed. form follows function.- and here we come to the reality that this space – may work for an outdoor art show or gathering spot-but its not going to accommodate our real farmers market. – In flea market space. Ive heard members of the BIA- say- if they (our farmers) dont like the new downtown downsized no truck market we will replace them with farmers who will. And so what happens is customer loyalty will follow our old vendors to their new location and boycott the flea market concept of BIA-and their allowing Weston to decline- taking the one good thing that worked well and was revered along with their record of failure to revitalize.
    Paul Bedfords plan could still work if some real artists/and designers were welcomed into our projects and not the bia busibodys who want their fingers in every pie- when its clear from Weston Road- they failed to re-design the flea market look of the main street- so why are we entrusting them to manage our precious marketplace?

    1. My understanding is that the BIA was upset that Joe was openly critical of the BIA. He had good reason.

      First the BIA itself, many of whose members do not attend the market. They have allowed it to dwindle in the last 4 years. It has not been promoted. Remember the signs that dotted our streets pointing to the Market? And when Rockport’s tiny space wasn’t ready, they had to scramble to find a home.
      Then Metrolinx, who bragged that their bridge would protect the ‘iconic’ Weston Farmers’ Market, offered space. First the south lot, then the north, though it was dug up for most of the first year. This year they refused space entirely. At the last minute the Baptist Church offered space.

      Next the city/Frances Nunziata, whose on-again off-again promises of stalls on John St or South Station have now been nixed by the roads dept who say South Station is too important for car traffic to even partially close. Maybe they will get the parking lot, which will bifurcate the market.

      Farmers have to plan their attendance 6 months in advance. If the space is still up in the air it’s unfair to expect them to keep quiet (abide by code of conduct).

      Our market was unique in its ability to display and sell very large quantities of produce. People came from miles around because they could get a bushel of apples or potatoes or onions and load them into a waiting car. What will be our attraction on a Saturday morning now?

      I love the idea of closing Weston Rd each Saturday morning. Other cities do this for farmers markets. But our mantra is Zero Vision!

      I won’t boycott the market, as that would hurt the other vendors. But i will have to go elsewhere for many items that Joe sold.

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