So the market’s going to move indoors? That’s too bad.

We love the open-air nature of the farmers’ market! We also would love our vendors to have shelter when it pours rain in June. The Brunswick FoodShed is being designed for the utmost flexibility – between surprise weather conditions, between seasons, and between uses. The wide bay doors of the renovated sheds will open up on beautiful days to make the FoodShed feel more like a covered pavilion than an indoor market. And the canopy connectors between the sheds will be only roofs overhead – able to be closed off in the winter time, but allowing for the flow of air, sunshine, and customers between the buildings at all other times of year.

What about the Crystal Spring market? What about the winter market at Fort Andross?

The Brunswick FoodShed is working first to provide a permanent home for the Tuesday/Friday market on the downtown green. The Town caps this market at 15 vendors, so the FoodShed would give it the space to more than double its membership and become a year-round market.

The Brunswick Topsham Land Trust’s (BTLT) Crystal Spring Farmers’ Market is a unique gift to Brunswick. The trip to Crystal Spring Farm and connection to the good work of BTLT makes it a different market experience than the downtown farmers’ market. BTLT will continue to operate the Crystal Spring Farmers’ Market as long as it can. In partnership with BTLT, it is our hope that The FoodShed will be the next beautiful home for the Saturday market if the time comes when the Crystal Spring Market can no longer exist. The FoodShed will not hold a Saturday market in competition with the Crystal Spring Market.

Similarly, if the Brunswick Winter Market in Fort Andross were to lose its lease or otherwise need a new home, The FoodShed is being designed to accommodate the number of vendors currently selling in Brunswick at the winter market.

How much is this going to cost?

Based on an initial feasibility study, we estimate the project will cost around $2 million to build. The design concept is being honed to gauge more accurate construction costs, and we plan to use these numbers to complete our business plan by the end of 2014. We aim to fund these capital construction costs through grants and a community fundraising campaign, and are designing the FoodShed to be a multi-use space that will be financially self-sufficient once in operation.

How old are the sheds?

To the best of our knowledge, the sheds were built between 1900 and 1923 by Maine Central Railroad. After the railroad stopped using the sheds, they were purchased by the N.T. Fox Lumber Company. They were purchased by Fred Brooks, current owner Gary Brooks’ father, in the late 1970s.

What organizations are involved?

The Brunswick Topsham Land Trust and The Brunswick Farmers’ Market Association have been most involved in developing the vision for The Brunswick FoodShed and founding it as its own organization. Both BTLT and the BFMA are represented on the FoodShed Board of Directors.

The Brunswick Downtown Association is represented on our Advisory Committee, as are CEI - Coastal Enterprise Inc., the Town of Brunswick, and other local business owners.

We are thankful for the early support we’ve received through grants from local foundations, organizations, and businesses – see the full list on our About Us page!

Where will people park?

We are currently in negotiations with the Brunswick Development Corporation and the Brooks Family to determine the best location for FoodShed parking, within the surrounding lots adjacent to the sheds. Ample parking and smooth traffic circulation are priorities in the design of our site plan. The FoodShed’s central downtown location will make it accessible by bike, foot, and even by train! With input from our neighbors on Weymouth Street, the Town, the Brooks family, and others, we are working to come up with a parking solution that will not only fill the FoodShed’s needs but will alleviate the current pressure on downtown parking spaces during the hours of the farmers’ market.

What’s the connection to the Bath Freight Shed Alliance?

Together with the Bath Frieght Shed Alliance (BFSA), we like to think of ourselves as the Midcoast Freight Shed Movement! Our director, Maina, started the Brunswick FoodShed project with Wiebke Theodore, who went on to found and direct BFSA. Wiebke and her husband Steven are the architects helping bring the FoodShed vision into built form. The Brunswick FoodShed and the Bath Freight Shed Alliance are constantly sharing lessons, experience, resources, and energy with each other, and we hope that the two revitalized freight sheds provide vibrant community spaces and active community connections between Bath and Brunswick. Check out the latest from the Bath Freight Shed Alliance here