Down on the farm

The Farmer's Market is finally turning a profit, and the city has plans to make it even better. So why isn't everyone happy?

Loza, for his part, supports the idea of having some sort of a cafe and international marketplace for various foods in the shed, but also sympathizes with the vendors who have suffered along with the city during many years of red ink.

"It sounds to me like they're not looking for a third way on this," he says. "And I don't think there's necessarily a conflict between the two to where we can't come up with a solution that satisfies both sides. Certainly, we shouldn't run over the people that have been willing to stick it out under the current existing conditions."

Ramirez reiterates that something could possibly be done to accommodate the city and the Shed Two vendors, but he says he can't get a foot in the door. He claims that Perales is simply unapproachable and that when he went to Perales' office to discuss things, he was turned away by the city official's assistant.

Stan Miklis has owned and operated Caliper Flowers in the parking lot of Shed Two for the last seven years. He is responsible for alerting market and city officials about the threat of a liquor store.
Stan Miklis has owned and operated Caliper Flowers in the parking lot of Shed Two for the last seven years. He is responsible for alerting market and city officials about the threat of a liquor store.
Stan Miklis has owned and operated Caliper Flowers in the parking lot of Shed Two for the last seven years. He is responsible for alerting market and city officials about the threat of a liquor store.
Stan Miklis has owned and operated Caliper Flowers in the parking lot of Shed Two for the last seven years. He is responsible for alerting market and city officials about the threat of a liquor store.

"I went directly to his office twice, a month ago and then two weeks ago, and I talked to Ernie Williams and requested a meeting regarding vendors from the IMP [International Marketplace Association]," Ramirez says. "His words were, 'Not until we know what's going to happen.' That scares me. To me, I understood that as total disrespect. They are doing all they can to get rid of us."

Which may be true. And, Perales says, possibly a necessity. All one needs to do is take a look around downtown. Residential construction is under way all over, reflecting a national trend seen in cities such as Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, and now Dallas. Suburban municipalities welcome the urban facelifts as a way of curtailing sprawl, and downtown businesses jockey for positions with the closest proximity to new downtown growth. Right now in Dallas, however, there is not enough infrastructure to support downtown growth. The people living in the upscale Adam Hats lofts in Deep Ellum, for instance, have no place to shop for groceries. Perales says his vision of Shed Two would accommodate these new downtown dwellers--that, and the market's location off Interstate 30, could make it easy for downtown residents and commuters to do their shopping after work, jump on the freeway, and bounce.

"I don't want two totally different customers to come in to the market," Perales said. "I don't want furniture people and food people. I want you to be able to come in here and buy vegetables. You don't go into a mall and find half the place taken up by a used-car dealership. You don't go buy clothes and a Ford. And I know that it might sound harsh, especially for those people that are there, but we have to be realistic. If we're going to make it work, this is the only way that it's going to work. Some people will have to be displaced."


Stan Miklis stands inside his shed in Royse City, where he mixes soil and pots his seedlings. There is a large mound of dirt--enough to fill four or five wheelbarrows--and some aging farm equipment. Across the way from the shed is a huge greenhouse. The threshold has a placard that was handwritten in wet cement some 15 years ago. The writing is scratchy but clear: "Anticipate Success. Stan, Kathy and Baby Cody October 14, 1985."

If someone would have predicted his plight some 15 years ago, he says, he would have stuck with his somnolent corporate job, where he wore a tie and punched the clock. He says that if he's forced off his little piece of parking lot outside Shed Two, he's hanging up his hoe. Calling it quits.

The yards of flower flats are empty because Miklis is anticipating the worst. He doesn't want to invest time and money in growing a crop, then have nowhere to sell it. In fact, the sweet smell of his greenhouse may outlast his business. If his flower shop doesn't find a place in the city's new plan for the market, he'll sell his farm and property and leave Dallas.

"If I'm forced to leave, I no longer want to contribute to the Dallas Farmers Market," he says. "I don't want to contribute my flair and my education to people that cheated me."

He retreats to the confines of his strange purple house, decorated with gazing balls, pink flamingoes, and hanging plants. For how much longer, he doesn't know.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
 
Loading...