Winter market gets more wiggle room
Local produce to be sold at GHS, beginning Dec. 1
Jennifer Williams ,of Greenfield buys some greens from Gloria and Ervin Melvleni who run Coyote Hill Farm in Bernardston. This was one of many of the tables set up at the GHS cafeteria for the Winter Fare Market on Saturday.
story AF 09/2/7 Geoff Bluh
Saturday's Winter Fare farmers market filled the GHS cafeteria on Saturday with local vendors and many patrons from near and far;here Bekki Craig,and Justice Alexander, 5 1/2 ,of Greenfield fill a with carrots to weigh on a scale at the Red Fire Farm table which Ryan Voiland and helpers stocked with fine winter greens and root vegetables.
story AF 09/2/7 Geoff Bluh
GREENFIELD — What’s locally grown, fresh — and indoors? It’s the second annual Greenfield Winter Farmers Market in a new, bigger location for people to come together out of the cold and find local produce, meats, and other farm products, as well as locally made breads, preserves, and even holiday gifts.
This year’s market will open for the season beginning Dec. 1 at Greenfield High School cafeteria, which organizers say will provide “more wiggle room” for people to not only shop and maneuver past vendors, also but hang out.
“The great thing about being at the high school is that it just gives so much of a more sense of spaciousness for people to be much more comfortable, and to hang out more,” said Alissa Martin, market manager “We’ll have food and music, as well as lots of free parking, that will help people to wander around and take their time.”
That wasn’t easy at the parish hall of Second Congregational Church, where last year’s initial winter market was so cramped that parents of childrens in strollers found it hard to navigate through narrow aisles, much less have a conversation with friends out of earshot of musicians performing — or anyplace, said former manager Devon Whitney-Deal.
The tight quarters — along with the fact that a winter market is perceived as less exciting than its better-known summer cousin — meant that attendance was about one-third of what the summer market has been, she said. The hope is that allowing more breathing room will get people from Greenfield and the hilltowns out in greater numbers to support the market, which has higher overhead costs and hopes to attract more vendors by showing there’s more customer demand.
“The aim in moving it to the high school was having a more relaxed, spacious environment,” Whitney-Deal said. “Here we’ll have a place for people to sit. Folks can come, shop, have lunch or breakfast, have a seat listening to the music in a very nice environment. And kids will have more space to walk around more freely than last year.”
In addition to soups and baked goods for people to relax with, there will a variety of specialty vendors selling yarn and fiber products as well as all-natural soaps and body products for gift giving.
“You’ll see the same things, yet they’re delicious,” Whitney-Deal said. “We’ll have greans every week: kale, chard, salad greens, mixed greens, micro greens, sunflower shoots, sprouts — and we’ll have local flour from Upinngil.”
Among the other 15 or so vendors will be Red Fire Farm, the Kitchen Garden, Real Pickles, Coyote Hill, El Jardin Bakery, Babaric Farm, Little Birch Farm and Queens Greens, providing honey, maple products, eggs, a variety of meats, produce, fruits, herbs and more.
The market will continue to accept credit card payments, as well as SNAP vouchers and EBT cards and, of course, cash, said Martin. She said the hope is to find local sponsors to double SNAP credits, as was done in the past.
The market, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Dec. 1, Jan. 5, Feb. 2 and March 16, will also coincide with the Feb. 2 Winter Fare there. That annual event, for which arrangements are still being made, will include special exhibits, demonstrations and a variety of prepared foods.