Winter market returns
First Saturdays of Jan., Feb., March
Susanna Harro, of Hadley, arranges greens for the display of produce at the Kitchen Gardens booth during Saturdays Winter Fare Market at Greenfield High School. The Kitchen Garden, of Sunderland, is a regular vendor at the Greenfield Farmers Market.
Jack and Gretchen Miner, of Greenfield sample some of the products of Bug Hill Farm in Ashfield , which had a corner table of its wares at Saturdays Winter Fare Market at Greenfield High School.
GREENFIELD — Folks from all around got up, scraped their windshields, and headed to Greenfield High School on Saturday.
It wasn’t for a “Breakfast Club” detention, nor to earn extra credit before finals, but the first Winter Fare Farmers Market of the season.
While fresh greens, root vegetables, meats and cheeses abounded at the market, there were also some more prepared ingredients.
Bug Hill Farm of Ashfield offered a selection of fruit syrups, jams, butters and spreads, many made with the farm’s own honey as well as its fruit.
“I’m a big fan of the currants,” said worker Felix Lufkin.
Many of the farm’s products feature the near-forgotten, antioxidant and vitamin C-rich berries.
Their sale was even outlawed federally from the early 1900s to 1966, because the plants were often a carrier for a disease that affected white pine. However, better understanding and management of the tree disease came about, and the federal ban was lifted, with many state bans lifted in the ensuing decades.
Up until now, Bug Hill has used most of its crops to make finished products, but that’s about to change.
“Our orchard has matured, and we should have plenty of extra, fresh fruit to sell next year,” said Lufkin. Bug Hill Farm was founded in 2005 when owner Kate Karivan moved to Ashfield.
Bug Hill Farm is also working on a commercial kitchen with an attached retail space. The farm holds workshops on growing fruit and mushrooms, preparing soil, and making fruit “shrubs,” the sweet, tangy syrup Bug Hill bottles and sells.
To stay posted on the farm’s upcoming events, visit www.bughillfarm.org, where you can also buy their products.
While Karivan was starting her farm in 2005, a Bernardston couple celebrated their farm’s first anniversary.
Erwin and Gloria Meleluni are glad to enjoy the farming life, after working in Boston’s busy medical field for most of their lives. Once they were ready for retirement, they traded the city for the country and started Coyote Hill Farm.
Erwin Meleluni said he fell in love with farms after working for one at 18.
“I’d always wanted to be a farmer, but couldn’t afford it,” he said. “I had to get a pension first.”
So, bit by bit, the Melelunis worked toward that goal. The couple bought their land in Bernardston in 1979, slowly built their own house, and started their farm not quite 10 years ago.
“In 2004, we cut the cord and moved here to start the farm,” he said. He grew up in Berkshire County, and though he had no roots in Bernardston, its rural nature felt like home.
The couple enjoys farmers markets, which give them a chance to mix business with pleasure.
“We always have a blast here,” said Gloria Meleluni. She also runs the Bernardston Farmers Market, and staffs the farm’s booth there as well, but said she always finds time to squeeze in a little shopping while she’s at it.
Coyote Hill was well-stocked with greens and root vegetables Saturday, but that didn’t stop their carrots from selling out. In the warmer months, they offer a wider variety of fruits and vegetables as they’re in season.
In addition to edibles, many Winter Fare Market vendors also sell crafts, including sheepskin items and homespun wool hats and mittens.
The Winter Fare Market will be back at Greenfield High School from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first Saturdays of January, February and March.
David Rainville can be reached at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279