April 17, 2014

Farmers’ Market moves to Taft Corners

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FarmersMarket-052313--563New management
model underway

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

The Williston Farmers’ Market has a new home.

The market—set to open Wednesday, May 29—has moved from its Williston Historic Village location to New England Federal Credit Union, located at 141 Harvest Lane.

The market will run from May 29 to Oct. 2 from 4-7 p.m. on the green next to the credit union.

“We were looking for a location that had higher traffic, but still provided us with a green space,” Market Manager Becca Rimmel said.

So far, 16 vendors have signed on for the 2013 season, though Rimmel said she hopes that number will grow to 20.

“We have a lot of really great products,” Rimmel said. “We have local cheeses, we have maple syrup, local vegetables, local prepared food, we have music and different activities and taste tests throughout the summer.”

Rimmel added that most of the vendors are from Williston, and the others aren’t from far away.

“Not only are (market shoppers) supporting local business, but they’re really supporting our neighbors, which is great,” she said.

Longtime vendor Lisa Boutin of Boutin Family Farm—who has sold her jams, jellies, pickles, berries and fruit at the market since it began—said she thinks the new location will be good for the market. Visitors—and therefore sales—at the market’s Williston Historic Village location have been down in recent years, she said.

“I think it’s going to be good for the market and for its growth,” she said.

New to the market this year are: Starksboro-based Lewis Creek Farm, which grows vegetables, flowers, plants and strawberries; West River Creamery of Londonderry, selling cheeses; produce, flower and egg producers Savage Gardens of North Hero; and St. Albans-based catering company The Clean Spoon, specializing in natural, clean eating. After an absence, Great Harvest Bread Company and Ants in Your Pants are set to return to the Williston Farmers’ Market.

Also new this year, market organizers are looking for interested residents and vendors to form a Williston Farmers’ Market Board to run the market, rather than relying on a sole manager.

“We’re working toward a more sustainable model to hopefully make sure the market can continue regardless of who’s able to manage it,” Rimmel said.

Boutin is set to join the board, which has not yet met.

“Most other markets have a board,” she said. “It’s going to be helpful having a mix of vendors and community members to run it and have more than just one person in charge.”

Rimmel is also looking for residents to volunteer at the market. The market has partnered with City Market’s member working program, meaning hours spent volunteering at the farmers’ market can go toward a member’s working hours.

The Williston Farmers’ Market will run from May 29 to Oct. 2 from 4-7 p.m. on the green next to New England Federal Credit Union. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/willistonfarmersmarket or email [email protected]

 
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