By Stephanie Choate
A midweek source of local produce, canned goods and artisan-made crafts returns to Williston next week.
The Williston Farmers’ Market is set to open on the green next to New England Federal Credit Union on June 4. Vendors will fill the green from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday until Oct. 1.
Farmers’ market board member Kathryn Parker said mainstays Boutin Family Farm, Comeau Family Farm, Scratch ‘n’ Earth Farm and Kammel Fudge & Parker Family Farm will return to the market this year, along with a couple of new vendors.
“We have some new vendors we’re excited about,” she said. “We hope to have a growing year.”
Agricola Farm will sell meat once a month, Fairy Tale Farm will sell sheep’s cheese and wool products, St. Hilaire Family Farm will sell black currant vinaigrette and syrup and Moonshadow Sweets is set to sell truffles.
This year, University of Vermont students conducting internships with the market are planning agricultural product “theme weeks.” Each week, an agricultural product will be featured, beginning with maple products on June 4 and running through blueberries, basil and pesto, kale, tomatoes, corn and more.
The project’s goal is to increase knowledge about locally available agricultural products and encourage children and adults to sample a variety of fresh produce and incorporate it into their diets, said Lynn Zanardi Blevins, a professor at UVM and Williston Farmers’ Market Board member.
“We want to help people figure out how to use some of these things that are locally available and that vendors have a lot of,” she said. “It helps both the vendors and the community members with making that link between getting really fresh, in-season produce and how to use it.”
During the spring, UVM student Emily Mandirola, who is majoring in environmental studies, asked vendors what they would be selling at the market. Mandirola gathered facts, nutritional information, recipes and ideas for using the agricultural products vendors will be selling.
She also partnered with Williston’s Natural Provisions, which will prepare foods made with the agricultural product of the week.
Emma Simon, a UVM student studying nutrition and food sciences, will take over for the summer market season. Simon will work with vendors to fine tune the content and timing of theme weeks, so each featured product is tailored to what vendors are selling that week.
Simon will also develop and implement children’s activities focused on nutrition and physical activity, including kids’ yoga. Short kids yoga classes are planned for the first market at 4, 5 and 6 p.m.
The first market of each month will be a Kid’s Day, where kids can sell products.
Parker encouraged residents to come check out the market.
“We’ve got wonderful prepared foods, and you can come and pick up things for dinner,” she said. “Come and see the new vendors and spend locally.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/willistonfarmersmarket