Farmers market opens its doors

Written by Colleen Moore  | Created: Friday, 03 July 2009 13:05  |  Category: ROOT
Last Updated: Friday, 03 July 2009 13:05  | Friday, 03 July 2009 13:05

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After months of preparation, the market will be open for business with about 25 different vendors at the Tarklin Community Center.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to support local growers,” said Peggy Pelletier, a member of the board. Vendors will be bringing everything from lobsters to salsa to stained glass and gluten-free bakery items. Most of the vendors have signed on for the full season which runs through Oct. 14.

“It’s been a learning experience,” Alison Estabrooks said.

The idea for the market came from Laura Doherty, the president of the market. In January, Doherty placed an ad looking for any interest in town for a market. There were 25 people at the first meeting, Linda Collari said. A nine-member board of volunteers was soon established  and worked to gain town approval.

“Without the dedication [from the board], the market would have never happened,” Collari said.

The group had to gain support within the town, then get liability insurance and establish a set of bylaws before getting the green light from town government. The market is also a non-profit organization, and must follow the state guidelines.

“We have an amazing board of great people who have helped to get [the market] together,” Estabrooks said.

There is an application process for vendors to get a spot at the market. Applications are approved for a spot by a selection committee, appointed by the board.

“We wanted a representation of local farmers and artists,” Estabrooks said of keeping the market related to produce, but also supporting local artists as well.

The board worked with Duxbury Youth Baseball to determine a time for the market to be held. The market ends at 4:30 p.m. and vendors will be off the property by 5 p.m., just in time for the games to start, Pelletier said.

Estabrooks expressed disappointment with the current time, as it makes it harder to involve customers who may commute to and from work.

“We’re starting with this and hopefully in the future we will be able to have a longer time,” Estabrooks said. “For now it will be the time it is.”

However, having an earlier start time will allow working customers to go to the market on their lunch break. The market will offer prepared foods, making it a great place for people who are looking to get out and get something fresh for lunch, Collari said.

The market will be officially opened with the ringing of the bell by Jack Williams. Williams has worked to preserve the Tarklin Community Center  “for eons,” Pelletier said. The board wanted to commemorate his hard work by allowing him to officially open the market for the season. After the first week, children can enter a raffle to get the honor of ringing the bell the following week. Winners of the raffle will be announced at the end of the day.

The board wanted to get children involved in the market, and also raise money through the raffle. There will be certain events throughout the season at the market, such as face painting and interactive storytelling, which will get children involved.

In an effort to give all local growers a place to sell their crops, there will be a shared space set aside for backyard growers. This space is strictly reserved for vendors selling homegrown things, Collari said. Vendors can call ahead to reserve a small space.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to support local growers and support people to make use of their land,” Pelletier said.

“I think a lot of people are looking forward to coming and becoming a routine customer,” Estabrooks said.