Families can find it all at an Upper Valley farmers’ market this summer.
By Laura Jean Whitcomb
On any given afternoon, the white tents start popping up on town greens. On Thursdays, parking around Colburn Park becomes hard to find after 4 p.m. The Lebanon (N.H.) Farmers’ Market is in full swing; locals are excited to shop local, meeting the farmer who grew the tomatoes or the artisan who made the burled bowl. Neighbors and friends wave hello and stop to chat as the kids dance wildly to a local band playing bluegrass music.
It’s a win-win for the vendors, the customers and the community. “Local residents have access to locally grown and raised food as well as locally crafted and produced products,” says Brian Stroffolino, market manager of the Hartland (Vt.) Farmers’ Market. “And the market allows an outlet for our small, local farmers, crafters and producers to sell their products. It’s a great space for the community to gather to eat, shop, play, and socialize. We put on special events at least once a month that are great for all ages that promote a healthy, resilient community.”
Farmers’ markets can be a fun family activity, too. Many offer entertainment, like music or a performer. The Hanover (N.H.) Farmers’ Market started in 2007 on the top of the parking lot and moved to the Dartmouth Green in 2008. It runs from June to October, and there is free parking on Wheelock Street just for farmers’ market customers.
“Our customers look forward to a wonderful variety of local products being available to them each week in an idyllic setting. Many families bring blankets and coolers and buy their dinner at the Market. There is a wonderful feeling of kids playing ball, local bands entertaining those that want to stay, and plenty of room on the Dartmouth Green to shop and enjoy,” says Sally Wilson, Hanover Farmers’ Market manager.
Make it a priority to spend an afternoon at a farmers’ market this summer. Not only will you find fresh lettuce, sweet corn, snap peas and baby carrots, preserves and marinades, organic elk meat, authentic African food, loaves of bread, and even salty-sweet kettle corn, you’ll be greeted like an old friend at every tent you visit.
Find One Near You!
Hartland Farmers’ Market – Hartland Public Library Fields, Fridays, 4 to 7 p.m., hartlandfarmersmarket.blogspot.com
Mount Tom Farmers’ Market – Route 12 North, Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., facebook.com/Mt-Tom-Farmers-Market
Norwich Farmers’ Market – Route 5, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., norwichfarmersmarket.org
Randolph Farmers’ Market – Gifford Hospital Green, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., randolphfarmersmarket.com
Hanover Farmers’ Market, Dartmouth Green, Wednesdays, 3 to 6 p.m., hanoverfarmersmarket.org
Lebanon Farmers’ Market, Colburn Park, Thursdays, 4 to 7 p.m., lebanonnh.gov
Newport Farmers’ Market, Newport Common, Fridays, 3 to 6 p.m., newportfarmersmarketnh.com
Wilmot Farmers’ Market, Town Green (9 Kearsarge Valley Road), Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., wilmotfarmersmarket.com