hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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July 25, 2010

Hundreds attend first farmers market of season

The opening day for Haverhill's Farmers Market met and exceeded organizers' expectations with 400 customers — a sizable increase in attendance over last year.

"We had about 300 on our first day last year," said organizer Jeff Grassie, official census taker for Team Haverhill's revitalization effort.

It's summer time, and the fresh produce went on sale at Haverhill's Farmer's Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., as it will every Saturday until October 30, at GAR Park, 80 Main St., where it intersects Bailey Boulevard.

And the living was easy as Paul Prue on acoustic guitar and Mark Hayden on amplified mouth harp played a mix of blues, jazz and some instrumentals.

The crowd walked the stalls and bought baked goods, prints and photographs, pottery, fresh vegetables, blueberry pies, Swiss Chocolate or handmade vegetable based soaps.

Some sat with cold drinks on the grass in the shade of the trees and watched the wide river in the distance slide through the misty humid weather on a summer's Saturday morning.

"We didn't do the kids' thing today," said Team Haverhill organizer Lisa Marzilli, "because it's opening day, and we didn't want to overwhelm everyone with everything all at once."

"Next week, we will have the UMass Lowell Chapter of the American Meteorological Society help us present Weather Day," Marzilli said.

The university group will display and explain the uses of some weather instruments. They will explain simple weather prediction, and children will receive free coloring books as part of a weather-related activity.

Simone Farm's Chris Simone said he has returned for a second season. Simone Farm runs a year-round business on 65 acres near the river where they have been for about four generations.

"We did well last year, and hope to do as well, again, this year. This market was good for us," Simone said.

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