hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

June 13, 2013

Fresh and fun

Farmers market has local veggies, fruit -- even music

By Bruce Amaro

---- — It’s local, it’s fresh and — organizers say — it’s a lot of fun.

The Haverhill Farmers is set to open for the season in two weeks.

Every Saturday from June 29 to Oct. 16 at 40 Bailey Boulevard, the market will be open with more than vendors offering fresh, home grown produce and locally made wine and crafts. This is the market’s 35th consecutive year.

The market’s location on the lawn next to the police station provides plenty of parking on Bailey Boulevard, other nearby streets and the upper level of the parking deck.

Shoppers will find a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables sold in a venue where people can also find fresh baked goods and meats, homemade wines, handmade crafts, soaps, a selection of teas, flowers and plants, and even things for household pets.

The items are grown and made by Greater Haverhill farmers and other local people.

To add to the market’s atmosphere, bands will play music there.

“We’ll feature live music, again, but we’re still planning that so we can’t say who will play in what order this soon before the season begins,” said Jeff Grassie, a member of the Team Haverhill civic group, which organizes the market.

As it does every year, the market will have a children’s craft table.

The market’s hours will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members of a local food pantry will attend, giving residents an opportunity to donate garden produce. At the end of each day, the market’s vendors donate some of their goods to the food pantry, which also accepts donations throughout the day from anyone who wants to drop off something for the pantry’s shelves.

In operation since 1978 when Haverhill farmer Wally Lesiczka sold his produce on Bailey Boulevard, the farmers market grew to more than a dozen local farmers.

But as the years passed, several farmers sold their land or retired. By 2007, the farmers market group had only two participants left — Wally’s Farm and Jim Fay’s Farm.

In 2007, Team Haverhill helped to rejuvenate the market. Today the market has about 20 vendors and has become a community meeting place.

Donnie Cox, who owns and runs Fletcher Community Farm on East Broadway, said the market promotes a sense of prosperity and community. Cox will offer his home-grown pecans at the market, as he has in past years.

This year, Willow Spring Vineyards plans to participate in the market for its third year, although it still must get a permit from the city.

“We’ll be giving out free samples of our now sought-after favorites such as Seyval Blanc and Marechal Foch,’’ said Jim Parker, who owns the winery at 840 West Lowell Ave. with his wife, Cindy.

Here are the vendors who have city permits so far to participate in this year’s farmers market:

A-1 Baklava Delights — baklava and spinach pies

Apothecaring Teas

Arunas Delights — homemade granolas

Crafty Creations — aprons, handbags, scarves and jewelry

Elegant Jewelry — handmade jewelry

Everybody Matters Chair Massages

Fat Belly BBQ

Fay’s Farm — peaches and apples

Fletcher Community Farm — vegetables and fruits

Friend’s Pottery

Gourd Birds — bird sculptures

Jodi Bee Bakes — baked goods

Lovelee by Bev — knitted jewelry

Kimball Farms — meats, vegetables and flowers

Kittredge Candles — soy candles

Long Hill Orchard — vegetables and fruits

Madison’s Sweet Treats — baked goods, including gluten-free items

Millvale Folk Art — pottery, dish gardens, and wood and iron work

Mizz Megz — gourmet cupcakes

National Sharpening Co. — sharpening of knives, scissors and garden tools

Parker River Winery — local wine

Quinn’s Canine Cafe — specialty dog treats and baskets

IF YOU GO :When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday from June 29 to Oct. 16 Where: Next to the police station, 40 Bailey Boulevard What: Locally produced items for sale, including fresh fruits, vegetables and baked goods; meats; homemade wines and crafts; soaps; a selection of teas, flowers and plants; and items for household pets