hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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June 13, 2013

Locals should support city's farmers market

It’s a can’t-miss proposition.

Shoppers get a chance to buy fresh fruit and vegetables grown practically in their back yard, plus other locally made items.

Farmers and other local merchants make not only sales, but gain customers for the future.

The local economy gets a boost.

And, on top of it all, everyone has a good time.

If you’ve never gone to the Haverhill Farmers Market, it’s time you do.

It’s easy to get to, just a block north of downtown on a strip of land off Bailey Boulevard, next to the police station.

When you get there, you’ll think someone planted a little bit of country right in the middle of the city. In a sense, they did. (See story, Page 1.)

The market has all the traditional items provided by local farmers who bring truckloads of their produce to the weekly event, which starts June 29 and continues to Oct. 16.

But this market could also be named the “crafters market’’ or the “wine makers market.’’ Those twists and others make Haverhill’s farmers market different from ones you find in many communities.

There are crafts for sale and even a children’s craft area.

A local vineyard brings bottles of its most popular wine and also new brands for customers to try.

There’s even a chance to help out your needy neighbors, as a food pantry accepts food donated by market-goers and merchants who participate in the event.

To top it off, musicians provide live background music for shoppers as they stroll from vendor to vendor.

The Team Haverhill civic group and other organizers are to be praised for their efforts a few years ago to strengthen the market, which had dwindled to just a few farmers.

The organizers picked the new location for the market, which has been a success due partly to all the available parking. They convinced farmers who were not participating to join in. And they added new twists such as crafts, wines and music — even locally made soaps.

The market offers one-stop shopping — there’s no need to drive back roads searching for farm stands or going from shop to shop looking for the right crafts. Of course, you can do that if you want, and have a good time doing it.

But be sure to also take in the farmers market. From the fresh produce to crafts, wine and music, you’ll be glad you did.

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