By Bruce Amaro
---- — The leaves have turned, and the wind blows a little harder and brings a chill. The days have shortened as the seasons change.
As the local climate shifts, so has the Farmers Market as it transitions to an indoor venue at 15 Kenoza Ave. inside the Universalist Unitarian Church.
There every Saturday from Nov. 2 to Dec. 21, vendors will continue to sell their wares, vegetables, soap, teas, wine quilts, organic dog food, gluten free baked items and more.
During the summer, the Farmers Market operates on Saturdays on Bailey Boulevard, next to the police station.
In its indoor location, the market will operate Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The market will even have Christmas trees.
“I’ll carry small trees and table-top trees indoors,’’ said Stephanie Lesiczka of Wally’s Vegetables. “If someone wants larger trees, I’ll send them out to our regular tree display for the full-size trees.”
The cool-weather indoor venue is a great draw and its reputation stretches beyond Haverhill’s borders. In its third year, the winter Farmers Market is popular with non-produce vendors because the venue draws people looking for more than just vegetables.
“The winter market is a great segue from the successful summer market we have each year,” said Quinn Soine, the Team Haverhill organizer for the winter market and a vendor herself.
Soine owns Quinn’s Canine Café, which produces and sells organic dog food and treats. She said the winter vendors are farmers market veterans who sign up for the winter venue because of the success they had at the summertime market.
Once the vendors saw their customers’ response to the last two winter markets, they wanted to keep that momentum going through the year.
The indoor market will set up in the same first-floor room of the church that it has used in the past.
“We think this a great way for the community to come out and get together on a Saturday,’’ said the Rev. Frank Clarkson of Universalist Unitarian Church. “It helps promote local businesses, but it also makes local people aware of what’s available in their own community.”
Angie Adams, owner-operator of the three-year-old business ApotheCaring Teas, said she would not miss an opportunity to set up her shop at Haverhill’s winter market.
“Haverhill is a wonderful place that attracts a lot of the people I want to sell to,’’ she said. “I do very well at the farmers market and want to stick with them. This (winter farmers market) comes at the perfect time for my business.’’
Adams started her business as a retirement job, after she made tea for her sick granddaughter. When the 3-year-old girl wouldn’t drink the tea, Adams told her the tea was a favorite drink of fairies and the little girl started drinking it.
“So I named my first tea ‘Fairy Tea,’” Adams said.
Organized three years ago as an extension to the Team Haverhill organization’s summer farmers market, the indoor market was a successful experiment.
“The vendors did well at the outdoor market and asked about extending it through the winter,” said organizer Jeff Grassie. “It helps the local small farms at the slowest time of their year.’’
And because the holidays are approaching, vendors enjoy the bonus of customers seeking specialty gift items. Local craft-makers and other small businesses take advantage of the season and have a successful Christmas season for their goods at the winter farmers market.
“This comes at one of the best times of the year for me,” said Liz Swan, owner of Swan’s Quilts of Haverhill. “This is when my season begins, and the winter market brings me a lot of orders. Winter’s coming and hand-made quilts make great gifts.”
Here’s the vendor list so far for the winter Farmers Market:
Fletcher Community Farm
Long Hill Orchard
Parker River Winery
Madison’s Sweat Treats
Suds and Scrubs Cottage
Quinn’s Canine Cafe
Millvale Folk Art
IF YOU GO
What: Winter Farmers Market
When: Saturdays from Nov. 2 to Dec. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Where: Universalist Unitarian Church, 15 Kenoza Ave.