hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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April 25, 2013

35 years and going strong

Farmers market prepares to open again -- but with more to offer

Spring in New England means anticipation: The trees begin to bud and small flowers break through the crusty soil.

In Haverhill, the city waits for its farmers market.

This year, marks the 35th consecutive year that the city will have the market, which allows local farmers and other merchants to sell their goods, while customers shop for fresh, home-grown produce.

Although it will be two months before the market begins operating, organizers said they are already making plans.

“We don’t have our full list of vendors yet this early in the season, but we have heard that most of them will return,” said Team Haverhill member Jeff Grassie. He and his wife, Lisa Marzilli, organize and coordinate the market.

Run by the non-profit organization Team Haverhill, the market will hold its 18-week produce fair every Saturday from June 29 to Oct. 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Bailey Boulevard, next to the police station.

Parking is on the street and in the lot behind the station.

“We’re going back,” said Sara Howard of Madison’s Sweet Treats, who runs the business named after her 5-year-old daughter, Madison.

The market helped Howard get her business going three years ago, and has always been a good event for her to show off her gluten-free products.

“It’s good for Madison, too,’’ Sara Howard said. “She’s learning to use the cash register and understand the way this works.’’

Grassie said organizers plan to continue the mix of produce vendors, crafters and makers of other home goods, such as local wines sold by Willow Spring of Haverhill.

“We’ll have a band for some music, but we’re still not sure of the schedule for that, yet,’’ Grassie said.

Haverhill’s farmers first organized their farmers market in 1978.

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