By KAITLYN NAPLES
For the second year in a row, the Plainville Farmers’ Market will be up and running this summer. And this time, it’s open for two extra weeks.
Market Master Linda Garcia said there will be six vendors this year, with some new approaches thrown into the mix.
“Our goal is to have a small, diverse frmers’ market” that is meant for everyone, Garcia said.
There will be three produce and fruit vendors, one meat and egg vendor, the Olive Oil Factory from Waterbury, and the Mangia Italiano food truck that is usually parked on East Main Street. Garcia said she is trying to get a bread and/or cheese vendor as well.
The Farmers’ market is held on Fridays from June 28 to Sept. 13 from 3 to 6 p.m., a time frame that is strictly enforced by the state. Garcia said last year was a success. Most Fridays, there would be between 40 and 80 people who would visit to pick up locally grown items.
“You can’t go wrong,” buying fresh fruits and vegetables that are grown in the state, Garcia said, adding that the frmers’ market offers good value for the dollar, and is open for every kind of shopper. “When you buy local, you are supporting our local agriculture and stimulating the economy.”
The vendors pay $10 per week to set up in front of Plainville High School, right along Route 10, and that money goes into the farmers’ market fund. This year, Garcia said those funds are going towards purchasing canvas bags free of charge for shoppers to encourage them to go green.
This year, the Mangia Italiano truck is a new addition and will be selling menu items that are made with Connecticut grown products, such as sauce or sausage and peppers. The owners will also be handing out recipes that use the fresh products being sold at the Farmers’ market.
The farmers’ market is another initiative to the mission of the Healthy Plainville Coalition, which will be giving the Plainville Food Pantry funds to distribute to its clients to use at the farmers’ market. The clients will receive a $3 voucher to be used only on produce, fruits, and honey. The vendors also will be accepting Women, Infants and Children (WIC) checks, and will take cash, checks and credit cards.
Last year, Garcia said many patrons of the farmers’ market stopped by because of the easy access and visibility, and diversity of the products. Also, the senior center provided transportation for its members last year, and many shoppers came to the market from surrounding towns.
“We want to keep it small and intimate for our shoppers, and don’t want to create competition for our vendors,” she said, adding that last year also served as a social meeting ground for customers.
Not only will the farmers’ market include the food vendors, but also welcomes local organizations to participate each week. Garcia said any local organizations that are interested in setting up a table at the farmers’ market should contact her to reserve a week. This year, Garcia said she is looking to make the hour from 5 to 6 p.m. more of a highlighted time, so she plans to bring in different attractions around that time, such as bringing in representatives from Lowe’s to speak to customers about keeping gardens healthy, etc. She said last year the market was busiest between 3 and 5 p.m., the goal is to keep the momentum each Friday going until close.
Garcia said the farmers’ market has had great support from the local community and businesses, especially Comp-U-Signs.
“It has been a team effort by everyone,” she added.
Any organizations interested in participating in this year’s farmers’ market should contact Linda Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Plainville Farmers’ Market will be held on Fridays from June 28 to Sept. 13 from 3 to 6 p.m. No items can be purchased before or after those times by state law. The market will be held in front of Plainville High School, facing East Street (Route 10) and shoppers will park in the parking lot in front of Plainville High School, or on Robert Holcomb Way. There will be no parking on Route 10.
Comments? Email knaples@BristolObserver. com.