By LINDSAY CAREY
It’s back and ready to provide area residents with vegetables and fruit from local growers.
“We’re a small, but very mighty market,” said Market Master Linda Garcia about the Farmer’s Market of Plainville, which will reopen for its third year this week.
With donations coming in from the Plainville Housing Authority, the Plainville Food Pantry, and an anonymous donor, the Farmers Market is able to provide the community with fresh produce.
Not every town can say that they provide financial assistance for their citizens to go get fresh food from local farmers; however, Plainville is one of those few towns. The food pantry provides $15 vouchers towards food at the farmers market to those in need.
Susie Woerz, the executive director of the food pantry, said that she got together with Healthy Plainville and the Hunger Action team to work on getting a farmers market in town.
Woerz, who has worked with the food pantry for 25 years, said they are able to fund the vouchers through grants and donations.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide healthy and fresh produce,” said Woerz.
Beyond the charitable services, the market also fosters a health-centered dialogue in Plainville through educating people about food as well as sharing ways to prepare it.
The farmers take it upon themselves to share with the people the different ways they can cook their vegetables.
Garcia recalled meeting one woman last year who had never seen corn on the cob, because she had always made it from a can. This year, Garcia is hoping to continue to open the eyes of people who don’t know all the options for healthy eating.
She and her team of volunteer women will be handing out different recipes every week for cooking a vegetable with the goal of growing the healthy living community in Plainville.
The Farmer’s Market of Plainville also contributed to the community this year by giving a scholarship to a Plainville High School graduate who will pursue an education in agriculture and nutrition –a rewarding, but challenging career path.
Natasha Marte Underwood was awarded with the scholarship.
“Farmers are having a hard time with their livelihood,” said Garcia. The farmers’ market is an opportunity for Plainville to help keep local farmers’ businesses alive.
She shared that the market has lost its goat cheese farmer this year because it went out of business in the last couple of weeks.
However, she was pleased to announce that Confetti restaurant, which joined the farmer’s market at the end of last year’s season, will return this year serving up their locally known pizza.
Garcia also that she is looking for local talent to perform in their spare time at the market for some entertainment. There will be a performer teaching shoppers how to juggle at the market this year.
“Come by, you don’t even have to buy,” said Garcia. “Though you should, the food is delicious.”
Garcia welcomes everyone in the community to come even if it’s just to be social and get to know other people in the community.
Nonprofit organizations in the area will also be in attendance to commune with the people about their services.
By LINDSAY CAREY