Why You Should Give Us Money

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I’ve been to many farmers’ markets; in fact I consider myself to be somewhat of a connoisseur. Here’s my guilty little secret – outside of making many, many purchases from the vendors, I’ve never thought to donate to the markets themselves. I’ve always assumed that farmers’ markets were self-sustaining, but during my short tenure on the board I’ve learned that most of them are not. The South Hadley Farmers’ Market is no exception, and we really need your help.

The following are essential to the continued success of the South Hadley Farmers’ Market – all of which cost money:

  • Liability insurance. The Market can’t operate without it, and it’s EXPENSIVE!
  • Tables, chairs, and tents. No one wants to get heat stroke and die! This is only partly a joke – sitting in the summer sun for 4+ hours can be dangerous.
  • Printing and advertising. We need to get the word out so that people continue to shop at the market. Without customers, we lose vendors; and without vendors we lose customers… you see where this is going.
  • Lawn signs. People need know where we are and when to find us.

This list is not comprehensive, and it doesn’t even include things on our wish-list, like t-shirts and kids’ games for the lawn during market hours, and web hosting. And while we do charge our vendors a table fee, we do our very best to keep that fee low in order to attract as many wonderful farmers and businesses as possible. Table fees alone only cover a portion of our operating costs, so we ask (as a registered 501c(4) nonprofit) for your help.

All we need from you, our supporters, are three things:

  • Come to the Market every Thursday from 2pm-6pm (starting June 1st) and do some shopping.
  • Spread the word, invite your friends and family, and help the Market grow.
  • Give us some love in the form of cold, hard, cash. Seriously. We need it, and it will be put to good use. Someday we hope to have a market that is self-sustaining, but in order to get to that point we need to grow, and in order to grow… you see where this is going.

 

Why I Shop at the Farmers’ Market (spoiler – it’s all about the strawberries)

Strawberries

I try to eat with the seasons—lots of fresh salads in the summer, lots of roasted root vegetables in the winter. But almost every year, usually right around February, I break down and buy strawberries from a grocery store. Sometimes they’re OK; more often than not they’re disappointing. The fact is, they can’t possibly hold a candle to the berries grown at the farms around here during the all too short summer strawberry season.

Fresh, local, seasonal food just tastes better. There are lots of other reasons to support local farmers and products by shopping at Farmers’ Markets, but for me, fresh, local strawberries—so pretty in their little green cartons—present a pretty darn compelling reason.

I was able to skip the winter strawberries this year. Every time I passed a display, I reminded myself that our strawberry season was coming and that it would be worth the wait. And now that it’s right around the corner, I’ll soon be at the Farmers’ Market buying one of those little green cartons of berries that taste just like summer, and I’ll have the pleasure of thanking the farmer who grew them. When I eat them—probably straight out of the carton before I even get home—all will be right with the world. At least until they’re gone…

If there’s a particular fruit or vegetable that you look forward to all year, please share it in the comments!

– Mary Leal, incoming Board member

Looking Forward

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Beautiful flowers!

There is just something about spring! Winter is not without her blessings, but when the first delicate green plants start poking through the snow, our thoughts turn to longer, warmer, sunnier days and all the little joys of spring.

For the South Hadley Farmers’ Market Board of Directors, we’re reminded of spring-cleaning as we prepare for the upcoming Market season. With much appreciated guidance from the outgoing Board, we new members are focusing on making 2017 the best Farmers’ Market season yet! We have fresh energy, a new logo, and a new website design—we can’t wait to get going!

Over the next few weeks as we prepare for the start of Market season, we’ll be showcasing some of our incoming and outgoing board members’ favorite stories about Farmers’ Markets, including our own beloved South Hadley Market. We’d love for you to share some of your favorite stories and memories as well. Our website will be updated frequently, so don’t forget to visit once in awhile to see what’s new. And don’t forget to mark your calendars—we hope to see you on Thursday, June 1st for the first Market day of the season.

2017 Farmers’ Market

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2017 South Hadley Farmers’ Market Board of Directors

The #SouthHadley Farmers’ Market Board of Directors is delighted to announce that there *will* be a 2017 South Hadley Farmers’ Market!

The current Board welcomes the incoming Board — we are working together to make sure there is a smooth transition. We’ve already heard from many of your favorite vendors from past seasons, who will be returning again this season. Stay tuned for more details!

Also, if you are interested in participating in the 2017 market  as a vendor, musician, entertainer, etc., please email Jen. 🙂 

A final appeal for your help

Dear friends,

As you know, at the beginning of January, the South Hadley Farmers’ Market Board, Healthy Community South Hadley, sent out a call for new members so that the Market could continue this season. We have received many expressions of support for and appreciation of the Market. In addition, a number of people have expressed interest in volunteering their time, vendors have expressed interest in returning or joining for the first time, and at least one person has expressed interest in applying to be the Market manager. However, while several people have requested information about being on the Board, no one has yet stepped forward to volunteer for that function.

It is, of course, necessary to have a Board to move forward. In case anyone is still considering volunteering for the Board, we wanted to make sure to answer a few questions that have been asked:

  • Board membership is a very part-time unpaid volunteer position. In preparing for the season, the Board has usually met about once every two weeks. Different Board members then have taken responsibility for different tasks, including securing the Market space, raising funds for the Market (we have a list of regular donors), and hiring a Market manager. The Market manager normally takes primary responsibility for recruiting vendors, with support from the Board.
  • During the season, Board members take on tasks related to the Market, but most weekly logistics are handled by the Market manager. The Market manager also coordinates volunteer activity.
  • Immediately post-season, the Board balances the Market’s books (this is primarily done by the Treasurer). Federal and state paperwork for taxes has to be submitted by the Treasurer; our current Treasurer is committed to working with the new Treasurer and Board to make sure everything is in order and all paperwork is properly completed for this year’s filings. Things then usually slow down a bit until January, when planning for the next season needs to begin.
  • The Market has run smoothly for a while now, with general satisfaction and commitment expressed by vendors and customers. The current Board members (there are five of us) are stepping down for varied personal and professional reasons, none related specifically to the Market itself. All of us are committed to working with a new Board on transition.

We love the South Hadley Farmers’ Market, but we do need new people to step up if it is to continue.  We are sending out this one last email to our friends to see if there are people out there willing to make this commitment so that the Market will be there this season.  If we do not hear definitively from at least a small group by Monday, February 20, the current Board will need to take the proper steps to close down the Market officially and terminate our recognition as a Massachusetts non-profit with 501(c)4 status. We would do this with great regret, but we need to take responsible and appropriate steps if there are not folks out there who want to work to continue the Market.

Please let us know immediately (shfarmersmarket@gmail.com) if you are interested.  And, if not, we appreciate your support over the years.

Best wishes from the HCSH Board:

Sarah Etelman
Pat Greenfield
Joan Grenier
Jan Lieson
Cindy Pyle

Looking for a new SHFM Board

Dear South Hadley Farmers’ Market friends,

We want to wish you a happy and healthy New Year, and also update you on Market news.

Due to a range of work and personal commitments in the upcoming year, our current Healthy Community South Hadley (HCSH) Board members feel they do not have adequate time to devote to ensuring a successful farmers’ market this coming year. However, we would like to reach out to you — our customers and friends — to see if there are others who would be willing to step up and work to coordinate a 2017 South Hadley Farmers’ Market.

From experience and based on the mission of HCSH, we would be looking for a new group of Board members — including but not necessarily entirely limited to South Hadley residents — with a clear plan for a successful Market in an accessible public space in South Hadley. The current Board is prepared to orient and transition new members and then step aside; new Board members would need to be willing to take on the officer positions in this established non-profit organization, including President, Secretary and Treasurer. At least one Board member will also need to coordinate social media. In addition, to prepare for the Summer 2017 Market, the Board will need to hire a new Market Manager no later than March 2017. It takes significant time to prepare for the Market; vendor outreach should ideally begin before March.

If you are interested in becoming part of the Board and leadership and management group for the Market, or in knowing more about Board responsibilities and the Market, please reply to the HCSH Board at shfarmersmarket@gmail.com prior to January 31, 2017. We are hopeful that there is a new group of folks committed to continuing this important community service for South Hadley. If we do not receive responses by January 31 from people committed to continuing a Market in an appropriate public space in South Hadley, the HCSH Board will be taking the necessary steps to close down the organization.

Thanks very much and, again, a happy and healthy New Year to all!

Best wishes from the HCSH Board:
Sarah Etelman
Pat Greenfield
Joan Grenier
Jan Lieson
Cindy Pyle

1st Market of the 2016 season!

It’s finally here! The South Hadley Farmers’ Market begins its 8th season on Thursday, June 2!

You’ll find many new vendors this year, along with some of your returning favorites.  We’ll have different products and vendors from week to week, so make sure to keep up with us on Facebook and email, and most importantly, come to the Market each Thursday, 2:00-6:00 pm.

Products you’ll find at this week’s market include rhubarb, asparagus, plants, Swiss chard, arugula, lettuce, spinach, turnips, radishes, green garlic, kale, mixed salad greens, bok choi, honey, maple syrup, bread, baked goods, DEET-free bug repellent, goat’s milk soap, micro-greens, sprouts, jam, sauces, and more!

For your musical entertainment, we are happy to introduce you to Kevin Jones, who is making his South Hadley Farmers’ Market debut.

We’ve been hard at work making sure there’s something for everyone, and can’t wait to see you all and have you meet our new vendors (and say hello to your returning favorites)…

What you’ll find at the June 2nd South Hadley Farmers’ Market:

FOOD:
Auntie Elsie’s Oatmeal Crisps
Hungry Ghost
Longevity Greens
Phuong’s Asian Vegetables
Round the Corner Brownie Co.
Sentinel Farm
Stony Hill Farm
Stoneybrook Cider
Wickedly Wild Sauces and Spices

ARTS AND MORE:
Juliet Rose Pottery
River’s Edge Bug Repel

MUSIC:
Kevin Jones, playing jazz guitar

Gearing up for Summer 2016

We’ve been busy behind the scenes at the South Hadley Farmers’ Market, getting ready for the 2016 season!

The time of the market has changed a little this year — we’ll be on the South Hadley Town Common every Thursday from 2-6 pm.

Our first market day will be Thursday, June 2, and we can’t wait to see you! We’ll be updating our Vendor page soon, so stay tuned — and keep an eye on our Facebook page, too!

September is Here!

Summer is starting to wind down, especially as most students are returning to school. We look forward to all of the Mount Holyoke students who’ll be visiting the Market!

Remember that some of our vendors will be joining us every week, some will join every other week, and others will be making special appearances throughout the season, so make sure you’ve liked and are following our Facebook page for updates.

Food

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  • I Can With – Salsa made with fresh produce from South Hadley Farmers’ Market vendors; fruit-jalepeño lemonade.

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  • Of the Earth Farm – Squash, zucchini, corn, potatoes, peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, melons, and peaches.

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  • People’s Bakery – Homemade breads, baked each morning: French, jalepeño-cheddar, four seed, honey oat, Kalamata olive and rosemary, and spinach and garlic crusty sourdough.

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  • Sentinel Farm – Peaches, nectarines, honey, and several varieties of apples.

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  • Stoneybrook Cider – Sparkling apple cider infused with Frontenac red wine grapes! Also, all-natural sparkling and still pure apple hard ciders crafted with heirloom apples hand-picked from orchards in the Pioneer Valley.

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  • Sun Kim Bop (3-6 pm) – Korean BBQ and more. Look for the truck in the traffic circle right in front of the Market!

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  • Wickedly Wild Gourmet Spices – Cucumber dip (fresh dried herb spices – just add fresh cucumber and sour cream); sun-dried tomato and garlic dipping oil (made with fresh lemon juice and olive oil); BBQ Sauce (made with top shelf Wild Turkey bourbon). Also, specialty cooking spices, rubs and dips made with no additives, preservatives, coloring, MSG, or gluten.

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Arts

  • Bling It On – Crystal jewelry, sun catchers, bookmarks, hair pins, key chains, sculptures, glass prisms and more.

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  • CottageWicks – Natural, organic soaps, lotions, and salves made with essential oils; 100% natural, non-toxic soy candles. This week’s featured soap: Enchanted Rosewood, made with rose clay, organic rose petals, and pure essential oils of rosewood, tea tree, and sandalwood. Rose clay has mild exfoliating powers and helps to detoxify the skin by drawing impurities from the pores. Tea tree and sandalwood have antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties.

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  • White Buffalo Herbs – All things herbal: organic teas, extracts, cooking herbs, body care, aromatherapy, even bug repellent! This week’s featured product: herbal germ relief through aromatherapy, perfect for back-to-school!

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Music

See you tomorrow!

Last August Market of the Year!

Where has this summer gone!? It’s hard to believe that there are only two months left of the Market season!

We’ll have a special performance from a Market favorite, Lexi Weege, from 2-5PM. Before she performs, come by to check out all of the treats at this week’s Market: baked goods, burritos, eggs, flowers, fruits, pickles, and much more! Sun Kim Bop will also be at the Market from 3-6PM.

Food

  • Auntie Elsie’s – Original, ginger, and cranberry oatmeal crisp cookies handcrafted with love from local ingredients.

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  • Blake Orchard Juicery – Organic juices and nut mylks: Skin Cleanser (cucumber, pineapple, celery, spinach, lemon), Glow (carrot, orange), Clean Buzz (beet, pineapple, celery, ginger), Vanilla Almond Mylk, and Chocolate Almond Mylk.

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  • I Can With – Fruit and veggie salsa made fresh each morning, basil paste, burritos, pickles, and fruit-jalapeño lemonade. Stop by for a sample!

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  • Just Jane’s Jams – Artisinal jams hand-crafted from local fruit, including original recipe strawberry/raspberry, blueberry/raspberry, tropical mango, milk chocolate strawberry, strawberry vanilla cream, PLUS low sugar varieties

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  • Mt. Warner Vineyard – Award-winning wines from grapes harvested from Mt. Warner’s own vineyard in Hadley, MA, including Cayuga White, Sunset Red, and Secret.

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  • Of the Earth Farm – Cherry tomatoes (4 different kinds), Big Boy tomatoes, ground cherries, peaches, potatoes, corn, cucumbers, squash, and herbs.

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  • People’s Bakery – Crusty sourdough breads, Kalamata olive rosemary, spinach and roasted garlic, peasant French, cranberry pecan; plus spelt sandwich breads, and sweet bread of the week.

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  • Stoneybrook Cider – All-natural sparkling and still hard cider, crafted in the New England tradition with apples hand-picked from orchards in the Pioneer Valley.

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  • Sun Kim Bop (3-6 pm) – Korean BBQ and more. Look for the truck in the traffic circle right in front of the Market!

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  • Wickedly Wild Gourmet Spices – Peach butter from local peaches (try a sample!), pumpkin butter sweetened with local maple syrup, apple butter from a mix of early local and crisp apples, and gourmet BBQ sauces, rubs, and spice mixes.

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Artisans

  • CottageWicks – Natural, organic soaps, lotions, and salves made with essential oils; 100% natural, non-toxic soy candles.

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  • White Buffalo Herbs – All things herbal: organic teas, extracts, cooking herbs, body care, aromatherapy, even bug repellent!

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Music

  • Market favorite, Lexi Weege, singer/songwriter, performing from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.

See you tomorrow!