Bernardston Farmers’ Market to Finish Season with Stew Cook-Off

The Recorder, September 28th, 2016, by Shelby Ashline

To finish off its season with a fun, community-oriented event, the Bernardston Farmers Market is holding a stew cook-off Saturday during its regular hours of 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Gloria Meluleni, manager of the Bernardston Farmers Market, began planning the cook-off several weeks ago following a potato salad cook-off.

“We had so much fun, we decided to do it again,” Meluleni said, adding that community members suggested inviting judges from town government.

James Palmeri, Bernardston police chief, and Paul Grover, a longstanding member of the Bernardston Fire Department, will act as judges. Judging will start at noon, and entrants are expected to have their stews ready and warm at the market by 11:30 a.m.

Entrants can bring any kind of stew — meat, seafood or vegetable — and are asked to bring no more than two quarts in a Crock-Pot, as well as a list of ingredients used.

Meluleni said The Farm Table restaurant is donating prizes, and the Bernardston Farmers Market will award the winners with gift certificates to local businesses.

Wendy Wiles, who operates a baked goods booth at the market and helped to organize the stew cook-off, said that because Saturday marks the last market of the season, organizers wanted to “go out with a bang.” The market will feature extra vendors, music and an acrobat.

“We’re calling it our fall festival,” Meluleni said.

Meluleni and Wiles both hope the event will raise awareness of the market, which sells local, fresh produce on Saturdays during the summer in the United Church of Bernardston’s parking lot, located at 58 Church St.

Meluleni asks that entrants contact her by phone at 413-648-0056 to register in advance.