Colrain Farmers Market opens Sunday

The Recorder, May 18, 2018, by Diane Broncaccio

A new Hilltown Farmers Market has sprouted, and its debut is Sunday, May 20, from noon to 4 p.m. at the intersection of Greenfield and Coombs Hill roads.

This opening-day market will feature garden starts, garden art, maple syrup, beef, pork, eggs, early veggies and other products. There will also be custom knives, body work and handmade lamps made from recycled materials. Cliff’s Smokin’ Backyard Barbecue will be there and so will the Americana-style music trio, Whistlestop, from Shelburne Falls.

Last fall, Lori and Ken Shearer hosted an event called “Hilltown Farm, Flea and Fair” on their farmland at K&L Organic Growers, at the site where this year’s farmers market will be. Lori Shearer said the day was very successful and people were asking if there would be more such farmers markets there.

According to Shearer, Town Coordinator Kevin Fox secured a $5,000 state grant to help start a farmers market in town, and Shearer, an agricultural commissioner, was appointed to be the liaison between the Selectboard and other farmers market participants. “It’s now a (nonprofit) organization,” she said. The Franklin Regional Council of Governments helped with graphics, finding vendors and marketing, and CISA (Communities Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) provided much help, she said.

“It’s nice to have something that people are looking forward to,” Shearer said.

This monthly farmers market will be open on the third Sunday of each month, from May 20 through October. For opening day, there are 10 vendors, and four additional vendors will be joining the Hilltown Farmers Market on June 17.

Organizers hope the market will better serve farmers, farm producers and residents in Colrain and neighboring towns. Interested vendors and other community groups can still secure spots this season in the Hilltown Farmers Market. The market is still awaiting equipment and materials so that it can accept SNAP (Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program) and Senior Coupon food payments.

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