Easthampton Farmers and Makers Market returns Saturday

The Gazette, May 22, 2019, By LUIS FIELDMAN

EASTHAMPTON — Opening day for the weekly Easthampton Farmers and Makers Market is Saturday, May 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At 50 Payson Ave., the farmers market will offer salad greens and seasonal vegetables from several vendors, along with music, yoga and a children’s arts and crafts tent.

A focus of this year’s farmers market will be providing more choices for those in food assistance programs, according to Adrienne Bashista, a member of the farmers market’s board.

Several of the vendors at the market accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) purchases, and a grant facilitated by the Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) will be used to raise awareness around the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), where recipients can receive fresh fruit and vegetables at no cost.

“A lot of folks in Easthampton and the surrounding area might not be using (HIP) because it has to be used at a farm, and it might be hard with transportation,” Bashista said. “It’s an important need that we are trying to fill, and it helps everyone.”

HIP provides Massachusetts SNAP recipients with an instant rebate of at least $40 per month when they purchase fruit and vegetables from local farmers.

There will also be volunteers educating attendees on how HIP works, including some volunteers who speak Spanish, Bashista said.

On Saturday, there will be musical performances by Andrew Biagiarelli and Claire Dacey. In between those acts, Anastasia Lahera will host a yoga class from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Among the vendors returning to the farmers market are Mayval Farm Creamery of Westhampton, as well as Riverside Gardens and Sage Meadow Farm, both of Easthampton.

Some new vendors include Agric Organics of Springfield, offering salad greens and other produce; Barden’s Gardens of Southwick, offering greens, flowers and herbs; and Sweet Morning Farm of Leyden, offering pork, eggs and fruit.

There will also be hot breakfast available from Night Shift Street Fare, a new Easthampton food cart owned and operated by Pete Crisafulli. The menu will include egg sandwiches on a roll with cheese, bacon or sausage, along with home fries.

David Lovler Vegetables and Compost of Easthampton will not only sell seasonal vegetables at the farmers market, but he will also teach about composting and home gardening.

On the last Saturday of every month, the farmers market will have a theme, Bashista said. On Saturday, for instance, there will be seed-starting activities offered.

On June 29, the farmers market will have a dairy farm animal day, Bashista said, with goats and other small animals.

Luis Fieldman can be reached at lfieldman@gazettenet.com.

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