South Hadley Farmers’ Market to Continue

The Daily Hampshire Gazette, March 1, 2016, by Emily Cutts

The farmers market will continue.

After nearly two months of uncertainty and multiple pleas for help, the Healthy Community South Hadley Board, which organizes the market, has found a new group of volunteers.

“It seems that our second desperate plea for help resulted in people saying ‘I didn’t realize you were serious,’” member Sarah Etelman said Monday. “We got a number of people who are energetic and have some skills that are going to be extremely helpful.”

The new board will consist of five to six not yet publicly named members. They are expected to meet this weekend, according to Etelman.

With months to go until the market opens, Etelman said the current board was in the process of helping to pull together the new board and hire a new manager. She added that the market has already heard back from a handful of last season’s vendors that are ready to return.

The seasonal market, hosted weekly on the town commons from first week of June through first week of October, has had eight seasons. A message was sent out to the community on Jan. 3 saying that due to a range of work and personal commitments the current board members felt they did not have adequate time to devote to ensuring a successful farmers’ market.

The message received a few people who expressed interest but none of them ended up working out, Etelman said.

When the Jan. 31 deadline passed with no new board, Etelman said she was devastated to think there wasn’t going to be a market to continue.

A second call for new board members was issued on Feb. 11.

“I’m delighted that there is such strong community support and that we will be able to keep that service for South Hadley and beyond,” Etelman said. “I think it is an important resource for the town and the community, (and I’m) delighted to see that it will continue and I’ll be able to continue to shop there.”

Emily Cutts can be reached at