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Sep 19, 2018







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Between seasons

Here’s a list of a few farmers markets that are open now.
 
Salem
Where: Lake Street Garden Center, 37 Lake St.
When: Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Visit: salemnhfarmersmarket.org
 
Concord
Where: Cold Gardens, 430 Loudon Road
When: Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through April 12
Visit: concordwintermarket.com
 
Newmarket 
Where: Newmarket High School, 213 S. Main St.
When: First and third Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Visit: facebook.com/newmarketfarmersmarket
 
Milford
Where: Milford Town Hall Auditorium, 1 Union Square 
When: Saturdays, March 21 and April 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Visit: milfordnhfarmersmarket.com.
 
Exeter
Where: Exeter High School, 1 Blue Hawk Drive
When: Saturdays, March 28 and April 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Visit: seacoasteatlocal.org
 
Contoocook
Where: Hopkinton Town Hall, 330 Main St. 
When: Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Visit: facebook.com/contoocookfarmersmarket
 
Tilton
Where: 67 E. Main St., across from AutoServ
When: Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Visit: tiltonwinterfarmersmarket.com
 
Henniker
Where: Henniker Community Center, 57 Main St. 
When: Thursdays, from 4 to 7 p.m. 
Visit: hennikerfarmersmarket.com




Spring to the markets
Still goodies to be found at farmers markets

03/19/15
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



Spring can be a tough season for farmers markets. With many farmers unable to yield their usual products during the spring months, most winter markets shut down and reopen in the summer. There are some, however, that stay open between market seasons.  

“Our [Salem] market continues all year long,” said Jane Lang, coordinator of the Salem farmers market and president of the New Hampshire Farmers Market Association. “We have farmers who, whatever they have for this time of year, they bring.”
Lang said there are still a variety of greens on the tables, thanks to heated greenhouses and whatever crops farmers have been able to preserve and store over the winter. One Salem vendor, she said, started planting strawberries in his greenhouse months ago and is expecting to have them at the market by April. 
At the Concord Winter Market, held every Saturday through April 12, there are five vendors selling produce through the winter and spring months, according to market manager Charlie Cole. The only things being grown this time of year, he said, are greens and sprouts, which are grown in greenhouses and don’t mind the cold. Other items on the tables, such as apples and root crops, were harvested in the fall and stored. 
“People buy a lot of apples,” Cole said. “Potatoes and onions are always heavy sellers, and greens sell out quicker than anything else because they are fresh and everyone loves fresh greens and sprouts this time of year.”
One Concord vendor, the Vegetable Ranch of Warner, is growing whatever will thrive in the cold weather in its greenhouses or “hoop houses.” 
“We don’t heat [our greenhouses],” said Larry Pletcher, owner of the Vegetable Ranch. “It’s not cost-effective. But we know through experience what is hearty enough to withstand the cold weather.”
Some of these cool-weather crops include spinach, scallions, mustard greens and bok choy. These crops can afford to get a little frozen, surviving in temperatures as low as the teens, said Pletcher, as long as they don’t freeze at the roots. At sunset, he covers the greenhouses to keep them warm overnight. When covered, they can reach temperatures into the 60s. 
The Vegetable Ranch has also been selling beets, carrots, onions, and potatoes that were stored over the winter, though Pletcher said those products are moving fast and may not last much longer. 
Even with limited produce this time of year, there are vendors whose goods are not contingent on the seasons.
“It’s not just all about fruits and vegetables,” said Lang. “A lot of people, when they think of farmers markets, all they think is produce, but there’s a variety of farms that offer many different products.”
These include dairy products, honey, granola, jam, maple syrup, soap, tea, chocolate, coffee and meat. 
Many people are buying meat from farmers markets to ensure that their food has not been chemically processed or treated.
“More people are trying to find out where their food is coming from,” Lang said. “A farmers market is about letting people shake the hand of the farmer who grew their vegetables or raised their meats. It’s an opportunity to talk to them and find out what they feed their animals and how they grow their crops.”
To promote the value of eating healthy and supporting local farmers, more markets, including Salem and Concord, are starting to participate in the SNAP program, meaning that vendors will accept EBT credits as payment. 
“We’re just trying to educate people,” said Lang. “Food [from a farmers market] lasts so much longer in the fridge than food from a grocery store. We know Market Basket will never go out of business, and we don’t expect people to use their whole food budget at the farmers market, but we’d like to see them use just $10 or $20. I guarantee they’ll come back with another $20.” 
 
As seen in the March 19, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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