Lamoille County farmers’ market takes hold

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(Host) Off-season farmers markets continue to sprout up around Vermont.

The newest addition, in Lamoille County, is the first to be open in the same spot throughout the year.

VPR’s Amy Noyes has more:

(background market sounds)

(Noyes) The Lamoille Valley Year-Round Farmers and Artisan Market opened in early March, in what promises to be its permanent home.

That home is the River Arts Center, and ‘the arts’ are a big component here. Market organizer Amy Walker has scheduled both farmer and artisan vendors, as well as guest chefs for each market. She’s also worked in environmental education workshops for kids, and documentary screenings for adults. It’s all designed to promote and support local food growers and producers. Walker says it’s a concept she’s been working on for two years.

(Walker) "This idea is about building community and growing our economic base here by supporting each other. And you know what? It’s a really fun place to be."

(Noyes) Over 20 vendors took part in the inaugural market, selling everything from homemade tea blends to hand-dyed tee-shirts. Walker describes the eclectic mix:

(Walker) "There’s wonderful artwork and canned pickles and plants and seeds from a couple different farmers. There is some arts and crafts, and then there’s a couple local meat vendors here. ///There’s lamb, there’s pork, there’s beef, chicken, turkey, fresh eggs."

(Noyes) Blair Marvin is here selling bread baked in her outdoor wood-fired oven.

Marvin says the new market is a big step for her business, but she’s excited for the opportunity.

(Marvin) "We’ll see how well we can swing it. It’s just my husband and I, so trying to get it together for this is kind of challenging, but so worth it."

(Noyes) Come springtime, the market plans to offer even more, as outdoor vending spaces open up.

Not only is the market brand-new, but so is its venue. Opening day was the first public event held at the River Arts Center.

The nonprofit organization has been renovating its 160 year old building — the original home to Morrisville’s high school. Most recently, the building served as the Lamoille Grange hall.

Joanne Harrison is President of the River Arts Board of Trustees. She says the community component is a big part of her group’s mission.

(Harrison) "River Arts – we see ourselves as being all about community, whether it’s through the arts, or through skateboarding and the arts, or cooking and the arts, and in this case it’s this wonderful farmers market. And the turnout’s just terrific… and it’s buzzing with activity and there’s no place to park (laughs)."

(Noyes) Parking is sure to be less of an issue once a towering mound of snow recedes from the parking lot across the street.

For VPR News, I’m Amy Noyes.

(Host) The Lamoille Valley Farmers and Artisan Market is held every Wednesday afternoon in Morrisville, from 3 until 7.

VPR Photos, Amy Noyes: Shoppers at the Lamoille Valley Farmers Market and Blair marvin sells her bread. 

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