NORWAY — The Norway Farmers Market kicked off the season Thursday at its new location at Witherell Park on Main Street.
Pat Martin, a vendor at the market, said it will be open from 2 to 6 p.m. and will be open every Thursday, depending on the weather, until the end of September or the beginning of October.
Witherell Park is on Main Street in Norway, between Norway Savings Bank and Cumberland Farm.
Nearly a dozen vendors set up booths there Thursday afternoon, including newcomer Julie Mannix, a licensed dairy farmer from Harrison who runs Old School Creamery.
Mannix said she has been participating in farmers markets for six years.
She said farmers markets are important to rural towns in Maine “because as a society, we’re detached from our food. It’s important for us to know where our food comes from and be more connected to it.”
Charlie Yancey, a teacher at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School who with his wife runs a lavender farm called Pen-Y-Bryn in Hebron, said he feels good about the new location of the Norway Farmers Market.
“We feel it’s important to establish a connection with our neighbors and other farmers,” Yancey said. “It’s also pretty neat to see and interact with students and teachers outside of the school in a different context.”
For the first time, Martin said, the market will have craft beer for sale. The Board of Selectmen voted in April to allow Drumming Grouse Brewing of Bridgton to sell beer at the farmers market, but tasting will not be allowed.
Drumming Grouse Brewing has also joined markets in Waterford, Casco and Harrison, Martin said.
Vendor Murray Herrick said people can learn more about the Norway Farmers Market from its Facebook page, where “we post weekly recipes that people can make using the products that we sell at the market.”
Jack D. Jolie of Bridgton plays music in Witherell Park on Thursday during opening day of the Norway Farmers Market. The market will set up every Thursday at Witherell Park from 2 to 6 p.m. until October. (Matthew Daigle/Sun Journal)