RUMFORD – A market with a variety of locally grown or produced foods will return to the River Valley this summer.

Beverly Crosby, administrative assistant for the River Valley Growth Council, which is the group backing the market, said eight farmers from Rumford, Andover, Peru, Dixfield and Mexico have signed on for the seasonal event. They produce such things as vegetables, flowers, baked goods, jellies and jams, eggs and fruit.

A farmers’ market was started a couple of years ago and was held most recently at the Labonville parking lot in Mexico, then took a hiatus last season.

An organizational meeting set up by the Agricultural Commission has been set for 4 p.m. June 9 at the River Valley Technology Center in Rumford. At that meeting, participants will decide where to hold the market, how often to hold it, the opening day, which will likely be near the end of June, and other details.

Anyone interested in joining with the eight already signed up is invited to attend the meeting.

In the meantime, Mark Hews of Threshold to Maine and Crosby have applied for a grant to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under the 2009 Farmers Market Promotional Program, for $22,000 that would support an expansion of the local farmers’ market next year.

Crosby said the grant request includes funding for such items as a machine that would accept federal food coupon cards, canopies, booths, signs and vendor recruitment.

The River Valley Farmers’ Market will find out by September if it will receive the grant. If successful, the grant would fund farmers’ market projects from October 2009 to October 2010.

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