AREA — Bethel Farmer’s Market will open on Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Marty Elkin of Wrinkle in Thyme is one of the vendors at the Bethel farmer’s Market opening May 18 on The Parkway. Mary Harrington

In the meantime, Greenwood Farmer’s Market has moved outside for the next several months.

Both markets offer a variety of fresh produce, meats, and baked goods. Both markets sell maple syrup and eggs.

At both you can buy wool, homemade balms, pottery, flowers, and plants. But beyond the similarities are items that are unique and make visiting both markets worthwhile adventures.

Bethel

Starting Saturday, The Bethel Farmer’s Market is open on The Parkway near the intersection of Mayville Road.

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This year the market will host 14 farms,  “We are at capacity, for the first time ever,” said Market Manager Hannah Court of  Waterford’s Wandering Root Farm.

Court explained that in January each year, one of the farmers hosts a market meeting where they discuss the budget and any applications they have received. The applicants must have  liability insurance and be up to date with any required state licensing. Their first year is a probationary year, to see if they are a good fit. After the first probationary year they are awarded voting rights.

This year with the addition of four new vendors, Court said the Bethel Farmer’s market, “is only getting better… We are a good motley crew of people who have a great time … that’s not always the case in Farmer’s Markets and so it’s just a wonderful breath of fresh air.”

With new vendors on the roster, they are adding more variety. The market will have more produce, meat and eggs, and will offer flowers and vegetable seedlings.

Kittridge Brook Farm of West Paris is new to the market. Their owners will sell meat  and produce. Another newcomer is Stow’s Fossil Flower Farm.

Longtime sellers at Wrinkle in Thyme of Sumner will partner with Perrywick Homestead of West Bethel still offering all the wool products of year’s past plus maple syrup and honey.

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Danielle Mason of Newry’s Hideaway Homestead’s sells granola, and “some of the most delicious vegan baked goods I have ever had in my life,” said Court.

Assistant Market Manager Mary Harrington owns Mountainess of Albany. She sells soap, deodorant, and balms.

Another addition to the market will be Court’s acceptance of WIC (Women, infants and children) from shoppers. “It’s a very complicated process,” she said, adding that she will likely be the only the vegetable vendor accepting it.

Court said they are hopeful for continued support from Sunday River Ski Resort, who traditionally gives all their employees $50 to spend in “market dollars.”  The money helps support a twice yearly “Kid’s Club” at the Market with Kate Webb of Bethel Area Arts also a twice yearly, “Senior Days” that offers a discount to seniors.

They will stay open until mid-October.

Vendors

Bethel Farmer’s Market carrots. Mary Harrington photo

Vendors at the Bethel market include:

Morning Glory Farm of Bethel: fresh and dried flowers, eggs, hot sauce, pottery, bees wax products
Wandering Root Farm of Waterford: certified organic vegetables
Mountainess of Albany Township: soap, deodorant, balms
Middle Intervale Farm of Bethel: vegetables, beef, pork, lamb, eggs
Back to Roots of Sumner: bread, baked goods, ready-to-eat treats, seedlings, spice mixes, vegetables, honey, maple syrup
Crooked Bow Soap of Rumford: soaps
Friendly Ewe of Sumner: yarn, art
Hideaway Homestead Newry: vegan baked goods, granola
Gammon Bison Farm of Andover: bison meat, maple syrup, baked goods
Wrinkle in Thyme Farm + Perrywick Homestead of Sumner: wool products, honey, maple syrup,
Kittridge Brook Farm of West Paris: vegetables, beef, pork, chicken, eggs
Amazing Great Herbs of Sumner: annual and perennial plants
Fossil Flower Farm of Stow: cut flowers, vegetables, seedlings, eggs
Greenwood
At the Greenwood Farmer’s Market vendors don’t pay a fee and the Town of Greenwood allows the farmers free use of the old town hall.
Because of that, “we have been able to operate as an incubator,” said Suzanne Dunham, of Greenwood, who co-manages the market with her husband Brian.
Suzanne said coffee roaster Michelle Dubord of Greenwood Beans is a good example of someone who was able to grow her business with help from the market. ” [About five years ago] she started out very small coming to our market [to sell] coffee beans … she built the business up and now she has her coffee all over the place. She was able to get her license and buy equipment. Now she is as a big thriving business,” said Suzanne.
Starting June 14, The year-round Greenwood Farmer’s Market will open weekly and will set up outside whenever possible. Their market at The Old Greenwood Town Hall, 270 Main Street (route 26) is open on Fridays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  The market is open every other week in the winter.
The 12-year-old market has special events like when Vendor Monica Mann, of Woodstock plays her fiddle. They have occasional food sampling evenings; and do raffles, too. With proof of a SNAP card, the Market will give shoppers a $20 gift card.
Suzanne said because their market is informal and small, they have 14 vendors, but some are seasonal,  they try to be fair toward their existing vendors and not accept new ones when a product is already covered. They get a consensus from everyone when necessary, but don’t follow strict Maine federation rules.
She said one of the advantages of not having strict federation rules means they can go to a local farmer to get corn to sell, for instance, if their vendors aren’t offering that yet.
But product variation overall is evident from the mixed greens: lettuce, spinach, kale and mesclun coming from Rumford’s Ellis River Farm to the four bakers’ offerings: cakes, prepared meals, gluten-free breads and more. One vendor even sells art.
Of the market’s philosophy, Dunham says, “We want to help farmers get established, so we try to make it as easy as possible for that to happen,”

Vendors

Vendors at the Greenwood market include:
Ellis River Farm of Rumford Point: greens, sheep swag
Jade’s HomeGrown of Rumford Point: grass fed beef, eggs
Frechette Family Farm of Oxford:  vanilla products, sawmilled goods, raised beds
Longview Bees of Buckfield: honey and honey-based products
Bear Naked Bakery and Botanicals of Andover: sourdough breads and desserts
Jane E. Hathaway of West Paris Art: tea bag paintings, mixed medium art
The Farm at Rowe Hill of Greenwood: annuals, annual basket, arrangements, veg & herb seedlings
Squash Pie Blossom of Norway: organic plants/seedlings, fresh-cut
Michelle Clourtier: flower bouquets, everlasting flower arrangements
Earth and Fire Pottery of Woodstock: pottery
Shelby’s Cakes of Bethel: baked goods, jams, specialty cakes
Mollyockett Farm of Woodstock: heat and eat meals, baked goods
Dunham Farm/Velvet Hollow Sugar Works of Greenwood: maple syrup, gluten-free and grain free baked goods and granolas, lettuce and other produce (in season)
Dreamland Farm of Buckfield: cow’s milk, butter, bread

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