Friday, April 27, 2018

WEDC works to establish a successful and ongoing Windham Farmers’ Market by Lorraine Glowczak

The Windham Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) was the host of a Farmers’ Market Organizational Meeting on April 24 at 7 p.m. at the Windham Public Library with the intention of establishing a successful and ongoing market in the Windham area. A second identical meeting was also held on Thursday April 26 at the same time and location.

Tom Bartell, WEDC Director and WEDC Administrative Assistant Lisa Fisher led Tuesday evening’s
meeting. The discussion included topics such as the best market layout, required infrastructure, best day and time to offer the market, best date to begin the operation, with suggestions for attracting enough vendors to make the Windham Farmers’ Market as successful as possible.

“Windham used to have a Farmer’s Market,” explained Fisher. “People have missed having a market in the area and we want to try to recreate it to benefit all involved.”  

It is well-known that farmers markets contribute to the success and welfare of not only the farmer, but to artisans, entertainers, food vendors as well as the community. They provide a cost-effective way for farmers and artisans to sell products with low fixed costs and without high retail overhead.

Individuals in the area benefit with the access of fresh, healthy and locally grown foods. Additionally, farmers markets can provide community-building, community-defining and community-sustaining ways to life, introducing and educating children about the food they eat and where it comes from. Pecoraro of Mulberry Farms of Raymond was one of the attendees at Tuesday’s meeting. He reiterates the important role a farmers market plays and points out the differences between foods purchased at a grocery store compared to what you buy at a market.

“The big difference between grocery store produce and what you get at a market is twofold,” Pecoraro began. “First, most often you get to speak to the person who grows the produce you are purchasing. You get to find out what fertilizer was used, if there were any pesticides applied, when
produce was picked, etc. You don’t get that sort of knowledge at a grocery store. Second, the food that is grown locally is much better tasting and nutritious because it hasn’t traveled up to 3,000 miles. 

Food at a store is also made with the intention to have a long shelf life. As a result, the produce purchased at a grocery store loses nutrition and flavor.”

The organizational meeting was a success, but the discussion is ongoing. If you are interested in being a part of the organizational team to contribute toward a successful Windham Farmers’ Market or would like more information, contact Fisher or Bartell at 207-892-1936.

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