Friday, July 31, 2009

WEEK 4 AND WE'RE STILL GROWING!!

Despite the record breaking rain, Chelmsford Farmers' Market has lucked out in the weather department. No rain from 2-6 pm. (Maybe we should say it is the Camelot Farmers' Market?) Yesterday was our 4th market day of the first season, 8 more to go. Our wonderful vendors brought beautiful produce, bread, pasta, cheese, sauces, bagels, flowers, granola, cookies, pies, and more. Everyone we talked to said they thought they would drop by for one thing and left with brimming bags. How anyone can resist stopping at every stall is beyond me.

More than one shopper has said they bought everything for dinner at the market! How good is that?

Welcome our newest vendors: Hill Orchard (peaches are coming in) and Fior D'Italia (the best fresh pasta around).

Support our local farmers and remember: NO FARMS, NO FOOD



Friday, July 10, 2009

WE DID IT!

Yesterday we rang the opening bell at 2:00 and welcomed a very happy crowd to the first Chelmsford Farmers' Market on the Common.  It was truly spectacular.  The Market Organizers (Susan and Peggy) were almost speechless.  The vendors/farmers all said it was a great opening day and a couple even said that in their long experience it was the best opening day of any market they have attended.  WOW!

After literally weeks of overcast skies and rain we were worried farmers wouldn't have enough to sell, but they did and the variety of heirloom squashes alone was incredible.  We were also worried it would rain on the market and discourage shoppers.  It turned out to be a great day and people were happy to be out.

I was talking to a friend and said, "This is like a European market."  A young woman standing nearby said, "I don't mean to eavesdrop, but I just moved here from Germany and this exactly like a German market."

Over and over people said to us, "This is wonderful!"  "Thank you for bringing this to Chelmsford."  "I have always wanted a market in my town."  etc.

We owe a real debt to the Town Manager for supporting the idea of having a market on the Common from the very beginning.  Also, the Board of Health facilitated the permitting process and patiently worked with us, answering questions like, "what is a 'processed food'?"  

We basked in our success for one night and got up at 5 am thinking about how to refine things and make the market even better.  Keeping the market in the public's mind is crucial.  There will be banners going up on the Common, so every driver who comes down North Road will be reminded that Thursday is market day.  Both local newspapers, the Chelmsford Independent and the Lowell Sun, had pre-opening stories and came to the opening.  Facebook was invaluable for building a customer base too.  If you are reading this and have any ideas about how to publicize the market or make it better, please let us know.

Come by the Market Managers' tent on Thursday and see what surprise we have in store.

Onward and upward