WESTFIELD — Starting next week, the Westfield Farmers Market will be open every Thursday through Oct. 19, noon to 5 p.m., at the Episcopal Church of the Atonement, 36 Court St., Westfield.
Manager Lisa Zlody said, “This will be our ninth season at the church. We’d like to grow in terms of outreach to the public and bringing more people to the market and educating customers on the reality of farming, how difficult it is and how important it is to support our local agricultural economy.”
The Westfield Farmer’s Market is a nonprofit, self-sustaining, volunteer-run group whose mission is to provide fresh, locally grown food to the communities they serve, as well as to support local agriculture. The market is bringing back vendor demonstrations from food and craft producers. Several new vendors are coming in with a variety of products, such as Livingstone Mycology’s fresh mushrooms, Monsoon Roastery’s fresh roasted and brewed coffee and Bristol Street Farm’s vegetables and eggs.
Some market dates will feature a representative from the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and a Fallon Community Health Plan representative discussing insurance options for elders. There will also be a voter registration drive for Westfield residents and a COVID-19 vaccination clinic each week in June conducted by Behavioral Health Network of Springfield. For the entire month of June, the market will also have a table for the Western Massachusetts Master Gardeners Association. Attendees can bring in soil samples to be tested on June 15.
In addition, there will be playground on site for children, and the Westfield Athenaeum will host a scavenger hunt, a story hour, and a craft activity. The market will advertise the date and time of the special activities in its weekly newsletter. Live music will be featured every week throughout the 21-week season.
“We want to make the market a destination where people can come to shop, children can play and listen to music,” Zlody said. “We’re really trying to make it a community hub for many different activities. We want our customers to realize the importance of shopping locally because they could be helping to keep a farm afloat by continuing to purchase local products.”
She continued, “We want to help folks understand how much work really goes into producing quality food, and the risks involved, such as the loss of this season’s peach crop. The purchase of other produce can help offset the losses a farm can experience due to climate changes.”
For questions on becoming a volunteer, vendor or SNAP match sponsor for the Farmers Market, email email@example.com. More information and newsletter signup can be found at westfieldfarmersmarket.org.