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Greenfield Winter Farmers Market (Winters Farmers Markets Pt.2) | Connecting Point | Feb. 13, 2019

>> SINCE THE 1980S, THE FARMERS MARKET ENJOYED A RESURFACING INTELLIGENCE BUT THOUGHT OF AS A WARM WEATHER OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE. SINCE FEBRUARY OF 2008, THE CITY OF GREENFIELD STARTED A NEW TREND FOR THE COMMONWEALTH, THE INDOOR WINTER’S FARMER’S MARKET, FEBRUARY 2 MARKED THE EVENT ON THE 12th ANNIVERSARY. LAST NIGHT “CONNECTING POINT”‘S BRIAN SULLIVAN INTRODUCED US AND HE TAKES US INSIDE OF PART TWO OF HIS SERIES. >> Reporter: THE SATURDAY AFTER THE NEW YEAR’S FIRST PROLONGED COLD SPELL DELIVERED A COUPLE OF PIECES OF GOOD NEWS. THE DISCOVERY SCHOOL IN GREENFIELD WAS PREPARING TO HOST ITS 12th ANNUAL WINTER FARE FARMER’S MARKET. SECONDLY, ON THIS PARTLY CLOUDY GROUNDHOG’S DAY PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL DID NOT SEE HIS SHADOWS AND THE VENDORS CONTINUED TO POUR IN AND STAGE THEIR STATIONS. IT WAS MORE THAN WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE GYMNASIUM. THE LIBRARY WAS HOSTING WORKSHOPS, GREENFIELD’S COMMUNITY COLLEGE, A REP FROM THE SOLAR INDUSTRY AND GREENFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY, WHERE EVEN LOCAL COFFEE ROSTERS RE DOING THEIR PART AND THE MAIN ATTRACTION FOR THE NEXT FEW HOURS WAS RIGHT HERE ON THIS BASKETBALL COURT. IN 2008, THIS WAS KIND OF A TRIAL BALLOON IDEA AS A MEANS OF BRINGING FRESH PRODUCE TO PEOPLE IN THE AREA.

NOW IN 2019, THIS IS THE LONGEST RUNNING WINTER FARMER’S MARKET IN THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS. AND 12 YEARS LATER, NOT ONLY HAS THE MARKET GROWN BUT THANKS TO SEVERAL STATE ACCESS PROGRAMS FOR LOW INCOME RESPECTS, SO HAS THE CUSTOMER BASE. >> IN MASSACHUSETTS, EVERYBODY WHO HAS A SNAP CARD HAS ACCESS TO THE HEALTHY INCENTIVES PROGRAM WHICH GIVES YOU 40, 60 OR $80 WORTH OF THE FREE PRODUCE EVERY MONTH. IN ORDER TO ACCESS THAT BENEFIT, THERE HAS TO BE FARMER’S MARKETS OPEN AND OPERATING. THIS MAKES THAT PROGRAM AND HEALTHY FOOD AVAILABLE TO ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE BIN TER THAT OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE HAD TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF TOWN WHICH CAN BE A CHALLENGE FOR PEOPLE. >> THE VENDORS HAVE A SHORT COMMUTE AS MANY ARE COMING IN FROM THE FRANKLIN COUNTY AREA. THE MARKET ITSELF IS JUST AS IMPORTANT FOR THEM AS IT IS FOR THE CUSTOMERS. FOR EXAMPLE, SUNRISE FARMS IS A SMALLER SCALE MAPLE SYRUP OPERATION AND THE PRODUCT ISN’T BEING SOLD IN STORES. ASIDE FROM RESTAURANT ACCOUNTS, THE GREENFIELD MARKET IS THEIR CHANCE TO GET A FACE TO FACE WITH CUSTOMERS THEY MAY NOT HAVE OTHERWISE MET. THIS SEEMS TO BE THE GOAL AMONG NEARLY ALL OF THE VENDORS HERE.

>> THE FARMER’S MARKETS ARE IMPORTANT TO A LOT OF THE LOCAL PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BUY LOCAL AND WANT TO KNOW WHERE THE PRODUCTS OR FOOD IS COMING FROM AND THEY LIKE TO KNOW WHO THE FARMERS ARE. SO THIS IS IMPORTANT TO THE COMMUNITY AND FOR THE FARMERS. >> WE’RE A PART OF THE HOLISTIC FOOD SYSTEM THAT IS FRANKLIN COUNTY OR GREENFIELD AND IN DOING THAT, WE’RE PRYING TRO PROMOTE LOCAL FOOD SO PEOPLE CAN BUY PRODUCTS SO THEY KNOW WHO BOUGHT IT, PRODUCED IT, CUT IT UP.

>> MORE FARMERS AND VENDORS HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND KNOW HOW MUCH TO BRING SO THEY DON’T RUN OUT EARLY OR LEAVE WITH A SURPLUS. THE SAME FOR FOLKS AT CLARKDALE. THE BONUS FOR THEM IS THEIR PROXIMITY. >> WE HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED SINCE WE’VE BEEN DOING THIS SO LONG. WE HAVE GOOD RECORDS WHERE WE CAN SAY GENERALLY I’LL BRING A COUPLE OF BUSHELSES OF APPLES AND THE THING FOR US, WE’RE CLOSE BY. SO IF WE NEED SOMETHING ELSE, LIKE, I CAN CALL BACK TO THE FARM AND GET ET RESUPPLIED. IT RESUPPLIED. IT BENEFITS THE PUBLIC BY PUTTING A FACE AND NAME BY THE FOODS THEY ON THE TABLES AND THE OTHER SERVES AS A REVENUE STREAM DURING THE SLOWER WINTER SEASON. THERE THEY GET RIPE FROM THE FARMER HAVING THE CONNECTION OF KNOWING WHAT’S IN SEASON OR STORING AND THAT YOU ARE HAVING THAT DIRECT SALE WITH THE FARMER, BECAUSE THAT’S THE BEST — OBVIOUSLY THE BEST FOR THE FARMERS, AS WELL, AND THEN ALSO GETTING CRAFT VENDORS HERE THAT NEED SUPPORT IN THE WINTER WHEN IT COULD BE DIFFICULT.

>> IN CASE YOU MISSED IT LAST NIGHT, YOU CAN FIND PART ONE OF BRIAN SULLIVAN’S SERIES ON WINTER FARMER’S MARKETS ONLINE AT WGBY.ORG/CONNECTINGPOINT. .




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