Main Street Portsmouth (MSP) will be opening their Farmers Market for the 2017 season, Saturday. With a variety of vendors, there a plethora of fresh-finds. The market runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon through early October.
“Of our nearly 50 events, the Farmers Market makes up 18 of them,” said MSP Executive Director Joseph Pratt. “It is one of our most extensive programs, outside of our design work on downtown flowers and parks. It brings in hundreds of people each weekend and seems to be one of our most popular downtown promotions as well.”
Produce that will be in season in May includes: asparagus, cabbage, collards, kale, mustard greens, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries and turnip greens.
In addition to the produce, the Farmers Market features varieties of baked goods, jams and jellies, sauces, dips, seasonings and soup mix.
There will also be local and cottage-made goods like, handmade herbal soaps and goat milk soaps, sugar scrubs, lotions and miscellaneous craft items.
“The program is wonderful for many reasons,” Pratt explained. “It provides a solid location for local farmers and crafters to showcase their goods and make a living, while also giving locals the chance to purchase affordable healthy options for their table, as well as gifts and other goods. The Farmers Market is a great opportunity for people to purchase great healthy food options, see the culture of our home through the work of local crafters and artists, and mingle with neighbors. We are proud of this program that so many volunteers work hard to make happen.”
As always, Main Street will continue the partnership with the Health Coalition to bring Healthy Bucks to the market. This year, they are cutting the adult program to further increase their outreach to children.
“We have so much going on and only so many dollars. We have a great sponsor that the Health Coalition accomplishes through Kings Daughter’s Medical Center (KDMC) and we also donate ourselves, but we feel the largest impact of our funding would be experienced with the children. They have the most to take away from the educational opportunities and have fewer options for finding food sources, if they need it,” Pratt explained.
The program has grown exponentially and the need to serve more and more children only grows.
“It is a lot of work to ensure the Healthy Bucks program continues to serve the needs of the community, but it is all worth it, especially when we see children having fun and learning healthy living practices and actually showing excitement while leaving with free veggies and fruits,” said Pratt.
Main Street accepts donations to increase the number of children they can serve. Healthy Bucks are distributed the third Saturday of the month.
“Since we don’t have a Healthy Bucks in May, our board decided to have a kickoff event for this weekend. We have purchased three flats of plants from local shops and a plethora of outdoor toys from hula hoops and butterfly nets to bubbles and water cannons,” Pratt said. “We will be letting kids spin the Century 21 Prize Wheel to leave with something fun for the summer.”
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.