A farmer once told me that supermarkets were for winter. Not any more! As we quickly segue from the Winter Farmers’ Markets to this week’s opening of the outdoor ones, eating locally year round on the Seacoast is now a reality. From the very first year at McIntosh College, to the soaring, bustling spaces we now enjoy in Exeter and Rollinsford, it’s nothing short of amazing all that we together have created in four short years.
Thank-you to everyone who came, filled your baskets with winter’s bounty, shared food with those in need, and joined in the celebration. You helped show the farmers there is an eager audience for their efforts, and that what they do matters. Thank-you to the farmers who took a leap of faith with us by planting, growing, raising and storing food a year in advance. Thank-you to the prepared food vendors who went above and beyond our expectations in their efforts to include local food in their wares. You helped us to feed our families good, healthy, and delicious food. Thank-you to the delightful performers who filled the market with music, and created a happy, festive atmosphere. Finally, thank-you to our wonderful crew of volunteers who, with endless good cheer, unloaded countless vehicles, showed us new ways to prepare winter vegetables, surveyed the crowds, and provided answers to every question all season long; your dedication was inspiring.
This note wouldn’t be complete without extending special thanks to Wentworth Greenhouses and Exeter High School for allowing us to return for another year, and for providing such beautiful, light-filled spaces; and also to Salmon Falls Stoneware for stepping in when we needed extra parking. Additional special thanks goes to our market sponsors, Exeter Hospital and Full Circle Coupons, for their financial support. Lastly, thank-you to the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund for providing guidance and support when we needed it most.
This has been truly a community effort — we couldn’t have done it without you, and we can’t wait to see you all when we return again in November. Until then, finish off those root vegetables and head out to a summer farmers’ market near you. Like we said, eat local all year round!