Farm-grown foods prove popular at new market

Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Vendors set up produce tables in the shadow of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ on Church Street.

Ron Hause and Brad Coco play oldies hits at the new farmers market.

Vibrantly green lettuce, red radishes, and deep black berries were laid out Wednesday in a food-lover’s paradise at the launch of a new farmers market at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ.

“This is a way to bring local produce, which is great for you,” said church member Carolyn Haney. “Who doesn’t love having the freshest, most delicious food?”

Organizers have been working since March to secure all-local vendors.

Their hard work didn’t go unnoticed as several hundred curious shoppers stopped by Wednesday in the first hour alone.

The appeal for many, Haney said, is a desire to buy non-processed foods raised traditionally and moved directly from the field to table without preservatives.

“People are realizing that we need to get back to fresh,” she said.

Only the growers themselves were invited to sell their jams, honey, organic greens, carrots, raspberries, baked goods, maple syrup, herbal care products, and other farm-fresh offerings. There was also free face-painting and popcorn for kids.

Seven vendors set up on the first evening and more are expected to join through the summer.

Many are experienced sellers who also hawk their wares at the Oberlin Farmers Market on Saturdays, Haney said.

The Amherst market runs from 4-7 p.m. each Wednesday through Sept. 30 at the church parking lot, 582 Church St.

Congregants at St. Peter’s view the weekly event as a way to reach out to and serve the community.

“Its our way of saying we’re here, we’re OK people, and we care about you,” Haney said.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.