Farmers’ Market Brimming With New Features

Maureen and Mark Weiner, owners of Moe's Donuts, will return to the Westfield Farmers' Market this season.

Maureen and Mark Weiner, owners of Moe’s Donuts, will return to the Westfield Farmers’ Market this season.

WESTFIELD-A new loyalty rewards program is being launched this summer by organizers of the Westfield Farmers’ Market.

Customers who attend the market six times and have their loyalty card signed at the market host tent will be entered into a weekly drawing for rewards including market gift certificates, according to Deborah Randzio, market manager. Randzio is joined this year by Peter Langmore, who is serving as assistant manager.

“CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) will offer merchandise, and Cal Craft, a vendor, will offer a gift basket for the loyalty drawing,” said Randzio.

The farmers’ market opens its season on June 2 with a “celebration” at noon on the lawn of the Episcopal Church of the Atonement on Court Street. The market is planned on Thursdays from noon to 6 p.m. through Oct. 6.

“In its second year under the management of the church, the market will welcome back many of its regular vendors from last season,” said Randzio.

Vendors returning this season include Moe’s Donuts, Pignatare’s Farm, Mount Warner Vineyards, Cal Craft, Yang Flower Farm, Stony Creek Farm, Rudy’s Greenhouse, West Parish Orchards, Ellie’s Oils, Relax-Rinse-Repeat, Trotwood Acres, Windycrest Farm, and Mike’s Crafts.

Randzio also welcomes new vendors Boomsma Family Farm of Blandford, offering free-range chicken and forested pork; MayVal Farm of Westhampton, selling milk, cheese and maple syrup, and the Skyline Trading Company of Westfield, selling breads, sandwiches, soups, and baked goods, including cookies and their “famous pretzels.”

Randzio added that vendors may still apply for the full season, partial season, or as a guest participant.

“Also new at the market this year is an increased grant administered by CISA,” said Randzio. “SNAP customers who scan their cards at the market will be offered up to a $10 match per week on their SNAP purchases, increased from $5 last year.”

Other new features this season include musical performances by local musicians and groups, sponsored by a grant from the Westfield Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

“Applications are still being accepted from musicians who would like to participate,” said Randzio.

Randzio noted that the Skyline Trading Company will sponsor a tent for cooking demonstrations and will use goods purchased locally for its recipes. Printed recipes will also be available for patrons.

“The Shortstop Bar & Grill is also scheduled to do a cooking demonstration, and Pignatare’s Farm will be donating produce for the demonstrations,” said Randzio.

Restaurants and chefs who wish to participate in cooking demonstrations are encouraged to contact the market committee for more details.

Nonprofit organizations will also have tents to distribute information, including Stanley Park, Friends of the Columbia Greenway, and Friends of the Westfield Athenaeum. Some of the organizations will also offer activities for families and children. There is still time for nonprofit organizations to submit an application to participate this season.

Randzio noted that other market highlights during the season will include free soil testing during June by Master Gardeners, and the Westfield City Clerk’s Office will have a voter registration table for persons wishing to register to vote.

“Donations will be accepted for the Master Gardeners offering this service,” said Randzio.

With the increased activity at the market and the growth of vendors, Randzio and Langmore still need more volunteers to help with set up and break down of the market each Thursday. Volunteers work in shifts on a rotational schedule. Training will be provided on May 12 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

For more information on the farmers’ market or to sign up to volunteer or participate as a vendor, call (413) 562-5461, ext. 101, or send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected].

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