Food/Travel

Varied Ways To Get Involved at Seasonal Market

WESTFIELD-Chefs, vendors, volunteers and musicians are currently being recruited for the Westfield Farmers’ Market season which opens June 1 at noon, according to Debbie Randzio, market manager.
“In its third year under the management of a committee of community volunteers through the Episcopal Church of the Atonement, the market will welcome back many of its regular vendors from last season,” said Randzio.

The Westfield Farmers’ Market opens June 1.

Vendors returning for this year’s market include Mo’s Donuts, Pignatare’s Farm, Mt. Warner Vineyards, Cal Craft Relishes, MycoTerra Mushroom Farm, Stony Creek Farm, Rudy’s Greenhouse, West Parish Orchards, Blueberry Hill Farm, Relax, Rinse, Repeat, Trotwood Acres, Andrew Charig, Mike’s Crafts, Boomsma Family Farm, MayVal Farm, Skyline Trading Company and Sweet JJ’s.
Randzio noted that new vendors will include Fortini Gelato, The Hood Cafe of Southwick, formerly known as Red Riding Hood’s Basket, and Ray’s Family Farm.
“Salt Box Seasonings, Sweet Harvest Farm, the students of William Dean Technical High School and Stoneybrook Cider will also be among vendors whom customers will remember from the winter market,” said Randzio.
Vendors may still apply for the full season, partial season, or guest participation, according to Randzio. Information, rules, and applications are available at www.westfieldfarmersmarket.net.
“Of particular need are chicken and fish vendors, as well as an additional beef vendor,” said Randzio.
The market staff will be accepting SNAP cards although the matching funds will be administered differently this year, noted Randzio.
“SNAP customers will receive the matching dollar amounts put directly onto their cards when they purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from qualified vendors,” said Randzio, adding the new Healthy Incentives Program is administered through the state Department of Nutritional Assistance.
Introduced last season, area chefs will once again demonstrate recipes using goods purchased at the market and provide copies of the recipes for sharing. In addition, health coach Donna St. Jean will be available to provide advice on budgeting and shopping for healthy food and supply cooking ideas and simple recipes using healthy, inexpensive ingredients.
Restaurants and chefs who wish to participate in cooking demonstrations are asked to call (413) 562-5461, ext. 101, or send an email to [email protected]
Musical performances each week by local musicians will also continue this season, sponsored by a grant from the Westfield Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and partially funded by musician volunteers who performed at a concert at the church in March. Applications are still being accepted from musicians who would like to participate.
Randzio added that nonprofit organizations will also have tents to distribute information, including The Master Gardeners doing soil testing and Ascentria Alliance providing free SNAP Ed nutrition education. Applications are still being accepted from organizations that wish to also participate.
“With the increased activity at the market and growth in numbers of vendors, additional volunteers are needed to be market and table hosts and to assist with setting up and taking down the market each Thursday,” said Randzio, adding that volunteers work in shifts on a rotational schedule. Training will be provided on May 24 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Volunteers are encouraged to call the market committee or send an email with one’s name and contact information.
“The loyalty rewards program also continues this year,” said Randzio. “Customers who attend the market six times and get their loyalty card signed at the market host’s tent will be entered into a weekly drawing for rewards such as market gift certificates or gift baskets filled with products from the market vendors.”
For up-to-date market information throughout the season, visit westfieldfarmersmarket.net.

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