The weather’s heating up, which means farmers markets are opening for the season across New Hampshire.
One of the state’s largest communities has been without a farmers market since 2015, when the market in downtown Derry folded.
A group of community leaders has been working for more than a year to resurrect it.
The new version – rebranded as the Derry Homegrown Farm and Artisan Market – debuted on Wednesday, and will run each Wednesday through the summer from 3-7 p.m.
Morning Edition host Rick Ganley was there, and spoke with Terri Pastori. She’s a member of the market’s board of directors, and is chair of the Derry Economic Development Advisory Committee.
“People are here with their children, their friends, with their dogs, milling about," Pastori said. "They’re checking thing out, sampling, and smelling the soaps, and buying some maple syrup, just going from tent to tent.”
Pastori says to succeed, organizers needed to think beyond a traditional farmers market to make it more of an event for the whole family.
“People can come here, the kids will be entertained. Today, we have an amazing balloon guy making balloons. We’ve got Let’s Play Music having a touch-and-feel with all the instruments. We’ve got a musician, so it was very important to us to have other things other than buying your fruits and vegetables here.”
Asked about a formula for sustainable success, Pastori says she’s hoping others in the community will get involved to keep the market strong.
“We’ve got identify other kindred spirits who are true believers in this in terms of getting it going and running. We’ve had great support from vendors. Just look at the array of vendors here. We’re going to be on a waitlist in no time for vendors to come into the market because we’re going to be sold out. We’ve had amazing sponsors, but the key for us is we’ve got to identify other people to help us with this mission.”
Pastori said she was planning on picking up some maple syrup, as well as corn relish for her nachos.
“Our family philosophy is to support local,” she said.
The first day of the market was a success for Cheryl Holbert, owner of Nomad Bakery. She sold out of bread within the first two hours.
She said she’s excited to see the market come back to downtown.
“It’s my hometown. We’ve lived in Derry for 25 years and I’ve had a cottage baking business for the last four years.”
Hannah Harding of Derry came out with her twin toddlers.
“It looks like there are a lot of great activities for the kids, which is nice, so this is something we’ll probably frequent more often,” she said.
Editor's note: The song heard in this piece is called "Searching for a Whale", lyrics by Betsy Rosenberg, Music by Ann R. Silverman-Limor aka Rahel.