August 4, 2008
Locally-Grown Food in High Demand
By Eileen M. Adams
RUMFORD - Although the River Valley Farmers Market is on hiatus, at some area farms appear to benefiting from a trend toward eating more locally grown foods.Annette Marin, owner of No View Farm on South Rumford Road, said her business has increased tremendously this year, so much so that she has not had time to participate in the market, which usually takes place Fridays in the Labonville parking lot in Mexico.
That lack of time, something she said other farmers are experiencing, has caused the temporary shut down of the farmers market.
"I support the farmers market and I was the market master at the beginning, but I can't get there," she said.
Some farmers have said that participating in the market makes it difficult, if not impossible, to also be at their farms where many customers come to buy produce and other products.
For Marin, high insurance costs also affected her decision not to participate this year. About three years ago, a truck spilled red dye near her farm, destroying her produce and boosting her insurance.
But this year, things are definitely looking up. She serves about 100 customers under a Community Supported Agriculture program.
Ann Kimball and her husband, David, who grow produce at their Rumford farm, who have always participated in the farmers market, said a huge amount of time is needed to prepare for it.
"And people stop coming to the farm," she said.
The market may open later as the harvest comes in, said Marin.
Beverly Crosby of the River Valley Growth Council, the group under which the farmers market and the Rumford Agricultural Commission operate, said the market may begin earlier next year.
Mark Hews who represents the Threshold to Maine, an economic group that works with the local Agricultural Commission, said recruiting market vendors will begin in the fall so that everything will be in place when spring arrives.
The commission has other plans to market local produce and work with agriculturally-related projects, said Crosby.
One will be launched on Aug. 6 when Hews will seek approval by the growth council board to establish a community kitchen committee. That meeting takes place at the old Canton Municipal Building.
Another plan is to organize a community garden, said Crosby.
Originally published by Staff Writer.
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