HAMPSTEAD — Farmers markets are springing up in small towns across New Hampshire, with the newest one locally in Hampstead.
The new farmers market will be at Stage Road Junction, on the corner of Routes 111 and 121, according to farmers market director Bernadette Longbook.
"It almost seems like every small town is going to have their own farmers market," she said. "It's good for the local economy. Now, people in Hampstead are going to Salem or Derry for the farmer's market. Soon, they won't have to leave town." The market will run from the second week of July through the end of October, every Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Longbook said she has gotten a lot of positive feedback from residents who heard about it.
"People have told me they're very excited," she said. "The Town Hall got a couple of calls about it already. People are very interested."
She said they plan to sell a lot of organic produce — and much more.
"We hope to be selling fresh produce, flowers, honey, jams and jellies, meats, organic produce, local dairy products like eggs and cheese and prepared foods made locally, like bread and baked goods," she said. "We are talking to a winery right now. We have to have all New Hampshire-grown products."
She's also asked for advice from surrounding farmers markets.
"I spoke to the woman who runs the Salem market and I'm going to meet with her on Sunday," she said. "I've also touched base with the Derry market. They seem very willing to share ideas."
Selectman Rick Hartung said the board may have some safety and traffic regulations, but otherwise has no problem with the farmer's market.
"We support it," he said. "I did introduce them to Freshwater Farms. They have an interest in participating."
Rhonda Locke, manager at Freshwater Farms in Atkinson, said they definitely are interested in being part of the market.
"I talked to Mrs. Longbook in January and we'd be happy to be a part of it," she said. "We don't go to any other farmer's markets, but we try to support our local community."
She said they'd sell wreaths, flower arrangements and possibly produce.
Longbook said the market is sponsored by the Hampstead Lions Club, which is still working on organizing everything.
"We don't quite have our applications ready and policies all written," she said. "But by next week, we'll start taking applications."
For more information about the Hampstead Farmers Market, contact Bernie Longbook at 329-5603.
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