Music, food, and furniture at Dartmouth farmers market
Dartmouth’s first farmers market of the season kicked off in style on June 7 with a variety of vendors selling everything from handcrafted adirondack chairs and jewelry to the more typical produce, bread and pastries.
Musician Ric Allendorf played a guitar softly from a small tent as neighbors chatted to vendors and to each other, dogs and children in tow.
The market started about 15 years ago outside St. Peter’s Church on Elm Street.
But in 2016, it had grown so much the vendors who organize the market decided to move it to its current location on the lawn of St. Mary’s Church, which has a much bigger parking lot.
“It’s a fabulous market,” said organizer Susan Murray. “I like to call it the best little market on the South Coast, because we have such a diversity. A lot of markets are only crafts, or only vegetable farms, and we kind of have a little bit of everything coming together.”
Murray is a vendor with Flying Carrot Farm — a re-branding of Apponagansett Farm — on Elm Street.
She’s been managing the event for the past two years. “It’s my turn,” she laughed.
Next week Murray is planning a celebration for the end of school and the start of summer, so the market will have face painting, music together, and other family-friendly activities.
Every month will have one special event with a different theme, according to Murray.
For example, in July the theme will be Health and Wellness — so they’ll get local gyms to come in and show their stuff.
And the list of vendors keeps getting bigger. “We have plenty of room to grow,” Murray said.
Callie Pimental was buying a loaf of bread from Hearth artisan breads — a bakery from Plymouth — with her kids.
“We actually live right across the street, so we love it,” she said. “Every year we come. It’s awesome for [the kids] too because sometimes they have music, face painting, all that fun stuff.”
Ben, four, and his one-year-old sister Leah were sampling some of the Italian ciabatta.
“This is new, actually. We haven’t had this,” said Pimental. “They love it.”
Andrew Thornhill was selling produce — including mushrooms still growing on their log-shaped wood chip medium — from Silverbrook Farm in North Dartmouth.
“It doesn’t get fresher than that,” he laughed.
Woodworker Greg Golden was selling his handcrafted cutting and serving boards made from locally-sourced wood from Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, as well as handmade Adirondack furniture.
He brought his five-year-old daughter Marley along to help him sell his goods — but she was more interested in a freshly clipped Shih-Tzu nearby.
Also for sale on the market’s opening day were olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and chocolate from Italy, handmade soap, salves, and balms, fresh juice, jewelry and knitted accessories, and pastries and sweets.
But it wasn’t all about the money.
Murray noted that local non-profits or community groups are also welcome to come to the market to raise awareness any time — and they won’t be charged for a tent.
“We like to think of ourselves as a community gathering place,” she said. “A lot of times you’ll see people who live in this area, but maybe they only see each other at the market in the summers. People chitchatting, listening to music. It’s not just a farmers market place to come shop.”
The Dartmouth Farmers’ Market is open every Friday until October 25 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the St. Mary's Parish Center lawn.