Jul 012013

Chad Spiczka, one of Groton

Lili Ott
Chad Spiczka, one of Groton”s youngest farmers, grows his own produce for the Groton Farmers Market and for wholesale sales.

The Groton Farmers Market at the Williams Barn opens for its tenth season on Friday, July 5th from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Vendors for the 2013 Market include farmers with vegetables, herbs, flowers, plants, fruit, frozen meat, and berries. There are also farms and booths selling food products made or processed in the Groton area with local ingredients: breads, baked goods, cheese, honey, eggs, maple syrup, jams, and jellies. Returning are several specialty food producers including bagels, pastas and sauces, and two local wineries. New this year are Twin Seafood with fresh fish and shellfish; Maple Shade Farm with goat and rabbit meat, chorizo, and other sausages; Get Your Note coffee roasters; and a new vendor with homemade granola. This is also the first year the market has had a beer and wine license for brewers and vineyards.

Live music at he market is supported by the Town of Groton Lecture Funds, with several musicians returning from previous years. The exact schedule will be available at the Barn during the first Market or on the website, WilliamsBarn.org. This year the market will participate in the Groton Library”s Seed Saver Exchange and will continue to be a collection point for donations for two area food banks. The Farmers Market is supported by a grant from the Peter E. Bertozzi Trust from the Town of Groton.

Over the course of the decade that the Market has been held at the Williams Barn, there have been hundreds of local musicians, programs, talks and activities. Many vendors have come and gone, but several – Jodie Gilson of J.Gilson Greenhouses, George and Deb Kirk from Kirk Farm, and Chad Spiczka of Chad Spiczka Farm have been involved in the market all ten years. Others, such as Sally Smith of Common View Farm and Joe Twomey of Twomey”s Mums and Asters have been coming for a part of each year. The market is managed by the Town of Groton”s Williams Barn Committee of volunteers, and has changed over the years in response to customer requests. Initially the focus was on local fresh produce, but as requests for meats, cheese, fish and prepared food grew, so did the vendor mix. The goal of the Market is to host about 20 vendors with a mix of products and maintain a comfortable sense of safety and community. The Market has grown steadily as more customers appreciate the benefits of locally grown food, and want to meet the people who produce the foods they eat. Groton has a long and rich history of agriculture which the Williams Barn Committee has worked to preserve, through the restoration of the Barn, silo, and engine shed and through its mission of using the restored Barn for the benefit of the community. Tours of the Barn and walks on the surrounding town trails are encouraged.

The market will be open every Friday from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. through October 4th, in the field behind the Willima Barn at 160 Chickopee Row, just 1.5 miles north of Main Street. The market has been certified by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and its vendors are eligible to accept WIC coupons and Elder Coupons.