Bellingham Farmers Market Now Open on Fridays & SaturdaysJun 28, 2021 06:00AM ● By David Dunbar
Farmers Market Manager Micky DeFosses (right) and her daughter Danielle, who helps her mom at the stand.
story & photo by Dave Dunbar, Contributing Writer
What do Swiss chard, cilantro, spinach, kale, and chives all have in common? For one thing, they are all good for you. For another thing, they and lots of other fresh-grown organic vegetables are available for purchase at the newly opened Bellingham Farmers Market at 200 Center Street.
Micky DeFosses, the manager of the Market, said, “I love the passion of gardening, the tie-in with culture, reconnecting with the land.” She has been gardening at home since 2016 and now has multiple plots at the Bellingham Community Garden (also located at 200 Center Street).
“I want to give back,” she said, and running the Farmers Market is one way. “During the pandemic, produce was hard to find, and across the U.S there were long lines of people waiting for food. Our community has been through so much, and people can heal through eating healthful food.”
DeFosses first presented the proposal of a Bellingham Farmers Market to the town administrator for approval. She said that when she was granted approval, she “immediately got to work on its design, layout and harvest schedule, and within six weeks it was fully operational.”
“I love it,” enthused one visitor to the Market. “I try to shop local because the food tastes better, and it helps the community. The garden is a great use of space.”
Another visitor appeared and announced, “I’m just trying to get an idea of what’s available.” That’s all DeFosses needed to hear. She showed the visitor half a dozen freshly picked vegetables and patiently explained all about each one.
Across the U.S., there are approximately 8,600 farmers markets according to the USDA. What’s the difference between a farmer and a gardener? Google provides this “helpful” explanation: “A farmer farms a farm and a gardener gardens in a garden.” Glad you asked?Gardeners at the Community Garden can sell their produce at the Farmers Market. “They get to keep the money,” said DeFosses, “and they agree to donate a portion of their harvest to local food banks.” She helps to price the food and says it is “competitive.”
“One of the things that’s nice about Massachusetts is that people here want to eat healthy,” explained DeFosses, who has lived in other parts of the U.S. “This is locally grown food, there is a local connection and it’s community-based,” added a Market visitor.
The Community Garden re-opened this spring after a year off because of COVID. If you’d like one of the dozen or so plots still available, then email Garden Manager Tony DeCoste at [email protected].
DeCoste said, “I love the Farmers Market idea, and I look forward to the upcoming market days. Everyone’s garden plots are coming along great and look to be producing lots of veggies for the market. Garden plots are still available at $75 each, but we are offering a mid-season special of reserve one for $75 and get a second free!”
The Farmers Market has a Facebook page you can visit to learn more (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100068865742112) or email [email protected]. The Farmers Market is open on Fridays, 2–6pm, and Saturdays, 10AM–2PM.