Salisbury Farmers Market continues to grow | News

SALISBURY — The city’s farmers’ market has grown over the winter and is looking to expand.

The city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Events Department kicked off its first fall farmer’s market with the help of rock trio Angry Hill on the Town Common in early November. With the help of the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Merrimack Valley, the Farmer’s Market is already making plans for spring, summer and fall.

“There was a recent Saturday where I stood at the gate and just watched people walk from booth to booth just tugging on the breeze,” said Jennifer Roketenetz, parks administrator, recreation and community events. “They were talking about the weather, their dogs, their kids. It was that purest feeling of connection you could ever witness. That’s really my mission with the market.”

Roketenetz said she couldn’t have held the farmers’ market over the winter without the Boys and Girls Club allowing use of her space.

She also praised the work of salesman Kaci Dumas of Main Street Naturals.

“Kaci and her mom go to farmers markets, so they sort of run the circuit and participate in other communities,” Roketenetz said. “So she really knows how to run a market. She knows all the vendors and has relationships with all of them. I’ve also been doing events and logistics things for forever and a day. So I feel like we’re doing a good combo.”

Dumas is also a resident of Salisbury and said farmers’ markets have given a pandemic-ridden population a chance to get out of the house and be social.

“The best experience when you’re dealing with a farmer’s market comes when you talk to people and I think everyone’s just been scared to talk to others lately, especially with everything that’s happened,” said Dumas. “That’s why I love the Farmers Market. It just brings a community together and it’s a really great way to get involved and buy local and support local.”

According to Dumas, vendors should be prepared to talk to anyone and everyone who comes to their booth.

“First of all, they usually don’t know what you’re selling,” Dumas said of the salesperson’s role. “You have to explain the product and once you tell them about it, 99% of the time people buy it. A farmers market is about 90% social.”

Vendor Apps for the Spring, Summer and Fall Farmers Markets are now available at SalisburyRecreation.weebly.com.

According to Roketenetz, Salisbury businesses and residents will be considered first as long as they apply before April 1. All applications received after April 1 will be reviewed with other applicants upon arrival.

“It’s important to us and the community that we support our people in Salisbury, our vendors and our farms, so they get first right of refusal, so to speak,” Roketenetz said.

Spring and Fall Farmers’ Markets will be held on the first and third Saturdays of each month, while Summer Markets will be held on the first and third Thursdays of the month.

“Salisbury is difficult to navigate on a Saturday in the summer, so we will have the market on the first and third Thursdays,” Roketenetz said. “These will also be back on the Town Common. So you get this centralized location where people congregate. But we also hope to create an atmosphere where you’re going to come and shop.”

Dumas said she looks forward to expanding the Farmers Market offerings in the spring.

“I think what’s exciting in the spring is that we will hopefully have more farmers there,” Dumas said. “That way you can get all your vegetables. Then it’s going to be a real farmers market and I’m really excited about that.”

Writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

James V. Payne