Last Winter Farmers Market to Offer Easter Surprises

This article appeared in the Thursday, April 13 edition of Granite State News. In case you missed it, read on!

The last winter market of the season is set to take place on Saturday, April 15 with vendors planning special offerings in advance of the Easter holiday. Whether shoppers are enticed by freshly baked challah bread, a juicy leg of lamb or a pound of artisinally roasted coffee, market vendors are planning to end the season with a bang. The Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market will be open from 10 am to 2 pm at the First Congregational Church of Wolfeboro, at 115 South Main Street, with convenient on-site parking and easy access for all.

“Our vendors are a creative and entrepreneurial bunch,” said Fred Martin, president of the nonprofit, volunteer-run organization. “Several of our farmers have added winter growing capability with high tunnels, specifically to be able to provide the community with fresh greens in the winter and early spring. We’re expecting thirteen or more local vendors at this market.” Naturally and organically raised meats, poultry and eggs have been staples of the winter market, as have been local products like honey, maple syrup and baked goods—even gluten-free baked goods. “With this last market being the day before Easter, it’s a great opportunity for people to round out their holiday table with local foods and products.”

Joanne Ducas of Mountain Heartbeet, a certified organic vegetable farm in Effingham that has offered vegetables throughout most of the winter market season, will have spent more than a few hours picking sweet spinach for Saturday’s market, as well as fresh micro-greens and arugula. “In addition to fresh greens, we’ll have carrots, parsnips and radishes at the market,” Ducas said. “Easter dinner could quite easily come completely from the market. We think that’s really exciting!”

No aspect of market shoppers’ Easter celebrations is left without something special. Holiday meats will be in plentiful supply at the market. Hilary Chapin of Milton’s Smiling Sheep Farm will be prepared to complete that dinner with a fresh leg of lamb (as well as “Easter egg dyed yarn” for a unique Easter basket addition). Poultry, pork and red meats will also be available from several familiar vendors. Wishing for an artistic card to go along with a hostess gift? Distinctive Designs by Di and Dan of Ossipee will be at the market with their handcrafted Easter cards. From Seabrisket Bakery in Brookfield, shoppers will find fresh yam rolls, pies, cakes, scones and maple candies.

Hot, artisanally roasted coffee has been available at the market throughout the winter, as well as freshly roasted beans, but Lucas Roasting Company of Alton has a special surprise in store for Saturday. According to Troy Lucas, the roasterie will introduce its “nitro cold brew” this weekend. “Coffee lovers out there who are looking for a real treat will definitely want to stop in to try this,” said Lucas. “We’re getting geared up right now to offer a line of delicious cold brews at the summer market. With spring in the air, we’re excited to give people a taste of summer in April.”

Easter bakery treats anticipated at Saturday’s market include Italian cookies, challa bread, chocolate babka and baklava, all freshly baked by Gina’s Cucina of Melvin Village. Baked in a chef’s kitchen at the home of a transplanted New Yorker, baked goods from Gina’s Cucina have become a holiday staple for many area families. Gina Aponte grew up getting fresh bakery products daily from neighborhood bakeries on Long Island and later in Brooklyn, and recently brought her art to the Lakes Region, where she has received a whole-hearted welcome.

According to Fred Martin, the twice-monthly market has filled a community need, thanks to the board’s focus on growth and fine-tuning. “Wolfeboro’s a different place in the winter, but the demand for high-quality, local foods has made this market possible. We’re already turning our attention to planning an outstanding summer market, so bringing the community a nearly year-round farmers market keeps us pretty busy. We’re gratified at the support the community continues to show us.” Fred Martin, is himself a long-time market vendor who raises bees in Wolfeboro and offers honey, candles and an extensive array of bee products at the market.

The Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market, a non-profit organization, will host its summer market in Wolfeboro at Clark Park, which it has been operating since 2002, and has operated the winter market in Wolfeboro since 2015. In early 2016, the market received IRS designation as a 501C(3) charitable organization and donations are tax deductible.

Photo: Spring greens growing in a high tunnel at Effingham’s Mountain Heartbeet Farm. Photo courtesy Joanne Ducas.

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