BRATTLEBORO — Now that the hustle and bustle of our market season has ended, it's time for some thank yous!
On behalf of the vendors and organizers of the Winter Farmers' Market, a big thank you goes first and foremost to our customers.
From our regular weekly shoppers, to the many visitors in the area who discovered our market and enjoyed the great local products and sense of community, the collective dollars our customers spent this season set new records for the market.
This means you, our customers, helped to strengthen the local economy - especially the local agriculture economy - and every dollar spent at the farmers' market will circulate multiple times through the hands of other local businesses.
In addition to our customers, another big thank you goes out to supporters of our Market Match Coupon Program.
Thank you to Ben & Jerry's Foundation, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, the Brattleboro Food Co-op, NOFA-VT, Orchard Hill Breadworks, and Post Oil Solutions.
And thanks also to the community partners who helped us get the word out about this important food access program.
In addition, thanks to everyone who purchased coffee, tea, or our beautiful Winter Farmers' Market canvas tote bags, since all of the proceeds from those sales also go directly to funding the Market Match Program.
Another thank you goes out to our great neighbors, Donna and Larry Simons of A Candle in the Night, as well as Tim Chock and Barbara Walsh of the Brattleboro Bicycle Shop, whose neighborly generosity made all the work that goes into opening and closing the market each week a good bit easier.
A big thank you also goes out to the Brattleboro Time Trade, whose members helped us to fill some of the volunteer jobs that make the market happen each week, from helping to set up in the morning to putting the River Garden back together and depositing our compostables at the end of the day.
And on that note, another thank you is due to the Brattleboro Food Co-op for helping us to reduce our trash impact.
Thanks also to the wonderful community of local musicians who filled the River Garden each week with an amazing array of beautiful sounds, from fiddle, piano, blues guitar, and ukulele to Indian slide guitar, Balkan dance tunes, and a little swing! We are so blessed by your talent and generosity to the farmers' market community.
On a personal note, a special thank you to Annik Paul, George Reed-Savory, and Tim Stevenson, my amazing market team. I couldn't do it without you.
And as we put this our seventh season of the Winter Farmers' Market to bed, I also want to thank Building a Better Brattleboro - our landlord at the River Garden - along with its executive director, Andrea Livermore, for working with us over the past seven years and for providing us with access to a great home for the Winter Farmers' Market to open and grow.
While the future of the River Garden remains uncertain, one thing we can say for sure: it is our goal to secure a home in the downtown area where the Winter Farmers' Market can continue to grow and provide year-round access to fabulous local food, and to that great feeling of community.