BENNINGTON -- Between Green Up Day, Tour of the Dragons, and the first outdoor Walloomsac Farmers Market of the season -- this past weekend was a good time to be outdoors.
While thousands of Vermonters spent their Saturday picking up litter, New Yorkers volunteered at state parks and local cleanups like the one in Hoosick, which last year drew about 150 participants.
Others toured the farmers market to scoop up local goods, produce, or plants for home gardens.
"Just being outside is fantastic," Joy Primmer said. A founding farmers market member and owner of Wildstone Farm in Pownal with her husband John, Primmer said she always looked forward to the outdoor market season.
In its 11th year, the Walloomsac Farmers Market is pitched out at the scenic river walk on Depot Street at Bennington Station each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tuesday markets will begin in June from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at H. Greenberg & Son on Main Street.
"We enjoy meeting people face to face, and just interacting with them," said Primmer, who over the years has witnessed more vendors, more variety, and bigger crowds with the local food movement "growing by leaps and bounds."
Market manager Katherine Keys concurred. "Opening day is always exciting," she said.
"It’s really nice to get outdoors again. ... It’s a whole different feeling."
Attendance goes up when the market goes outdoors, according to Keys, and beginning around this time of the year "everyone is excited to get fresh vegetables."
After an inaugural year of Wednesday markets at Greenberg’s in 2012, Keys said that location worked well, being highly visible to traffic. "We catch people going downtown," she said.
Among new additions to this year’s farmers’ market: Keys said Putney Mountain Winery would begin vending at Mayfest on May 25.
For more information, visit www.walloomsac.org, or search Facebook for Walloomsac Farmers Market.
Another local option for farmers and artisans also just got underway in Hoosick Falls, N.Y., at the armory. Kicking off May 1, the market at the armory will be held every Wednesday from May through August from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and then the first Wednesday of every month from September through April.
For more information, visit www.hayc3.org or call 518-686-9050.
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