The much-loved Saturday Farmers’ Market, operated by the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust at our Crystal Spring Farm property, opens for the season on May 2. The annual opening of the market marks the return of spring and continued strong support for local agriculture.
This is the Saturday Farmers’ Market’s 16th year at Crystal Spring Farm. The variety of vendors and bucolic location have made the market extremely successful. The Land Trust started the market in 1999 as part of its mission to promote local agriculture. We wanted to provide a low cost retail outlet where local farmers and producers could sell their goods.
Early morning shoppers should take note of a change from prior years:
Vehicular and pedestrian access to the market will be restricted to vendors only until 8:30 a.m. when the market opens.
This change is being made principally for safety reasons – to ensure the market area is free of pedestrians during set up while vendor vehicles are moving through. It also has other benefits, says Land Trust Executive Director Angela Twitchell. “It’s pretty common for the parking lot to be completely full during market, so it’s really important to park cars efficiently.” Restricting vehicular access until 8:30 ensures market staff will be available to direct the first wave of cars and establish an efficient parking pattern.
Jacqui Koopman (manager of the market) notes, “Out of respect for and in support of the efforts our vendors make to beautifully and efficiently display their products, we would like to give them sufficient time to completely set up before the rush of customers.”
Market management is making additional changes to reduce use of customer parking by vendor and market staff. The goal is to reduce the amount of time the parking lot is full and the associated safety concerns and congestion. Customers are encouraged to bike, carpool, come in their smallest car, and shop efficiently when the lot is full.
Twitchell said, “Parking will always be challenging at this market, but it doesn’t make sense to convert highly productive farmland to parking for a market that runs four hours each week. We just have to be as creative and efficient as possible.”
The market is open every Saturday at 277 Pleasant Hill Road in Brunswick, between 8:30 and 12:30, from May 2 through November 7.
Three new vendors will join the market this year. Winter Hill Farm of Freeport will be providing selected meats and dairy products, Northspore of Portland will sell cultivated and wild foraged mushrooms, and Apple Creek Farm of Bowdoinham will offer grass-fed and organic meats. For a listing of all our wonderful vendors, visit www.btlt.org/farmers-market-vendors
This year, the Land Trust is partnering with Brunswick Taxi in a pilot program to bring people to market efficiently–without their cars.
Brunswick Taxi will ferry market customers between several pre-arranged locations around town and the market for a very low fee.