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ABOUT TOWN: Miss the Stoughton Farmers Market Preview Event? It was a Delicious Success!

Welcome to "About Town with Mark Snyder," a column that will keep you up to the minute with what's what, who's who and what's going on around town. If you see or hear something we could use here, let us know by sending an e

Take a look at photos from the Farmers Market in the media gallery of this article (photos by Jeffrey Pickette, Mark Snyder and Terry Schneider)

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FARMER'S MARKET A HUGE SUCCESS! Event organizers say more than 1,000 people walked through the Stoughton's Farmer's Market Preview Event on Saturday, Oct. 6, held at the Track Side Plaza parking lot at 2 Canton Street.

The Stoughton Farmers Market Committee is planning a weekly farmer's market starting in June of 2013. This Community Preview Event, free to the public, attracted large throngs of people, including a lot of families, and showed Stoughton has an appetite for a Farmer's Market.

Vendors offered free samples of items like Crescent Ridge milk, fruit, homemade protein bars, and even free re-usable shopping bags (the 250 were gone quickly!)

There were many kids' activities - music, baby animals, story hour, facepainting, temporary tattoos, and balloons.

Available items included fresh seafood, pasta, breads, cheeses, cakes, brownies, jewelry, and a lot more.

And, the music was amazing! The trio known as Moxy, was led by an excellent singer, who could belt out soul, rock, folk or pop with equal vigor. Lisa Lima was outstanding. So was Stoughton's own Steve Tapper on bass and flute, and Mike Clark on guitar.

Steve Kelley, owner of the property, told About Town he was thrilled with the turnout and happy to donate the space to the Farmer's Market. "It's really a win-win situation. People get to see the property, and it's centrally located and has lots of space to accommodate vendors. When Kelley was told he was generous to offer his space at no charge, he joked, "It's not really my property. The bank owns it."  

The market's seed money came from a Pioneering Health Communities grant and was also under the umbrella of Stoughton non-profit We Are U-Knighted, which covers organizations dedication to the health and welfare of Stoughton's residents. Karen Hall (Director of the Stoughton Youth Commission and Council on Aging) and Joyce Dwyer (Director of the Old Colony YMCA in Stoughton) are co-chairs of the Pioneering Healthy Communities.

Terry Schneider (Executive Director of the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce) is Chair of the Farmer's Market Committee. Pam Carr handled the volunteers and booth rentals for this preview event.  

A number of vendors told About Town that they were just thrilled with the size of the crowd.  Sandy Spector of Arbonne told me she signed a contract for the entire run of the Farmer's Market next year. A few other vendors told me the same thing, off the record.  One farm stand owner said that he already had commitments for next year on Saturday, but he was going to see if he could create a second crew to do Stoughton. "They did a fantastic job here," he added.  

In addition to Schneider, Carr and Kelly, Stoughton Farmer's Market Committee Members include: Pat Basler, Sue Bickoff, Sharon Fradkin, Karen Hall, Regina Ierardi, Frank Lyons, Stephanie Patton, Chris Petrie, Jeffrey Pickette, Melinda Rios, Patricia Small and Teresa Tapper

According to Schneider, Carr actually ran the event, adding "I felt we were in great hands with Pam. Everything was on a note or piece of paper somewhere, and I don't think she missed a beat." 

He credited Tapper with much of the administrative work, working with Sandra Gabriel at the Stoughton Board of Health. Petrie did everything from driving hay to the farm, to repairing the paw of an injured bunny, according to Schneider.  Sharon and Steve Fradkin of Wizard of Adz in Canton provided all the printing and layouts, from banners, posters, flyers, contracts, and everything else. Rios hand drew the logo, and Ierardi converted it to an electronic version for use on the Web.  Small, Hall and Lyons worked tables at the Market all day. Basler served as the "Vendor Captain," updating the vendor list on a daily basis.

Schneider was pleased with the volunteers, the vendors and the crowd, writing, "There wasn't a single vendor who was not ecstatic about their sales and the overall market. Every one of them wanted to come back.  And, the attendees we talked with told us how much they enjoyed this event." 

A lot of hard work produced a fun event for so many. Just think - next summer it will be here every week!

List of vendors at the event included: AKIN-BAK Farm (honey, jams and jellies, crafts); A Nesting Place (birdhouses, wood toys); Arbonne International Goldman Girls Skincare (natural skin care, protein shakes, supplements, cosmetics); Babies Love Natural (organic natural baby products, packaged food, drinks, personal care, household); Crescent Ridge (stand to sample regular and chocolate milk); Foxboro Cheese Company (fresh cheese, frozen grass fed beef, humanely raised veal); Giovanni's Ice Cream (Italian Ice); Jordan Bros. Seafood (fresh fish and seafood); Langwater Farm, Stone Soup LLC (winter squash, pumpkins, beets, carrots, turnips, kale, chard, potatoes and sweet potatoes, onions, broccoli, leeks, radishes, lettuce, salad greens, hot peppers, apples); Nella Pasta (fresh and frozen pasta products); Next Step Living (home energy audits); Oakdale Farm (specializing in plants, vegetables and fall products); O'Brien's Bakery (variety of fresh baked breads and desserts); Stoughton Bakery (variety of fresh baked breads and desserts); Made With Love Jewelry by Shana Cohen; and Simpson Spring Co. (variety of flavored soda produced with local spring water). There were also community booths from places like Kiddie Academy and the Stoughton Historical Society and the Boy Scouts.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY: to Tina Mallock of Stoughton, who is a Registered Nurse with the Stoughton VNA; to Rich Jasmin, long-time youth baseball coach and director, and a co-owner of Dirt Dawg Sports in Canton, owned by three Stoughton men; to Ron DiMatteo, co-owner of Bob's Famous Foodmart in Stoughton. And, to Mike Jackman, a District Director for the U.S. House of Representatives for Rep. Bill Keating.

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Happy 18th Anniversary to David and Wendy Schulze, the President and First Lady of Ahavath Torah Congregation. Writes David: "I married my best friend. It hasn't always been perfect, and it hasn't always been easy, but I never regretted my choice and I look forward to growing old with my love."

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HAPPY BELATED ANNIVERSARY: To Suzanne Barrett and Jon Beder, who celebrated their 11th Wedding Anniversary on Sunday. Jon, a former Assistant Superintendent of the Stoughton DPW is now Superintendent of the Plymouth DPW.  Of course, Barrett's dad, Larry, was DPW Superintendent in Stoughton for many years.

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