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These eggplant seedlings at MiVida Gardens in Madison are ready for Saturday's Tamworth Farmers' Market. (SARA YOUNG-KNOX PHOTO)

Tamworth Farmers' Market ready to open 2013 season

TAMWORTH - For those hungry for a taste of fresh, locally grown greens, the Tamworth Farmers' Market is kicking off its outdoor season on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon with early season crops like spinach, lettuce, rhubarb and green onions, along with cheese, baked goods and more.

A big draw this week will be the seedlings, ready for home gardeners. On Monday, Sandy Brocaar of MiVida Gardens in Madison said she's been participating in the farmers' market for seven years, and that she will be bringing tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings.

"It's a wonderful market," she said, adding that the vendors are very busy from the opening bell until it closes at noon.

The outside market at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Tamworth Village runs through the end of October, with artisan demonstrations, live music and plenty of fresh produce, baked goods, cheeses and more. During the cooler months the market moves inside to the Town House.

Brocaar said she gets all her bread at the market, purchasing it from Sunnyfield Brick Oven Bakery of Wonalancet.

As the growing season progresses, MiVida Gardens will offer the fruits and vegetables from their own seedlings, including 20 varieties of certified organic peppers and carrots of all colors. She and co-owner Ed Bickford start their early seedlings in early March, using the sunny porch attached to their house, greenhouses and high tunnels to extend their growing season.

The Tamworth market is far from the only one in the top half of the state, but it is one of the earliest to open. Most markets don't open until June, though many of the vendors sell their New Hampshire grown, raised, baked or crafted products at their farms, too.

New this year is a market in the heart of the Mount Washington Valley. The North Conway Farmers' Market is slated to open on June 23, running Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the North Conway Community Center next to Schouler Park.

Berlin Local Works Farmers' Marketplace opens for business on June 27, with vendors on Pleasant Street selling their wares from 3 to 7 p.m. The market, which also features ready-to-eat food and entertainment, runs on Thursdays until Sept. 19.

The Local Works Farmers Market in Bethlehem is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Next door, the Littleton Farmers' Market is held at the Riverglen House parking lot from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays from June to October.

On Thursdays from June to September, the Lisbon Farmers' Market offers locally grown vegetables, dairy and maple products and is held on Main Street from 3 to 6 p.m.

For more information on farmers' markets throughout the state, go to nhfma.org, where the dates, times and places for the 2013 season's markets are listed.

sknox@newtote.com



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