Salem Farmers Market continues to flourish
Christine Stuart and her son, Nathan, 15, brought plenty of fresh produce from Arrow Head Farm in Newburyport, Mass. to the Salem Farmer's Market Sunday morning. (APRIL GUILMET PHOTO)
"At first we were pretty small, as it fell under the recreation department," Lang said. "But soon it became pretty clear we needed a larger space."
Parking spaces were scarce on Sunday for the grand kick-off of National Farmers Market Week, with several dozen vendors onsite to sell fresh produce, honey, maple syrup and eggs along with some more unusual items like vegan and gluten-free baked goods and handcrafted jewelry, scarves and soap.
New Hampshire currently has some 450,000 acres of farmed land, Hassan noted, and annual sales of agricultural and horticultural products are currently at $550 million.
She lauded the Salem Farmers Market's new Double Value program, which allows EBT cardholders and other low-income shoppers to purchase tokens for double the value on foods purchased at the market.
State Agricultural Commissioner Lorraine Merrill , who likened the Salem market to "an Old Home Day that happens every week," said there are now approximately 80 farmers markets scattered across the state. Twenty of those markets, including Salem's, operate on a year-round basis.
Manchester resident Pamela Campbell decided in May to launch her own business after finding it increasingly harder to find foods suitable for her vegan diet.
Salem resident Lauren Alana, whose mother, Jeannette, accompanied her in her booth, showed off her handcrafted glass jewelry.
Some of her pieces incorporate chunks of sea glass, which Alana gathers herself.
"The beach is my happy place," she said.
Simona Amiet, a native of Switzerland who now lives in Manchester, said that 64 countries already either require labels on GMO-containing products or ban them altogether.
House Bill 660, which would mandate all foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) be labeled as such, will head before the House this fall.
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