Derry Farmers Market finds new, yet familiar home

Union Leader Correspondent
October 04. 2013 8:34PM

DERRY — After the town recently decided not to continue its sponsorship, the Derry Farmers Market has found a new home in the historic Upper Village Hall.

The hall is a familiar location as the market has set up there during past winters, said market director Beverly Ferrante.

“People are already used to the venue, so it will work out well,” she said.

Ferrante has been the driving force behind the farmers market over the past several years.

“I’ll still be the one to keep it rolling,” she said. “I’m hoping to have a few vendors to come on board to work along with me.”

At Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting, Acting Administrator Larry Budreau said the town would no longer sponsor the market nor fund the director’s position.

“The good news is it will take on a life of its own,” Budreau said after the meeting.

Budreau said the market has generated profits and interest throughout the community and has proven to be a success.

“So, instead of the town having to invest $20,000, the farmer’s market has created enough excitement and enthusiasm that it can sustain itself,” Budreau said.

Under the new arrangement, Ferrante will continue on as director and will work along with the East Derry Village Improvement Society.

“It is a community project and the two fit nicely together,” Ferrante said. “The Farmers Market will bring people to the hall and the ambiance; and so it will be a tighter unit with the two of us working together for the same purpose — for the betterment of Derry.”

The move comes as a restoration project of the hall by the East Derry Village Improvement Society is almost complete, said Paul Dionne, president of the society. The organization has worked over the past several years to restore the building that was constructed in 1875.

Plans call for the market to continue running every Wednesday until Oct. 23 at the Municipal Parking Lot, 3 Martin St., which is located on the opposite side of the Municipal Center.

The market would then start up for the winter run at Upper Village Hall on Dec. 7, she said.

Although the market will not be run as a non-profit, as vendors are required to pay a set-up fee of $15, it will not be a money-maker either, Ferrante said.

“It’s not a commercial enterprise,” she said. “It’s just an entity that is part of the town.”

Ferrante said the new arrangement will allow the market to bring in new activities that weren’t allowed when it was sponsored by the town. For example, she hopes the market can offer pony rides next year at the hall on the ample acreage available on the property.

“There are so many things I can do not being under the town,” Ferrante said.

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