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Walpole Establishes Farmers Market - Addresses Scheduling Issue In Relation To Bellows Falls Farmers Market

Two Walpole farmers were founding members of the Bellows Falls Market and worked very hard over the years to make that Market a success. Erin Bickford of Abenaki Springs Farm in Walpole said "One or the other of us (referring to her husband, Bruce) was on the Board every year since it began. We spent a lot time and effort struggling to get Walpole farmers and shoppers to participate in the BF Market. But we just couldn't get that many people from Walpole to go over there. When the bridge went out last year even fewer people wanted to go."

Holly Gowdy, of Brookfield Farm in Walpole, another founding member of the Bellows Falls Market says "I was not able to sell my milk over there. In Vermont, milk can't be sold at Farmers Markets, and

I'm not allowed to take it across state lines anyway." Virginia Carter, of Barnett Hill Vineyard makes the same point, "The law prohibits me from selling my wine in another state, so Vermont markets don't work for me."

The Bickfords and the Gowdys both feel confident that a successful Walpole Farmers Market will contribute to the success of the Bellows Falls Market. They have noticed that more vendors doing well at a market doesn't create competition among the vendors, it creates a better overall market that attracts more customers, so that each vendor does better.

They feel an additional market in the area will have the same effect. "If the 342 people who responded so positively to the survey develop a stronger commitment to fresh local food, the chances are good that many of them will want to explore other area markets, said Caitlin Caserta, of Walpole's Valley Farms, "and we will encourage them to do so."

It is a part of the mission of the WFM to expand the market for local food, to increase awareness of the value of farm fresh food, to promote the health of the local food shed and economy, and to promote all outlets for local food, including other farmers markets.

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