Farmers markets open for summer, Great River Co-op still in the works

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt./WALPOLE, N.H. – The Greater Falls Farmers Market is now open for summer business through Sept. 25 and 30, with two locations at Edwards Lane next to the Hungry Diner in Walpole each Wednesday, from 4 to 7 p.m., and at the Waypoint Center in Bellows Falls each Friday, from 4 to 7 p.m. In September, the hours will be 4-6:30 p.m.

Greater Falls Farmers Markets open for the summer
Greater Falls Farmers Markets open for the summer. Photo provided by Great River Co-Op.

There are currently eight vendors offering their product at the Walpole site, with three others who plan to attend monthly as their product becomes available. At the Bellows Falls site, there are currently 11 vendors, with 9 of the 11 participating each week.

“We are still happy and willing to add additional vendors at both our Greater Falls Farmers Market sites,” organizer Jennifer Hanrahan said. “We are still in need of farmers’ produce, dairy, and meat.”

The Greater Falls Farmers Market is a project collaboration between the Great River Co-op and the Sustainable Valley Group, and proper COVID-19 safety precautions for both sites include the use of “limited capacity” entrance signs, one-way traffic, protective masks recommendations for customers and required for staff, hand sanitizing stations at each vendor, entrance and exit, and the practice of six-foot physical distancing.

With an original goal of reaching 1,000 members, the Great River Co-op, a startup cooperative grocery store, continues to work towards breaking ground on a storefront location on Route 12 in Walpole. The new co-op, in conjunction with Bensonwood and the Monadnock Development Cooperation, offers a mission to serve as a leading resource for community, environmental, economic, physical, and social wellbeing within the Great Falls region.

“We currently have 855 members as we work towards our goal of 1,000,” Great River Co-op Board President Gretchen Markiewicz said. “We have been working with Columinate, a national consulting cooperative, to update our financial projections. A step we feel is important, especially in the current economic climate. We are building upon our board capacity, and also welcome any members or potential members who are interested in reaching out to us.”

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