, Derry, New Hampshire


September 5, 2013

Editorial: Market value

There apparently is a brighter tomorrow for the Derry Farmers Market.

Market manager Beverly Ferrante announced a new partnership between the market and the East Derry Village Improvement Society, which oversees Upper Village Hall. The hall will be home to the winter market, as it was last year, then will be the event’s summer home, too.

It could be a win-win.

Upper Village Hall is a gem in the making, but not enough people take advantage of it. Moving the market there could help that, by attracting more people who will see what the hall has to offer.

There was no question, the market needed to move.

The move to the municipal office parking lot was a bad one. The market was invisible to passers-by and the hot pavement hardly lent itself to shoppers lingering in the frequent heat.

It just never drew the crowds or vendors that people were accustomed to seeing when the market set up near the pocket park.

Budget battles this spring led to a serious funding reduction, one that was needed. Now, the town provides a healthy $5,000 for the market. Whether that continues remains to be seen. If it doesn’t, the market should be self sustaining, as so many others are, or more rethinking is required.

The idea of a downtown market is appealing, but the parking lot wasn’t the right spot. Upper Village Hall might be, although it is off the beaten path.

When the Town Council slashed funding, Ferrante vowed to keep the market going. It appears she has a plan for doing just that. For that, she deserves credit.

But some of the earliest vendors gave up on the event and moved on. Perhaps this move will entice some of them back. There’s still a desperate need for local produce and fresh food, the basis for any healthy farmers market.

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