Monadnock Ledger-Transcript – The farmers market in Hancock attracts newcomers

Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Published: 07/18/2022 12:36:04

Modified: 07/18/2022 12:35:40

The Hancock Farmers and Artisans Market, which has just returned after an eight-year hiatus, is attracting new vendors.

For some, Thursday’s market was the second of the season, the first ever.

“This is the first time we’ve hosted a farmers’ market anywhere,” said Christopher Cornell of Peony Place Farm. “Our very first rodeo.”

Cornell runs Peony Place Farm in Hancock with his girlfriend Crystal Fichera. Even though they were new, they still felt the market was doing well. Cornell said part of what drew them to market was convenience.

“We’ve been in love with gardening and homesteading for a while and have dreams of[coming to a farmer’s market],” Cornell said. “We saw that they had a market right in Hancock, and we were like, ‘Okay, it’s never going to get any closer.'”

Another new entrant is Hokumpoke Farm, owned by Colleen McKinnon. Hokumpoke Farm is a small herb and vegetable farm in Hancock. The farm has sold wholesale to restaurants in the past, but made its debut at the Farmers’ Market this year.

“It was fantastic,” said McKinnon. “The city is hungry for it. Everyone is so excited and everyone here is looking forward to selling here too. It was great.”

For Nanette Perrotte, owner of Lux Lifestyle in Greenfield, producing and selling locally is a way to keep prices down and allow consumers and producers to be efficient. Lux Lifestyle sells personal care products, groceries and simple syrups, and Perrotte said inflation has made farmers’ markets more of a reliable source of food for people than an activity. In the past, she said, people would just go to a market and see what was there.

“People are there to shop and they come ready to shop,” Perrotte said. “I would say last summer and this summer they come with their bags because they know they can get fresh groceries. They shop locally, know what they have and cook around what they know they can get their hands on. If you go to a supermarket these days, you don’t know what they’re going to have.”

Perrotte also said small companies help keep prices lower than products sourced from large companies.

“I had to raise the prices, but not by much. Because I make small batches, I know I don’t have to mass produce,” she said. “It’s not on a shelf. I earn as much as I know it will go. I never have anything extra.”

Market managers Jessica Quinn and Megan Gould are pleased with the turnout over the first two weeks.

“Several vendors sold out last week,” Gould said. “I think it was really well received. We had a lot of people come to the stand and thank us for bringing it back and say how excited they are. It was fun; It’s cool to see.”

The market takes place on the green in front of City Hall on Thursdays from 4pm to 7pm until August 11th, ahead of the Hancock Summer Concert Series from 6pm to 7:30pm

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