MCC Farmers’ Market thrives in its seventh season

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Manchester - posted Wed., Jul. 31, 2013
Gale B. Gardiner plays the guitar while people shop for treats at the MCC Farmers’ Market. Photos by Lisa Stone.
Gale B. Gardiner plays the guitar while people shop for treats at the MCC Farmers’ Market. Photos by Lisa Stone.

Manchester Community College is hosting its annual farmers’ market at the Bicentennial Band Shell every Wednesday until October, from 1 to 4 p.m. Local farmers, growers, vendors and gardeners sell products including breads, sweets, vegetables, fruits and even jewelry.

Music is provided for the patrons’ enjoyment. On July 24, singer and guitarist Gale B. Gardiner was entertaining the market-goers. An area known as The Outdoor Café was set up for guests to sit and enjoy the music while tasting the fresh products sold by vendors on this clear, warm day.

“I have been a part of the farmers’ market for six of the seven years. It has always been a success. During the heat wave, attendance was down a bit, but today we are back on track,” said Patrick Sullivan, the assistant market manager at MCC. “The young students of our culinary arts program are here and they are buying goat cheese and vegetables. I am very proud of them for their food choices.”

Groups of friends gathered to buy treats and share laughs. Claire Sullivan and friends bought muffins and pastries from Great Harvest Bread Co., which is owned and operated by Jean Roberts. “I have been a vendor here for seven years. Business is nice and steady. Even with the heat wave, people came out to the market,” said Roberts. “I love seeing all the patrons come to the market.”

On average, there are seven or more vendors each week, one of which is La Broiche French Bakery, which is owned by Colette Berube. All the baking is done by Berube herself daily at her bakery, which is located in Vernon.

Tom Puckett, of Olivia’s Garden of Columbia, was busy selling his produce. His stand offered cucumbers, peppers, squash and berries. All of the products were picked fresh that morning.

Maura O’Connor, the market manager, has been devoted to local farmers for seven years. O’Connor also wants the patrons to have the best experience possible, so she has arranged for yoga relaxation sessions and health awareness information packets, as well as healthy recipes, to be available at the market. There is always plenty of free parking, and vendors offer different products each week. For more information, go to

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