Farmers’ market and antique tractor display draw crowds

By Annie Gentile - ReminderNews
Bolton - posted Wed., Aug. 28, 2013
(L-r) Cousins Sam, Rune and Gavin, of Bolton, had fun climbing on the antique tractors at the third annual Farmers’ Market and Antique Tractor Display in Bolton. Photos by Annie Gentile.
(L-r) Cousins Sam, Rune and Gavin, of Bolton, had fun climbing on the antique tractors at the third annual Farmers’ Market and Antique Tractor Display in Bolton. Photos by Annie Gentile.

For the third year in a row, the Bolton Heritage Farm Commission sponsored its annual Farmers’ Market and Antique Tractor Display at the Bolton Town Green. The event held Sunday, Aug. 25, showcased local farmers, crafters and artists who help to carry on the tradition of farming and creating local home-grown products.

“It’s a way to bring our community together,” said Arlene Fiano, vice chair of the Bolton Heritage Farm Commission.

Sandy Pierog, chairwoman of the Commission, said the first two years they held a tractor parade, but the added expense for public safety was becoming cost-prohibitive, so this year they opted for simply displaying the antique tractors.

Large and small tractors lined the green, and children - and even a few adults - had the opportunity to satisfy their curiosity about how it feels to sit astride the machines that cultivate our farms.

Vernon resident Tom McKinney had two tractors on display at the event. McKinney, who gladly answered questions about his tractors and farming in general, said he brings his antique tractors to a few shows throughout the year.

“The cub [tractors] were used mainly to cultivate,” said McKinney. “Also, homeowners would sometimes put a plow on the front to plow snow.” For farming, he said a plow is attached to the side of the tractor and it cuts and turns the soil about a foot wide. “The wheels are set to go between the rows and you can adjust them so that you miss the plants,” he said. “They are also mostly built high, so they are designed to miss the plants.” While his older tractors can get up to 20 or 25 miles per hour in high gear, he said the newer machines can go even faster.

At the end of the long line of tractors, various booths were set up, from local farms such as the Fish Family Farm, the Morra Farm, and the Pesce Family Farm, the latter of which recently celebrated 100 years of farming in Bolton. The local farms were selling such seasonal produce as tomatoes, peppers, corn and fragrant basil.

Interspersed between the vegetable stands were a handful of local crafters, including Barbara Skoog, who was selling handcrafted baskets and one-of-a kind wicker woven trays. “I’ve been living in Bolton for about 10 years now, but I didn’t know about the market until a neighbor suggested I try selling my baskets here,” Skoog said. “I try to do things you can’t find at [the retail stores],” she said, displaying a glass-bottomed wicker tray that featured a hand-made doily.

At another booth, Deb Newman and her daughters Amber and Tiffany were experiencing selling “Silkie Soaps” - their home-made goat-milk scented soap bars - at a market for the first time. As Bolton residents, it seemed fitting that their first market be a local one.

“We make small batches by hand and sell rough cut bars,” said Deb Newman. She said the family started making them for themselves, then moved up to giving them as gifts, and most recently selling them online. “My husband Warren is around here at the market. He’s in on it, too,” she said.

Fiano said the market and antique tractor show is just one of several events the Commission sponsors annually. Their next event is Living History Weekend, Sept. 27 through 29, at Heritage Farm at 266 Bolton Road.

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