SHIRLEY -- On Nandee Ann Willets' Rivers Edge Farm, horses rescued from abusive environments are provided the opportunity to live a peaceful life, and also provide riding therapy for children on the autism spectrum. Willets also teaches 4-H children how to care for the animals.

Rivers Edge Farm is now also a presence at the Shirley Center Farmer's Market on the historic Center Town Common. The market is held on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to dusk at 3 Parker Road through Sept. 25.

At the SCFM, Willets offers children free rides on a miniature and full-sized horse, teaching them the proper way to mount and dismount, while giving 4-H members the opportunity to guide the riders.

Also at the SCFM are Shattuck Farm of West Groton, Dragonfly Farms of Pepperell, Pacing Pine Farm of Shirley, and many other vendors of fresh baked goods, roasted coffee, meats, cheeses, local maple syrup and honey, crafts, goats' milk products, and Shirley souvenirs.

Besides the vendors, whose fees support the SCFM and preservation of the historic Center Town Hall, free kids' activities and live music are provided at the market weekly.

On July 24, kids may bring a T-shirt or pillowcase to tie-dye. Blues and rock music will be provided by the musical duo Flair. On July 31, children can make their own ice cream, while everyone grooves to the folk and rock music of Sonya Heller.

On Aug.


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7, the kids can make fruit and vegetable prints, while Groton's Back to the Garden plays folk, blues, country and rock.

For a complete list of activities and vendors, visit facebook.com/ShirleyCenterFarmersMarket.

Come on down to the common for some good old-fashioned fun and nutritious local food!

For information, contact Jodie Rachman at 978-425-2112, or grovehouse@comcast.net.