GROTON -- The Groton Farmers Market at the Williams Barn will open for its tenth season on July 5.
The market will be open every Friday from 3-7 p.m. and will continue through Oct. 4 in the field behind the barn at 160 Chicopee Row in Groton, just 1.5 miles north of Main Street.
Vendors signed up for the 2013 market include farmers with vegetables, herbs, flowers, plants, fruit, frozen meat and berries as well as food products made or processed in the Groton area with local ingredients such as breads, baked goods, cheese, honey, eggs, maple syrup, jams and jellies.
Returning are several specialty food producers including bagels, pastas and sauces, and two local wineries. New this year are Twin Seafood for fresh fish and shellfish, Maple Shade Farm with goat and rabbit meat including chorizo and other sausage, and Get Your Note coffee roasters, plus a vendor with homemade granola.
The market has been certified by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. Its vendors are eligible to accept WIC coupons and Elder Coupons.
This year, the market will again offer live music supported by the Groton Lecture Funds, with several musicians returning from previous years. The exact schedule will be available at the barn during the first market or on the website, WilliamsBarn.org.
This year the market will participate in the Groton Library's Seed Saver Exchange, and will continue to be a collection point for donations for two areas food banks.
The Farmers Market is supported by a grant from the Peter E. Bertozzi Trust from the town of Groton.
Over the course of the decade that the market has been held at Williams Barn, there have been hundreds of local musicians, programs, talks and activities. Many vendors have come and gone, but several -- Jodie Gilson of J. Gilson Greenhouses, George and Deb Kirk from Kirk Farm, and Chad Spiczka of Chad Spiczka Farm, have been vendors for all 10 years. Others, such as Sally Smith, of Common View Farm, and Joe Twomey, of Twomey's Mums and Asters, have been coming for a part of each year.
The market is managed by the Groton Williams Barn Committee of volunteers, and has changed over the years in response to customer requests. Initially, the focus was on local fresh produce, but as requests for meats, cheese, fish and prepared food grew, so did the vendor mix.
The goal of the market is to host approximately 20 vendors with a mix of products and maintain a comfortable sense of safety and community. The market has grown steadily as more customers appreciate the benefits of locally grown food and want to meet the people who produce the foods they eat.
Groton has a long and rich history of agriculture, which the Williams Barn Committee has worked to preserve through the restoration of the barn, silo and engine shed and through its mission of using the restored barn for the benefit of the community.
Tours of the barn and walks on the surrounding town trails are encouraged during the market.
For information on vendors and the barn, check WilliamsBarn.org.