First Farmers Market boasts of bounty

Cooler temperatures make all the difference when it comes to harvesting early spring vegetables, which was evident Thursday at the first Hillsboro Farmers Market of the season.

Now in its fifth year, organizers of the Farmers Market said they were pleased with how many vendors and buyers attended the first night of the season.

As for the abundance of produce available, Joni Calam, one of the initial organizers said, she was thrilled.

?It?s one of the market?s best years for produce on the first night,? she said, ?and we also have new vendors.?

Beginning the first Thursday in May and continuing through the last Thursday in September, most years the first night has only a few vegetables and vendors.

?It was a good April,? Calam said, which could account for the larger than normal varieties of produce.

As for the new vendors, Calam said she was, ?glad to see them.?

Organically grown rhubarb, onions, lettuce and value-added products could all be found among the more than a dozen vendors at the event.

Debbie McSweeney, president of the Peabody Farmers? Market, said this was her first year in Hillsboro.

McSweeney and Doris Unruh, also of Peabody, shared a table selling a mixture of produce and specialty items.

One of those products was goat-milk lotion.

?I milked (the goats) this morning and made the lotion this afternoon,? McSweeney said.

Other unique ideas included egg-shaped candles, fresh breads, pies, other baked goods and a large array of flowering plants.

In addition to vendors, The Greenhorns, an area bluegrass band, provided entertainment. Tours were available of the Schaeffler House, and the Hillsboro Chamber of Com?merce served a hot-dog meal.

What makes the market a fun experience for everyone, Calam said, is its casual atmosphere, live music, fresh goods and fellowship.

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