You are invited to help sustain the Ashfield Farmers Market

IMG_2525On behalf of all the Ashfield Farmers Market Vendors, we thank the Town of Ashfield for the use of the Town Common. We also thank St. John’s Episcopal Church for allowing public use of their bathroom! We are also extremely grateful for the generosity of Gloria Picosa and the Ashfield Historical Society for allowing us to store signs and equipment on their properties and to the Ashfield News for providing this free column space! Thank you all so much!

Garlic from Yard Birds Farm of WilliamsburgAs the Market enters its last month of the season, the Steering Committee of the Ashfield Farmers Market Association (AFMA) is reviewing the 2015 season and is planning for an even more successful season in 2016. One of our initiatives for next year is to involve more community members in the planning and development of the market.

AFMA welcomes community members like you to become part of the support system of the Farmers Market in Ashfield. Perhaps you are interested in being a liaison to the Ashfield Agricultural Commission, or to the Ashfield business community, or to one of the Ashfield religious communities, or to a regional group like the Franklin Land Trust or the Trustees of Reservations. Perhaps you would like to be a Volunteer Coordinator, a Tech Coordinator or a Grant Writer for the AFMA. Please bring your perspective, experience, and skills to the development of the Ashfield Farmers Market.

As you consider helping, here is some background information about AFMA for your review:

IMG_2057The Ashfield Farmer’s Market is a public market for the purpose of connecting and mutually benefiting local farmers, communities, and shoppers while promoting and selling products primarily grown and raised by participating farmers.

The AFMA is a democratically organized group of Farmers with revolving Co-Chairpersons who are responsible for managing the Market. AFMA is a member of the Massachusetts Federation of Farmers Markets and buys market liability insurance from the Federation. AFMA has a website, an email address, and a Facebook page with lots of great photos!

In 2015, Donna Elwell of Spring Water Farm in Ashfield and Sue Atherton of Atherton Farm in Buckland are the Co-Chairpersons. Rick Intres of Bear Meadow Apiary in Ashfield is the Ashfield Farmers Market Association Treasurer. The officers hired Arianna Collins of Offerings for Community Building, to be the Market Administrator, she is responsible for promotion of the Ashfield Farmers Market this year.

The AFMA Farmers – not only grow, harvest, clean, transport and set up their products for sale at the Ashfield Farmers Market- but they also submit an application and pay a fee to participate. These fees vary according to how often the vendor participates and range from $150/season to $25/day for a 10’x10’ tent space. Each vendor also volunteers for one of the following jobs:

Jobs for before the Market starts:

  • Write a AFM message on Community chalkboard @ Post Office
  • Set out AFM sign stored at the Ashfield Historical Society
  • Retrieve market cart, chairs, & cones from Gloria’s barn.
  • Bring market tent over from Ashfield Historical Society side porch and set up for musicians or over picnic table.
  • Prop front door and tidy up Episcopal Church bathroom to be used for the day.
  • Move cones to the opposite side of the street to block off parking after all or most vendors are set up.
  • Move picnic table to the center of the market tents.

Jobs for after the Market ends:

  • Pick up trash and compost at the end of the market and take trash to recycle center.
  • Break down market tent and return to the Historical Society side porch
  • Return AFM sign to Historical Society side porch
  • Collect cones from roadside and put in cart
  • Return market cart with, cones, chairs, and children’s books to Gloria’s barn
  • Tidy up and close up church bathroom and church front door.
  • Move picnic table back to the east edge of the Town Common

Would you be willing to help set up or breakdown the Market? Your assistance would be very much appreciated!

IMG_2064The Ashfield Farmers market has great potential! Please consider becoming involved in sustaining the Ashfield Farmers Market! To join the effort and/or to share your ideas and suggestions, email Sue and Donna at


Reminder: This month, the Ashfield Farmers Market is open Oct 3rd, 17th, and 24th but not during the Ashfield Fall Festival on Oct 10th.

Donna Elwell and Sue Atherton

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