Burrillville Farmer’s Market extends season, places 1st in RI AFM Celebration

Market Manager Deb Yablonski of Stonehenge Farm is seen here in 2018 at the market's previous location at the intersection of East Avenue & Harrisville Main Street.

BURRILLVILLE – It’s a weekly summer event featuring not just local produce, but also the work of artisans, community organizations, live music and more.

And in 2022, the Burrillville Farmer’s Market has been extended into October following news of a first place win in the American Farmer’s Market Celebration.

The market, which began in June, takes place every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Stillwater Mill Pavilion in Harrisville. The events typically run through the third week of September and were initially set to wrap up this Saturday.

Instead on Thursday, organizers announced that the season would be extended through October.

“For many years, our season ran mid May through October, but we’ve shortened the season in recent years, as the growing season seems to start later and there are so many other fall activities for folks to choose from,” explained Market Manager Deb Yablonski. “Our vendors have other commitments as well.”

But Yablonski noted that in 2022, the market has had increased attendance and the season “flew by.” A grant from Farm Fresh RI also allowed SNAP customers to double their benefits this year, and Yablonski noted that the number of eligible visitors has also increased: an indication of a growing need for local products.

Started in 2006 thanks to a grant won by the Burrillville Land Trust, the market has expanded over the years to include much more than just food.

And in a letter from the American Farmland Trust and the Farmer’s Market Coalition on Monday, Sept. 19, Yablonski learned the the Burrillville events have also placed first in Rhode Island in the 2022 American Farmer’s Market Celebration.

According to a citation signed by Gregg Plotkin of AFT and Hannah Fuller of FMC, more than 125,000 votes were cast in the national competition.

“Through it all, your market came out on top as one of America’s favorite farmer’s markets,” the letter notes. “We hope this recognition will allow your market to continue to thrive for many years to come.”

In addition to double SNAP benefits, the market accepts WIC, credit, debit and cash. Vendors in 2022 have included Doglio Coffee, Bibeault Acres, Natural Harvest Farm, Dragonfly Farm, Renegade Dog, Peaceful Vibes, Janes Baskets, Sherry Dickenson-Childrens Author, RJ Artisans, Liberty Farm, Stonehenge Farm, the Burrillville Land Trust and more. During many of this year’s events, Liberty Farm also offered horse-drawn carriage rides.

This week, the event, described by Yablonski as a, “low key local morning,” will feature music by Jim Livingston. The manager noted that she’s not sure yet how long the market will run, and plans to take it week by week.

“Our farmers need the time to prepare and for the growing season, as well as prepare gardens and livestock for winter and birthing season,” she told NRI NOW.

It’s a lot of work for those who take part, and in the recognition this week, the national group noted that for organizers, it can also be a thankless job.

“We’d like to express our sincere gratitude for the hard work everyone associated with the Burrillville Farmer’s Market puts in to ensure your community has access to fresh, nutritious food produced by local farmers and artisans,” the letter notes. “It’s important work that we know is not always recognized.”

For more information email burrillvillefma@gmail.com, call (401) 568-3191 or visit http://www.burrillvillefarmersmarket.org/ .

Editor’s note: The musical act for this Saturday’s market has been corrected in the above article.

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