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Record Breaking Start to the Farmers Market Season

Record Breaking Start to the Farmers Market Season

    On June 28th, the Bowdoin Geneva Farmers Market opened for its 5th season. Just a few weeks in and we're already seeing great growth in market attendance and sales. 
    This year, the market plays host to returning produce vendor, City Harvest - a youth agricultural training program through The Trustees of Reservations. Joining them is Heaven's Harvest Organic Farm in partnership with the Healthy Urban Initiative, bringing certified organic produce to our market for the very first time. Together, our two full-season produce farmers bring an incredible variety of the very best produce Massachusetts has to offer - from blueberries to kale, summer squash to sweet corn.
    Additionally, our market was selected as one of only nine citywide to participate in a pilot initiative to bring fresh, locally-caught fish to the farmers market. Cape Cod Fish, based in Brewster, joins us each week with a variety of high-quality, affordable filleted and whole fish. And the fish is certainly driving new customers to the market, helping to boost produce sales and sustain the local farmers who join us each week. 
    We continue to participate in the Boston Bounty Bucks program which allows us to offer a 50% discount to our customers who receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly "food stamps"). Wrapping fish into the farmers market offering means Bounty Bucks can be applied to this heart-healthy, culturally-appropriate protein in addition to the wonderful fruits and vegetables we've always offered. This in turn helps to draw connections between all of these foods as part of a complete, nutritious - and of course, tasty -diet.
    Just a few weeks into the season, it is already clear how the addition of fish to our product mix is changing our market. Our sales figures are up by 25% compared to our best seasonal average - and it's not even the heat of tomato season yet. We've already seen two market days during which more than 200 people visited the market, up from our previous average of around 125 market visitors per day! All these fresh faces at the market also mean more opportunities to connecting people to community resources including nutrition education and other services offered by the health center.