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Farmer’s market might be expanding for 2009 season

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PEPPERELL — Having concluded their best-ever farmer’s market season, members of the Agricultural Advisory Board (AAB) are looking to embellish the 2009 season with a larger vendor base while maintaining the same schedule and hours of operation on town field.

“People have told us they want to see the market continue,” board member Rene Cyr said.

Chairman Jim Friend said this season saw a sizable group of regulars showing up each Saturday morning (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) “which is exactly what we want.”

Friend said the push for the 2009 season will likely revolve around better advertising in an attempt to “try to catch more of a different community crowd” with more signs and more publicity.

“We have insiders tell us there is a large untapped market,” he said. “The bagel guy went to Harvard repeatedly toward the end of the year. There were 35 vendors — jams, jellies, bakeries and four or five craft vendors.”

Pepperell’s market enjoys a loyal base group of vendors, which is a necessary anchor that could be expanded, board members feel.

“It’s better to come to expect the same (offerings) rather than have to go to a commercial market,” Friend said.

As dictated by the “right to farm” bylaw, the AAB consists of five members appointed by the Board of Selectmen, at least three of whom must represent the Pepperell farming community, to staggered three-year terms.

Although it is identified with running farmer’s markets, the board’s reason for existence is to serve as the voice of and advocate for Pepperell’s farming community before other town boards and committees. — Don Eriksson