PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

GROTON — The second annual Groton Thanksgiving Farmers Market will be Saturday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the historic Williams Barn at 160 Chicopee Row. Many of the regular vendors who attend the farmers market on Friday afternoons from July through October will be there, making this a great opportunity to take advantage of fresh local produce, baked goods, and handmade gifts, just in time for the upcoming holidays.

Highlighting the event will be a gift-basket raffle, boasting one of Joe Twomey’s Early American Heritage Bronze turkeys (frozen), wines from the Groton Market, gift certificates from Gibbett Hill Grill, Filho’s Cucina, Hannaford, and many other goodies from local businesses. Tickets are $1 each, with six for $5. Proceeds from the raffle will help support the historic Williams Barn and its many events throughout the year.

Lili Ott, Williams Barn Committee member, was happy to share some of the details of the upcoming event, as well as how it came to be.

“We’ve run the Farmers Market for seven years now, and a lot of people were saying they were so sad when we closed in October.”

Given the growing interest in local food and goods, the decision was made five years ago to hold a combined farmers market and Women’s Club Winter Greens Sale the weekend before Thanksgiving.

According to Ott, “It got to be so crowded that two years ago we split the farmers market off from the Greens Sale.”

This year’s Woman’s Club Greens Sale will be Dec. 4 at Williams Barn from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Money raised from that event will go towards scholarships to benefit local students.

As for this year’s Thanksgiving Farmers Market, there will be an abundance of local farms and craftsman, including Kirk Farm and their winter squash, garlic, leeks, kale, lettuce, as well as cheese from the West River Creamery of Vermont; Jodie Gilson of Gilson Greenhouses offering small herb plants; Kevin and Chris Lindemer of Whitney Farmstead and their heirloom variety apples; and Tully’s Farm with their jam, jellies, and potatoes including fingerling and many other different varieties.

For those looking to grace their Thanksgiving table with something on the sweeter side, there will be specialty and baked goods from local proprietors like Susan Smith of Common View Farm with her pies, jams, and jellies; Jedermann’s Bakery with breads, pastries, and baked goods; Annie Cronin with her gluten-free baked goods; The Spinach Pie Lady Michelle Williams with spinach pie, baklava and other traditional Greek favorites; and Susan Callahan of Goodies Homemade with her old-fashioned, homemade cookies. Callahan’s treats have been featured on TV cooking shows. Her Chocolate Peanut Butter Munchies were chosen as “Snack of The Day” on The Rachael Ray Show.

Besides fresh produce, jellies and jams, eggs, honey, and baked goods, said Ott, there will be local artisans selling their wares, making the event a great opportunity to do some early holiday gift shopping. Artisans will include Saint Isadore’s Alpacas with their handmade alpaca apparel and accessories and Flo Gilson of TLC Stitchery offering natural fiber textiles and goods. Of special note will be Patti of On the Edge Knife Sharpening, who will be offering her service just in the nick of time before turkey-carving season begins.

If the weather dips to typical New England November fare, Don Black, owner of the Old Groton Inn, will be serving up hot chili and chowder, as well as hot coffee, in case attendees want to warm up while at the market, or take it home for lunch.

And cranberry sauce? Ott promised several vendors will have their own fresh, homemade versions of this holiday favorite, just in time for the biggest turkey event of the year.

In words that could have been said by participants of the first Thanksgiving feast, Ott paused to reflect on the bounty nature and hard work have brought: “We are so blessed to have so many farms right here in Groton and nearby.” Or as my Aunt Kathie used to say when she greeted us at her doorstep on most Thanksgivings, “I hope you’re hungry!”