It Is A Win – Win

“When shoppers buy local from our vendors, the vendors, in turn, usually spend local with the money they make,’’ said Jeff Grassie, cochairman of the Haverhill Winter Farmers Market, now in its inaugural year. “It’s a win-win situation for any community.’’

“People have to be willing to adjust their habits for what’s in season,’’ said Jennifer Bell, manager of Salem Main Streets, the nonprofit that runs the Salem farmers market and this year extended its operations into December in response to overwhelming demand for a winter market. “They have to think about how to use the local produce and adjust what they’re cooking to what’s produced in the area.’’

Peter Maitland of Maitland Mountain Farm in Salem said his involvement with his hometown market led to a contract with a local green grocer who now sells the farm’s eggs, horseradish, and spiced pickles. The Salem market has also helped boost sales at First Light Farm in Hamilton, where produce is sold through a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program; people buy shares in the farm’s harvest at the onset of each growing season and then receive a portion of each crop that is cultivated.

“The biggest thing I need is marketing,’’ said Mike Raymond, 42, who runs First Light Farm and is offering a winter CSA that now attracts 85 subscribers, up from a few dozen customers last year. “No one comes to the farm; it’s just a private piece of land that I rent. The market allows me to meet other farmers and show people what I’m doing.’’

Vegging out in winter – Boston Globe