If you’ve lived in the North Country for any period of time, you definitely can see how farming is part of the rich tapestry of history and culture in the North Country. Whether they’re producing dairy products, vegetables, timber, maple syrup, or wool, the farmers of the North Country have helped to create and sustain a life where we can all survive in the rugged landscape we call home.
Situated in a rustic corner of the North Country, My Farmers Market is found on Creamery Road in South Ryegate and offers a unique shopping experience for residents of the North Country. Jennifer Bone, owner and operator of My Farmers Market, gave North Country Local a few moments of her time in order to help people in the area understand what they offer.
My Farmers Market is a privately owned and cooperatively vendor-operated farmers market that works with small family farms, local artisans and non-GMO and organic foods. It’s a Farmers Market where the vendors pool their time to offer storefront hours, allowing their customers more time to shop. “It treats our vendors to less exposure to the elements and our converted storage container serves as a walk-in sales cooler to keep our veggies and flowers at peak freshness,” Jennifer says. When you walk around the small space they take up, you can see that they definitely believe in quality over quantity. While it’s not a giant space by any means, it’s a space that allows for enough produce, meats, honey, crafts and more to sustain a small community in the North Country.
With a combined 35 years of farming experience, Jennifer and David Bone operate a 115 year old family farm in South Ryegate, with a small, sustainable, community-based mindset. Jennifer is a produce farmer with farmers market management experience, while David is a 4th generation dairyman. The “Bone Farm” was awarded the “Century Farms” award for over a century of continued family, traditional operation. They continue to diversify the family homestead into a “Bio-dynamic” family farm, with the goal of sharing their vision for agriculture and enhancing the local and farming movement. And you can see how they bring those same philosophies to My Farmers Market.
“We hold regular events to celebrate the season's bounty as well as our community with a chance to meet all of our vendors and sample what we have to offer. We have this amazing collaboration of chefs, farmers, craftspeople that enables us to offer the finest in local goods,” Jennifer says. It’s an amazing feeling to see local produce, meats, crafts, seasonings, and other offerings, all brought together into one space, from many different farmers and producers. “Our market is the solution to the small town markets that don't bring in enough people in a 4 hour window to make it worth a farmers time. We purchase in bulk items like rice,cheese, flour, sugar, milk and other items that fill in gaps in what our vendors offer. This gives us a great selection of items and the sales of these items support market costs. We are going into our second season and found this concept successful. Many of our vendors deliver a few times a week to ensure that everything is fresh.”
My Farmers Market also offers a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program with vegetable, meat, bread, eggs, and coffee share options. They have pick-up points at their South Ryegate store front, at the Peacham Cafe, and Little Rivers Health Care. This year they’ll also be offering a “Cut-Your-Own” Flower Garden starting around June 1st, and weddings are welcome!
This Saturday, April 1st, they’re hosting their “Opening Day Open House” from 9 AM to 6 PM! My Farmers Market invites you to visit and celebrate their season’s opening, where many of their new and returning vendors will be on hand with free samples and conversation! You can enjoy a sampling of what they offer and meet the people that produce it! Here’s a link with more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/427568770920601/