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  • Greg Ferro

Farmers’ Markets: An Ingredient for Community Growth?

“Successful places have to think of themselves as a city – a distinct region and culture.”

I recently read Our Towns, a collection of journal entries by authors James Fallows and Deborah Fallows. The authors visit over 40 cities as they travel coast-to-coast in a single-engine plane. Their goal: To find the common recipe among communities experiencing growth.

Following their travels, the authors list “10.5” ingredients of thriving places. Many of these ingredients are what you probably expect. Access to local universities. Clearly defined downtown areas. Local patriots willing to work hard for their communities.

The last “half” of ingredient? Neighborhood craft breweries! Breweries offer a sense of neighborhood identity. They are a place where people can come together, share conversations, build new relationships, and create fresh ideas.

After reading Our Towns, I couldn’t help but think of one more “half” of ingredient: Farmers’ markets! What is a community without one?

In downtown Milford every Saturday, we turn an ordinary parking lot into a market that celebrates our unique community. Food grown in our soil. Artwork created by our neighbors. Music played by our friends. Recipes are shared. New ideas are planted. Optimism is renewed.

One example of a distinctly Milford offering at our market is River Crest Farm. Settled in 1942 near the Housatonic River, the farm has been passed through generations of family. Each week the Macri family drives a mere 1.5 miles to our market. They offer fruits, veggies, and flowers grown in Milford soil by Milford farmers. When you visit their tent, you cannot help but feel a part of a growing Milford story planted over 75 years ago.

Whether it be veggies from the Macri family’s farm, jewelry from Lauri of Milford Rocks, or some chiropractic advice from Dr. Greg Sabatino, the market reminds us how unique Milford is. It’s one-stop shopping for a locally-sourced lifestyle. Saturdays simply belong here, 9 to 1, 58 River Street.

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