ATTLEBORO - Bright and early Saturday morning, the parking lot of the Attleboro Public Library became a one-stop shopping experience for fresh produce and local goods during the opening day of the newly expanded Attleboro Farmers Market, where more than 20 vendors set up shop.
"This is what I came here for," said Plainville resident Jason Hancock, who bought two beeswax candles from The Nason Family Honey Products. "I thought this would be great to have, and to support them and the farmer's market," Hancock said.
The locally-grown goodies ranged from The Nason Family's beeswax products and honey, to Langwater Farm's organic produce, soy candles from Nature's Intention, and hand-made hooked rugs from Wetu Farm.
The aroma of Nettie's Kettle Corn was in the air and readily available as shoppers browsed the vendors and filled their reusable shopping bags with as much produce as the bags would hold.
The Land family, who lived only a few blocks away, came with two of their three children on bicycles, and their youngest daughter in a wagon, which also doubled as a shopping cart.
"I feel good, I have dinner planned!" said Amy Land, who purchased the main course of swordfish right down to the flowers for the dinner table.
Attleboro resident Valerie Gaudreau filled her bags with radishes, zucchini, handmade soap from The Nason Family, and a chocolate tomato plant from Bob Peasley, whom market organizers have dubbed the "original farmers market guy."
"I'll be back here every weekend," Gaudreau said.
Although Attleboro has had a farmers market for more than 20 years, this was the first year that a committee was formed to rally the community and add more vendors, according to City Councilor Richard Conti, who was responsible for forming the 20-person committee.
"I felt that Attleboro wasn't getting its share of the farmers market business," Conti said. "I find this very moving; this is common activism at its finest, and this is how you make a difference."
Working with Conti was market Manager Heather Porreca, who was happily overwhelmed by the extensive turnout.
"The city's been incredibly supportive of this venture," she said. "I am amazed at the resources and talents of Attleboro citizens, and getting to meet all of these new people."
Plainville resident Shelley Dyer, who makes it a point to attend other local farmers markets, was thrilled to be in Attleboro.
"I would continue to come regularly, and encourage everyone in the area to do so as well," she said.
The Attleboro Farmers Market will be held every Saturday at the library parking lot from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. until Oct. 29.
For more information, visit www.AttleboroFarmersMarket.com.