HAMPDEN, Maine — Now gearing up for its third season, the Hampden Farmers Market is moving to the town office parking lot at 106 Western Ave.
Town councilors recently approved the market’s request to use the lot because the town office is closed on Fridays, which is when the farmers market operates.
The opening day of this year’s farmers market season is May 23, which is the Friday before Memorial Day, said herdswoman Lauri Philbrick of Boyd Brook Farm of Frankfort, one of the market’s founding members.
The Hampden Farmers Market debuted in May 2012 in the parking lot of Schacht’s True Value Hardware and Variety Store. When that lot became too busy because of increasing business activity and traffic, the market relocated to the old Hampden Academy parking lot.
That property, however, has been sold to Historic Hampden Academy LLC, a legal entity formed by local hoteliers and philanthropists Danny and Carla LaFayette to redevelop the property, and is in the early stages of redevelopment.
Looking for a new home with less activity, farmers market manager Michelle Byram of White’s Farm in Winterport, another founding member, approached town officials, who said they were happy to help.
“We welcome anything that’s an asset to the community,” said Dean Bennett, Hampden’s economic and community development director.
Philbrick said the market will operate 2-6 p.m. Fridays, from May 23 through November.
Philbrick said the Hampden Farmers Market is looking forward to another growth year. The market began with six vendors and grew to eight in its second season.
This year, the lineup will include Parker Family Farm, Kenona Farm, Smith’s Log Smokehouse, White’s Farm, Boyd Brook Farm, Pairings/Winterport Winery, Greencare Plantscapes, Roots and Wings Farmstead, Island Farm Kitchens and Winter Cove Farm. An application from Bar Harbor-based Fiori’s Oils and Vinegars is pending, she added.
For information about the Hampden Farmers Market and its vendors, go to www.hampdenfarmersmarket.com.