Merrimack YMCA site of first-ever indoor Farmers Market

Local foods, craft items, businesses and artists’ works, along with dozens of raffle prizes, will be featured at an indoor farmers market, a first-ever event at the Merrimack YMCA, 6 Henry Clay Drive, next weekend.

The event is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 25. Registration for vendors ends today, Friday, Jan. 17.

The indoor farmers market will support the annual Y Cares Financial Assistance program, one that helps sponsor YMCA services for adults, children and families hard pressed to fund activities. Among those activities frequently requested are child care, summer camp, arts programs, membership and swim lessons.

The indoor farmers market has more than 25 vendors registered. Among them are local farmers, community producers of locally made baked goods, artists specializing in jewelry and other handwork and crafters with handmade edibles and wearables. Staff from area restaurants will be on-hand, along with independent representatives of some of the region’s top companies including Pampered Chef.

Additional vendors are welcome to register by the day’s end, Jan. 17. Vendor spaces are $20 each for a six-foot table. Set-up begins at 7 a.m., Jan. 25. Vendors must have any permits required by the state.

Organizer Briana Lafoe, of Mont Vernon, is a kindergarten teacher at the Y and part of a family operated farm in Mont Vernon. The farm is the home of dairy goats that are raised to compete in shows at regional fairs. The prize winners tend to be the focus of attention, especially for children who love animals.

“We show the animals at the fairs,” Lafoe said of the purebread Nubians, Lamanchas and American Saanans. “We brought some here to the YMCA last summer as part of a Farm Camp program. The kids loved learning about the animals.”

Lafoe said the idea the indoor farmers market rapidly evolved into a plan for bringing together people who support local farming and who patronize at every opportunity those who make things by hand.

“This was a little project I took on and it’s gained an overwhelming response,” Lafoe said. “Most vendors are contributing to the raffle with contributions of homemade apple cider, body products, jewelry, knitted items, gift certificates – so many things. We’ll even have entertainment from contemporary folk singer Tip Ferguson, from Hollis.”

Vendors may print out registration forms from the Special Events’ section of the website, nmymca.org, and drop off the forms and payment to Briana Lafoe at the Merrimack YMCA, 6 Henry Clay Drive, Merrimack. Lafoe can be contacted in the Merrimack YMCA child care wing or by email at brianalafoe@yahoo.com.