Article and Photos by Joshua Maloni
The new Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market’s season had a smooth start, organizer Jamie Symmonds of Willow Consulting said Saturday. Crowds were out in full force stocking up on fresh produce, flowers, honey and sweet treats, while sampling breakfast sandwiches, listening to live music, and interacting with Nickel City Canine Rescue dogs.
Now in its sixth year, the market has grown in popularity.
Cambria lavender farm and barn venue Kin Loch Farmstead is returning for a fifth season. Prior to opening day, owner Alexandra Plante said, “We're excited to join the Lewiston Farmers Market this summer because we see the market as an excellent way to spread awareness of our farm and also extend our short lavender season.
“In July, people can come to our farm to pick their own lavender, shop lavender products, and enjoy lavender drinks and treats. Our farmers market stand in Lewiston each Saturday will be a mini version of our u-pick event – we'll be offering a small selection of our lavender products and lavender drinks. Our lavender lemonade is especially popular!”
Lend a Leaf Tea Co. owner Jess Nyland said, “Lend a Leaf Tea Co offers artfully crafted, ethically sourced tea and coffee beverages. We had our beginnings almost two years ago at the Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market. We attribute our success and growth to the support of this wonderful market and the outpouring of love from the Lewiston community.”
She added, "Imagine sunshine pouring through a row of old trees with quaint tent stands between. Each stand is filled with unique local treasures and quaint chalkboard signs featuring this week's specials and sales. As you wander down the grass row, the air is filled with the sound of acoustic music being played, the chatting of friendly vendors with their guests and dogs playfully barking. You stop in front of a renovated vintage camper at the smell of spiced chai and fresh locally roasted coffee brewing at the Lend a Leaf Tea trailer. Now you have to decide between a hot drink and one of their famous craft iced teas.
“Across the way, you smell bacon simmering as Wandering Gypsy Brewing Co. makes their famous breakfast sandwiches. You explore local bakers, the vibrant produce and fresh flower farmers, candlemakers, beekeepers, dog treat folks, wineries, handmade toys and so many other specialty products. On your way out, you are energized as you tote home your lovely local treasures. You will definitely be back soon – trust me."
Aurora Schul Schunk, owner of Schul Farmstead in Cambria, said, “I like watching how the customers interact with one another, too – it's neighborly. You see people run into one another and have conversations. There are lots of regulars, and there is an opportunity to get to know customers throughout the season.
“Vendors work together to help one another, to promote one another's businesses, creating partnerships. It's unlike other markets I've been a part of.”
The Lewiston Artisan Farmers Market operates from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday on the Portage Road side of Academy Park. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/lewistonartisanmarket.