“Amazing!” was how an organizer described local response to Wiscasset’s inaugural farmers market June 6. The outdoor market held Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. will continue at the waterfront through the summer and into September.
“Our vendors were very encouraged by the turnout,” said Claudia Sortwell of Churchill Wiscasset. She and husband Daniel Sortwell, owner of Big Barn Coffee, are president and treasurer of the market.
The eight participating vendors sell their wares from tents in the parking area next to the commercial pier near the harbor master’s office and public bathrooms. The market features locally grown produce, turkey products, freshly made baked goods, plants, seedlings, locally roasted coffee and more.
Other participating vendors include: Creamed Baking Co. and Buckwheat Blossom Farm of Wiscasset; Island Mushroom Co. and Micromainea of Westport; Sealyon Farm LLC of Alna; Hawkes Farm, Bath and Pinetree Poultry of New Sharon.
Several months ago, Claudia Sortwell thought of starting the farmers market suggesting it at a meeting of the community group Friends of Wiscasset Village. The Waterfront Committee lent its support and the market received the approval of the select board.
Advance notice of the first event spread by word-of-mouth and social media. Sortwell said the group will have brochures advertising the market and temporary signage directing people to the waterfront on the day of the market.
“The people who came ... were very happy and offered encouragement. Nobody complained about not being able to park, or of the downtown construction,” added Sortwell.
On-street parking is available on Water Street; at the municipal lot next door to the former Custom House building; and at the new Haggett garage lot.
The market could evolve into a year-round venture depending on the support it receives this summer and if a suitable indoor location can be found. For the present, Sortwell is hoping to find a local cheese vendor and a vendor to sell fresh-cut flowers.
On the last Thursday of the month, the market will coincide with the Wiscasset Art Walk; the season's first art walk is planned for June 27.