Eat locally at the Farmers' Market
The Downtown Waterville Farmers' Market, which was established in 2006 in conjunction with Waterville Main Street, is held weekly throughout the year in the concourse along Appleton and Main Streets. Farmers from many nearby towns gather on Thursdays to sell locally grown items to Waterville residents and Colby students alike.
The Farmers' Market is currently comprised of 31 vendors, most of which are seasonal. Vendors sell everything from duck eggs to olive oil soaps to all-natural ice cream. There is something to suit a wide range of tastes. Many meat-selling companies, such as Cornerstone Farm and Kennerson Farm, also attend the winter market.
On a recent Thursday, long lines formed at the Kennebec Cheesery. Several customers were students or staff members at the College. Two students from the Hill rode their bikes to the Market to stock their room with fresh apples, two more students purchased fresh baked rolls and pumpkin ice cream, and another carried his new potted plant around as he perused the food booths.
The Market is only a quick bike ride or walk away, and many students attend each Thursday to replenish their supplies of fresh produce.
Buying organic products from local vendors has many health benefits as it decreses exposure to harmful pesticides and chemicals.
Purchasing food and goods at the Farmers' Market is also a great way to support the Waterville economy. For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 stays in the local economy, creating jobs and expanding the city's tax base. For every $100 spent at a national chain or franchise store, only $14 remains in the community. Many vendors who come to Waterville's market also attend farmers' markets in other towns such as Orono, Belfast and Skowhegan.
The Farmers' Market is open May through November from 2-6 p.m., rain or shine. The Winter Market is open December through April from 2-4 p.m. every third Thursday. While cash is preferred and often required, some vendors allow customers to pay for products with a major credit card.