WATERVILLE — Pedestrians in Castonguay Square were greeted Thursday by the bright green seedlings and golden loaves of the Waterville Farmers’ Market, which opened for the season in its new location on Common Street.

The market, which runs weekly through Nov. 16, was pushed from its former Main Street home by construction of the new Colby College dormitory. But Hanne Tierney, of Cornerstone Farm, one of the farmers who worked with the market’s vendors, sponsor Waterville Main Street, Colby and the city of Waterville to find the new location, said she welcomed the change.

“We’re super-grateful to the city of Waterville and we are super-excited for our new spot.” Tierney said.

Tierney, a founding member of the market which has been in operation since 2006, said in choosing their new location the group wanted a downtown location that was easily accessible for pedestrians. The city has agreed to close Common Street during the market’s operating hours.

As the market’s farmers, baker, cheese and soap makers set up Thursday, customers and vendors greeted each other as old friends. Tom Roberts, of Snakeroot Organic Farm, ran through the differences among the many onion seedlings he had to offer — including the red storage onion, with its high sulphur content, which makes it hearty but too pungent to eat raw; and the Walla Walla sweet onion, which can be eaten like an apple.

“But the people who know sweet onions go for the Ailsa Craig,” Roberts said, pointing to a British onion named for an island off the coast of Scotland.

“Every vegetable has a story,” he continued. “The amazing thing about growing them is you get to learn that story.”

Down the line was Joanne Gorey of Page-N-Thyme Wycked Goat Soaps and Farm Products, whose creamy soaps, lip balms and moisturizers are made with spare goat’s milk. Standing by her, her brother Billy, who said he was recently single, attested to the allure of the cherry-flavored lip balm. Gorey said she has experimented with many scents and flavors over the years and now offers 39 lip balms and nearly 60 kinds of soap, such as cranberry, oatmeal and lavender. After her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, Gorey formulated an herbal deodorant, which Gorey now sells to others looking for more natural alternatives.

Karl Rau, of Good Bread Bakery, stood behind mounds of fresh cinnamon raisin bread loaves, five-cheese focaccias and whole wheat and seven-grain sourdough. As he joked with a little girl he had seen grow up in his time at the market, a woman stopped by to assure him that other customers will find the new location.

In recent years, the Waterville Farmers’ Market also has become a resource for low-income Mainers. The market runs a low-income access program that offers bonus fruit and vegetables for EBT payments, using a federal grant secured by the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets. For every dollar a low-income person spends at the market, vendors will provide another dollar’s worth of fruit and vegetables. Tierney said since the market started the program, it has given away nearly $10,000 in fruit and vegetables.

Kate McCormick — 861-9218

[email protected]

Twitter: @KateRMcCormick

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