Sunday August 5, 2012

GREAT BARRINGTON -- On Saturday afternoon, Jac queline Martinez, Rachel Mor iarty and Kat Lister spent the day under white pop-up tents on the lawn behind Berkshire South Regional Community Center hoping to hawk homemade granola, fresh-cut flowers and bundles of rainbow Swiss chard.

The three young women are members of Greenagers, a Great Barrington-based environmental and community service organization made up of youths and young adults.

Among their growing list of activities, the group formed a partnership to help the new Berkshire Com munity Market sow its roots.

"This first year of running the market has been a learning experience but it's also a very awesome opportunity," said Moriarty, a soon-to-be sophomore studying sustainable food and farming at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is also the market manager for what is currently a 10-vendor venue.

Jenny Hersch, who co-founded the market with Suzy Konecky said that in addition to building their own business skills and agricultural savvy, Greenagers are helping local farmers fill a need.

"Our vendors had the products, but they didn't have someone to spare to help sell them," Hersch said.

On Saturday, Martinez filled in for Stefan Zdziarski, who normally mans a table for Bola Granola, a Great Barrington brand. Lister sells produce for Hawthorne Valley Farm of Ghent, N.Y.

For these Greenagers, working at Berkshire Community Market is a paid position.

Lister said the job offer was a "definite" motivator for joining the Greenagers, "though now, knowing what I've learned, I would consider volunteering too.


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The rising Monument Moun tain Regional High School senior said she is an apprentice for the Great Barrington Housa tonic River Walk, an initiative which she joined in April.

The River Walk, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, will be formally taken under the wing of the Greenagers from the Great Barrington Housatonic River Walk group. A special riverside festival will be held on Sept. 8 to honor the passing of the baton.

Greenagers members will clean and manage the riverside trail, make improvements and provide educational outreach programs.

In addition to this, Green agers also manages other local trails and conservation areas in the community as well as on the Appalachian Trail.

"I've learned a lot and we're always doing more stuff," said Martinez, a rising senior at Mount Everett Regional High School and two-year member of Greenagers.

"It's been a great opportunity to network and meet new people," Moriarty said.

To learn more about Greenagers, visit www.greenag ers.org.

To learn more about the new Berkshire Community Market, visit www.facebook.com/Berk shireCommunityMarket.

To reach Jenn Smith:
jsmith@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6239
On Twitter: @JennSmith_Ink