LEE -- Grass fed beef, early produce and live music highlight the inaugural Lee Farmers Market on Thursday.

Starting this week, area farmers, crafters and other vendors will gather every Thursday through Sept. 25 in the First Congregational Church park to promote local agriculture and food producers to residents and tourists alike, according to organizers.

Lee’s is among 13 weekly farmers markets held between early May to mid-November in the Berkshires.

"We think the location is perfect," said Kevin Kirshner, co-owner of Berkshire Grain with wife Barbara. "People coming here for the weekend or to Tanglewood can get some veggies and enjoy what we have to offer."

"It’s an excellent spot, a lot of visibility," added Kim Martin of the family-owned and operated Elmartin Farm in Cheshire.

Martin referring to the busy T-intersection of Park, West Park and Main streets, the site of several special events throughout the summer and early fall, including the popular Founders Day Weekend in late September, sponsored by the Lee Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber Executive Director Colleen Henry expects the Lee Farmers Market will be an instant hit with shoppers, who have helped revitalize the Main Street economy in recent years.

"Farmers markets are the healthy future of food shopping for residents, visitors, workers and business owners in our town and will add an extra dimension to all that Lee has to offer," Henry said.


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Organizer Peter Bluhm said about eight vendors are lined up for opening day, with more expected as the summer season approaches.

Lee businessman Michael McManmon, who is new to the agriculture scene, said he looks forward to participating in the Lee Farmers Market. He became co-owner of Bradley Farm in Lanesborough in February 2013

"Being in farming now, I have so much respect for farmers," McManmon said. "I don’t think people understand the cost to run a farm."

If you go ...

What: Lee Farmers Market

When: Every Thursday through Sept. 25, 2p-6p.

Where: First Congregational Church park, next to Lee Memorial Town Hall.

Contact: Email at leefmarket@gmail.com

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233