As the weather becomes crisper, the new Wiscasset Farmers Market is taking shelter at The Morris Farm.
A few of the vendors who pitched tents on Wiscasset’s recreational pier beginning in June have moved to the indoor venue.
The market has changed its hours as well, from 3-6 p.m. Thursday to 2-5 p.m. Thursday, according to organizer Claudia Sortwell. She hopes the change will reduce the need for vendors and customers to drive after dark.
The first market in the new location was Oct. 10. The market will continue until Dec. 19.
According to Sortwell, other farmers markets run year-round, such as the Bath and Brunswick markets. Since farmers have fresh meat and vegetables throughout the year, it makes sense to continue the market into the colder months.
“We can help them and they can help us,” Sortwell said of bringing people to Morris Farm.
Farm Education Director Anna Blank agrees.
“I think it has the potential to be a great collaboration,” Blank said. She said the nonprofit educational farm is always trying to deepen its connection with the community.
The farm welcomes an opportunity to make use of the space in the winter as well. The market pays a fee for its use of the farm’s educational room.
“They came with a really, really fair fee and I said, ‘OK, we can do that and let’s see what happens,’” Sortwell said.
All vendors are from Lincoln County.
Four of the vendors were at the summer market: Big Barn Coffee Co. and Creamed Baking Co., of Wiscasset; Island Mushroom Co., of Westport Island; and SeaLyon Farm, of Alna.
The newest vendor is Blue Tin Farm, of Edgecomb, which raises Nigerian dwarf dairy goats and Gloucestershire old spot pigs. The farm, on Cross Point Road, offers all-natural goat milk lotions, as well as soaps, pork, and organic catnip toys, owner Crystal Lewis said.
As the holiday season nears, Sortwell said the farmers market is planning seasonal festivities.
She hopes to have an appearance by Santa Claus and to sell gift baskets filled with items from each of the vendors.
The market is still looking for about two more vendors. She wants to focus more on food, since shoppers can buy items other than food at many places in town. She is looking for vendors to sell cheeses, meat, and vegetables.
At this time, Sortwell is unsure whether the winter farmers market will happen annually. It depends on how well the vendors do.
Sortwell hopes the market will do well, but wants more people to come out and see what the vendors offer.
“I hope the people in Wiscasset can see the effort we are putting in to bring them the farmers market and to get more support from them,” she said.
For people who did not go to the summer farmers market and have yet to try the winter market, Sortwell wants them to know all the products are fresh and without chemicals.
In addition, she wants to get away from the idea of farmers markets as pricey. She said the vendors have reasonable prices.
Looking to the summer market, Sortwell wants to open up again in either the first or second week of June.