Oct 212015

Bittersweet may it be, another Farmers’ Market season is coming to a close. The stands will soon be bare. The Salem weekly Thursday outdoor gatherings of vendors and buyers from 3-7pm in Derby Square ends on 10/22/15. Which means you have one more opportunity to get the freshest of the fresh, in produce and baked goods for your dinner table.

FM12According to a Boston Globe  article, “The U.S. government recommends that American adults eat 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables depending on your age, gender, and activity level,” and while a Harvard School of Public Health study is suggesting eating any more than five servings a day won’t further improve results, it does add more confirmation to that recommendation.

Researchers sifted through 16 studies involving 833,000 participants with the conclusion that going with at least the daily five servings “lowered the risk of dying by 25 percent.”

Therefore, eating fruits & veggies is a good thing. And the Salem Farmers’ Market has fruits and veggies (and bread, lobsters…).

The Farmers’ Market also has been a strong supporter of the food stamp/SNAP program. That has also been a good thing.

According to USDA at farm markets across America, overall food stamp participation and spending has increased since 2008 when the program had an average monthly participation of 28,233,000 beneficiaries, and spent a total of $37,639,640,000. In 2014, the program had an average monthly participation of 46,537,000 and spent a total of $74,157,710,000.

Those are a lot of fruits and vegetables! So get down to our final of the season Farmers’ Market before the stands are empty.

And just to keep your memories alive until next year’s Market, this link will take you to the photos page of the Farmers’ Market Facebook site (although two Salem Winter Markets are set for Nov. 22 at 3 pm and Dec. 19 at 1 pm, indoors at 217 Essex Street).

Oct 182015

Jewelry, like clothing, can be a way to distinguish yourself from others or to identify with others, but the owner, designer, maker, craftsperson, salesperson and marketing director of Nikky Bergman Jewelry at Artists’ Row in Salem MA feels “it can be an even more precious and personal thing.”

Nikky 1aNikky Bergman explains, “I am able to work one on one with clients to design and hand-make a piece of jewelry that they can’t find anywhere else! Because I am the one making every piece, I am able to truly customize designs. I also come at the jewelry discipline from an artist’s perspective, so the jewelry I make is far less traditional. This is a really relaxed environment, which is great if you have never had anything custom made before. You will not find any high pressure sales here.”

Bergman started as a metalsmith in 2001 using the techniques learned in art school (BFA in 2004 from the Massachusetts College of Art & Design and MFA in 2008 from SUNY New Paltz) to make fine-art-one-of-a-kind semi-wearable pieces.

She adds, “I loved — and still do — the art form because of its specific relationship to the body and the associations that come with wearing something. It is so rich! Now, talk about wedding & engagement rings and you add so much more meaning!”

Nikky ring“It is so rewarding for me to work with clients who are getting married— this is a special time in their lives. It is really neat to be part of their wedding process and make such a meaningful and lasting part of it!”

She is also excited to be included in the incubation process at Artists’ Row.

Bergman says “Artists’ Row gave me the opportunity to pursue my business full-time. I have been in business since 2011, but this is the first year I am able to devote completely to it and it has been so much fun and so rewarding!”

She continues, “It is the perfect combination of a retail venue and studio workspace for me. It is so lovely to be able to showcase what I make and show people how it’s made in the same space. It uses my time wisely, too. I can help a customer one minute and work on a new piece of jewelry the next! I think everyone on Artists’ Row is using the space as a small business, creative incubator. I know I am! I don’t know of another place like this and am so grateful to be a part of it!”

She shares her building space with candlemaker Liz Frasier the proprietress of Witch City Wicks and Bridget Alexander of The Pack Paper Company.

“Our customers benefit in that they get the latest and greatest from all of us,” Bergman explains. “I know when Liz introduces a new fragrance or I make a new design, we show it in our shop first! And we are here everyday to meet our customers, get input from them, answer questions, give them insights into how something is made.”

In fact, on Thursdays during the farmers market, she offered free fun kids activities, occasional workshops and hosted a series of visiting jewelers.

“It’s so wonderful to meet the person who made what you are buying! You realize you are truly supporting someone!”

Nikky Bergman Jewelry at Artists’ Row is located at 24 New Derby Street, Salem. For info go to www.nikkybergman.com or call 401-524-2412.

Sep 182015

Switching personalities holds evil sway over the current production for Salem Theatre; an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Thing at the Doorstep” will be running now through Oct. 4th, thus ushering in the Halloween season for Salem.

Daniel Upton has shot his best friend, Edward Pickman Derby, six times through the head, yet claims that he is not a murderer. In this tale of dread adapted from the story by H.P. Lovecraft, the eldritch tendrils of cosmic horror creep closer to our civilized world than ever imagined. Is Edward Derby’s wife more than she appears? What secrets is he keeping from his best friend?

Mystery. Suspense. Compelling relationships explored. Something not of this world.

The short story, written by Lovecraft in August 1933 and first published in January 1937 has been re-designed for the stage by Isaiah Plovnik who is also directing.

But few people realize at first the numerous connections to Salem that filter through all of Lovecraft’s work, and especially this one.

According to the siteThing on Doorstep Gothic Horror Stories, “Lovecraft first visited Salem in April, 1923 and came back often. It’s believed that he modeled the fictional town of Arkham on Salem, and was no doubt struck by the staid, colonial architecture, as well as the particularly colorful family names.”

Consider the names of characters in “The Thing at the Doorstep”… Upton, Pickman and Derby are old Salem names.

Also, Richard Upton Pickman is the title character of “Pickman’s Model.”

Plus, it is the Nathaniel Derby Pickman Foundation which underwrites the Antarctic expedition in “At the Mountains of Madness.”

Let’s also point out the Crowninshield House in “The Thing on the Doorstep” was modeled on the real Crowninshield-Bentley House in Salem, MA.

The production will crawl across the stage at 90 Lafayette Street.

September 17 – October 4
Thursdays*, Fridays, Saturdays at 7:30pm
Sundays at 3pm
*No Performance Thursday, September 24

For ticket info, call 978-790-8546 or salemtheatre.com

Aug 132015

Mayor’s Night Out 2014 – Photo Credit Social Palates

Let’s face it, our Mayor, Kimberley Driscoll, is a popular political figure. She is outspoken when need be. She listens to people in the community. And she is accessible. Point in fact, the annual event called Mayor’s Night Out, which takes place this year on Monday, Aug. 17th from 5-7pm.

And… YOU have the select opportunity to join Salem Main Streets and Mayor Kimberley Driscoll during this special tour of three of downtown Salem’s hot dining spots, this year with a focus on restaurants that feature products from the Salem Farmers’ Market!

“This is really such a great event, and I’m very excited this year that we’re highlighting restaurants who regularly source ingredients from the Farmers’ Market,” says Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets. “We see so many of our local chefs down at the Market every week shopping for their menus that it was hard to pick just three for this year – that said, I think we’ve selected a killer lineup!”

And that lineup is…

5:00 – 5:30 – Firenze Trattoria
5:45 – 6:15 – The Naumkeag Ordinary
6:30 – 7:00 – Opus

Mayor’s Night Out is a unique opportunity to spend time with Mayor Driscoll, ask questions, offer comments, ask her to pass a napkin or if she’d like a refill on her beverage, etc. Low key, but lively, the walking tour of three dining establishments offers a fun time for those who reserve a spot quickly.

Tickets are $25 to participate with passed hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar at each stop. Tickets MUST be reserved in advance by emailing kylie@salemmainstreets.org, calling 978-744-0004 x15, or purchasing in person at our office 265 Essex Street, Suite 101.

Proceeds from Mayor’s Night Out support the efforts of Salem Main Streets. Our mission is the continued revitalization of downtown Salem as a vibrant, year-round, retail, dining and cultural destination through business retention, recruitment, and the promotion of the downtown district. Other SMS events include the Salem Farmers’ Market, Salem Arts Festival, Salem’s So Sweet, and the Ice Scream Bowl.

Jul 292015

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Those aren’t our sentiments this time. Those words are a key part of a headline and the actual first sentence in a 7/28/15 Huffington Post blog. That’s right. The social media powerhouse, Huffington Post referred to life at the Farmers’ Market as something important to the community. We know that here in Salem where regular attendees to our Thursday Farmers’ Market (3-7pm in Derby Square) don’t just grab & go. They stay and chat with the farmers and vendors. There is a community connection that flows over the counter.

Blogger Teri Turner reinforces that “I love talking to the farmers-who awakened three hours before I did-about what they grow, and what’s in season.” Her blog also focuses on the fact that her area Farmers’ Markets give a great deal of space to something not often seen at FM: items from the ocean.

And besides fruits and veggies, the Salem Farmers’ Market also has fresh seafood: including lobsters! You actually can bring home your personal “catch of the day” in a bargain buy!

If you’ve never been to our Farmers’ Market, mark your calendar for an entertaining and informative experience, Thursday from 3-7pm in Derby Square. Fruits, vegetables, flowers, bread, seafood, music and more.

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