SCARBOROUGH — From now through the last Sunday in October, the Scarborough Farmers’ Market is a way for the public to shop locally and learn a bit about how their products are grown or crafted.

Open in the parking lot on 259 U.S. Route 1, in front of Municipal Building and adjacent to the new Public Safety Building, the market has doubled in size over the years, now at 20 vendors, Rebecca Pirone, the market’s onsite manager said.

The farmers’ market is open every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Pirone said that customers have been happy that vendors and staff have been abiding by health guidelines. Signs as people enter ask that customers wear a mask at all times, too.

Volunteer town staff are available to help customers, like assisting the elderly with carrying groceries back to their cars, Pirone said.

“The Town of Scarborough has been really good to us,” she said.

People on July 19 were walking under the hot sun and browsing through farm-fresh vegetables, local baked goods, and other assortments of treats and crafted goods.

The vendors at the market come from various communities in Maine, many vendors were offering unique products, from goat milk soaps to pumpkin seed milk.

Local Babe Food is one of the vendors at the Scarborough Farmers’ Market. On July 19, owner Heather Rose was selling doughnuts, mini pancake bites, and fresh vegetables from local farmers. She said that she “makes food for all ages,” like soft, mushy food for toddlers. Catherine Bart/Leader

Heather Rose of Local Babe Food opened up her store in Portland in May of 2020, and she said that she’s found the Scarborough Farmers’ Market to be a friendly and inviting place.

“A lot of folks are interested in supporting local food,” she said.

Local Babe Food’s stand at the Scarborough Farmers’ Market on July 19 was selling bite-sized pancakes that came in different flavors and were in reusable pouches. Catherine Bart/Leader

Local Babe Food makes healthy soft foods for toddlers and snacks for all ages, Rose said. During the day of July 19, Rose was showing Scarborough Farmers’ Market patrons fresh doughnuts, jarred fruits, and bite-sized pancakes that came in reusable pouches.

Solange Leavitt of Noisy Acres Farm started making her own soap out of goat’s milk with home-grown herbs and spices for her son, who has sensitive skin and allergies, and then began selling the product. Noisy Acres Farm is based out of Buxton and was selling products on July 19 at the Scarborough Farmers’ Market. Catherine Bart/Leader

Noisy Acres Farm’s owner Solange Leavitt said that she loves talking with customers at the Scarborough Farmers’ Market the most. Her business makes all-natural soap from goat’s milk and homegrown spices and herbs.

“It seems like everyone’s wearing a mask, and people are happy to get out and about,” she said.

Leavitt’s business is out of Buxton, she said, and she finds many customers and market visitors who are surprised at seeing soap made from goat’s milk.

“My son has allergies and eczema, so that’s why we’re making our own soaps,” she said.

On July 19, Leavitt was selling a new type of soap, called Zebra Stripes.

During her first day at the Scarborough Farmers’ Market, Alyssa Pittera, owner of The Salty Rose in Portland, was selling milk made from pepitas, or pumpkin seeds.

Pittera never liked milk as a child, favoring alternatives with natural ingredients, so she often made her own milk, she said. One day, she wanted to add milk to coffee and only had pepitas in the cupboard, which she liked to use for other recipes.

“I tried it, and I was like, ‘Oh my god! This is so good,'” she said.

Pepita milk is also sustainable, and the pumpkins she uses to get the pepita seeds are grown locally in New England, Pittera said. Also, it can be beneficial for those following a vegan diet because that the milk has zinc, which many vegan foods are lacking, and fewer people have pumpkin allergies, so those with soy or nut allergies can have a milk substitute option.

The Salty Rose, based in Portland, was at the Scarborough Farmers’ Market for the first time on July 19. Catherine Bart/Leader

A benefit to farmers’ markets is the ability for the vendor to explain a product, Pittera said. Most customers are curious about what pepita milk is when they see A Salty Rose’s stand and having a real person to answer questions helps spread the word.

“Having me be here to explain is valuable,” she said. “It’s such a blessing in that way — I love local food networks.”

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