Categorized | Community

Beyond Food: Hayground Farmers’ Market Expands

Posted on 20 August 2010


“Emily and I and some of the farmers view this as the lost town square,” Michael Denslow remarked of the Community Farmers’ Market at the Hayground School. Denslow and his wife Emily started the market last season. The market has quickly flourished beyond its original intent into a place where people can listen to live music, make a donation to a local charity, and attend a book reception — all while picking up ingredients for dinner. Denslow said the image of the historic town square, with people shopping, chatting and participating in other activities, is invoked at the farmers’ market.

Above: A scene from the Community Farmers’ Market at Hayground.

In addition to food, Denslow hosts an open mic. Recently, Paul Simon’s young son Adrian held an acoustic session with two other musicians. Denslow also reserves a booth for local not-for-profit organizations like Last Chance Animal Rescue Fund, which showed off puppies available for adoption. On another occasion, the family of a boy with autism set up a lemonade stand to raise funds for autism awareness.

In the coming days and weeks, the Farmers’ Market at the Hayground School will host a variety of events to round out the local shopping experience. This Friday, August 20, artist Amelia Garretson-Persans will launch her latest art book project, “House Stories.”


Drawing inspiration from a photo album she unearthed in her parent’s home, Garretson-Persans blended these photos with her own memories and family lore into a collection of mixed media drawings and accompanying short essays. While studying fine arts and the humanities in college in Montreal, Garretson-Persans attended a bookmaking class. Spending countless hours on her work, Garretson-Persans, who now lives in Noyac with her fiancée, says her books walked the line between being a fine art object and a piece of literature. Her drawings weren’t necessarily literal and were more associative, allowing the viewer to insert their own connotations. The photographs she referenced for her work depicted her parents at around the same point of their lives: in their early twenties, newly married and setting up house.

“I thought, ‘This is where I am,’” Garretson-Persans said. “I looked at that perspective of making a home.”

While working on her pieces, which combine ink, watercolor and other materials on recycled paper, Garretson-Persans also runs Harbor Small Batch, a baked goods company, with her business partner Stacy Dermont. They operate a stand at the farmers’ market, which connected her with Michael and Emily Denslow.

Starting at 4:30 p.m., Friday’s book launch will include free cupcakes, made specially by Harbor Small Batch, and the sounds of Moto-Wrays. Garretson-Persans has self-published a series of 50 “House Stories” books, priced at $25 each. A limited edition, with hand screen-printed covers, of 25 will be sold for $50 a piece.

On Sunday, August 22, vendors from the farmers’ market will sell their wares at “Young People Speak: Coast to Coast,” a musical rally organized by a group of local youths called The Wild Strawberries. The event is presented in conjunction with the Hayground Forum, which organizes workshops for local youths, and is sponsored by the Young Peoples Project, an education and youth leadership organization, and the People Speak, an educational project based on the work of historian Howard Zinn.

“By uniting the East and Gulf Coasts through music and spirit, reflecting on the five year anniversary of Katrina, and the damage caused by the recent oil spill, along with issues in our own communities, we are summoning our young people to dance, speak out and organize,” said organizer Ella Engel Snow.

The event will include the sounds of Hot Eight Brass Band from New Orleans, whose music is featured on the HBO series “Treme.” Other performers include Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra, the ThunderBird Sisters of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, DJ Vibe, the Glazzies, the Dylan Carroza Experience and other young local musicians. Local individuals representing different communities on the East End will read from Howard Zinn’s “Voices of a People’s History of the United States.”

The event will be hosted from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Hayground School. A $10 admission per person is suggested, and donations will be used to support local youth initiatives.

The farmers’ market will culminate in a community potluck on August 27. Members of the community are encouraged to buy produce at the market and stay after for grilling and live music

“It will be like a get together,” Denslow explained.

The Hayground School is located at 151 Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton. For more information visit

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