Westfield has a unique charm that, even after living here for years, can sometimes take you completely by surprise. Maybe it’s unexpectedly catching the sunset over Lake Erie as you descend into the village on Rt. 394 from Mayville; or being taken by surprise by the sweet smell of concords as you walk on Main Street during the grape harvest.
But it’s the people who live here and their tireless work to make Westfield both a vital hometown and a tourist destination that contributes to Westfield’s allure just as much as the rich scenery. Westfield may be a quiet little town, but it’s a quiet little town with a whole lot going on. A glance at the Calendar of Events on this website gives you an idea of just how much Westfield has to offer.
Attending any one of these events provides a glimpse into the sense of community that makes Westfield unique. Collectively over time the events and celebrations bring people and families together. Social scientist Robert Putnam, in his book “Better Together: Restoring the American Community”, recognizes the need for the type of continuing engagement that a full slate of community events catering to every demographic provides. “Again and again, we find that one key to creating social capital is to build in redundancy of contact,” notes Putnam. “Common spaces for commonplace encounters are prerequisites for common conversations and common debate.”
A quintessential example of that type of “common space” is Moore Park and the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings offers an opportunity for the community to come together to meet and chat and to support local farmers and artists.
Farmers markets inevitably take on the character of the community in which they are held. Urban markets can be bustling and lively. In Westfield, the market is laid-back and friendly.
It offers seasonal fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs from local farmers and growers as well as the works of local artists who find inspiration in the beauty of the region. Local Amish hand-crafted baskets, regional wines, homemade baked goods, hand-spun yarns, locally produced beauty products, the list goes on. There is food to eat, music to enjoy and activities for kids.
As the market continues it is clear that it has, in its relatively brief existence, become an integral part of the Westfield community. As many people attended opening day at the market this year as attended the busiest Saturdays last year and the market is poised for continued growth. There are more vendors with more offerings than ever before.
Statistics illustrate time and time again that a family that eats together is stronger and more focused. Slowing down, sharing food and spending time has the power to bring people together. The farmers market is proof positive that that principle applies not only to families, but to communities as well. Buying local foods and supporting local growers is a great investment in your health, the environment and the local economy. On top of it all, you just might run into some old friends and meet a few new ones.
The Westfield Farmers Market is held Saturday mornings from June to October in Moore Park, located at the corner of Main Street (Rt. 20) and Portage Street (Rt. 394).
Sara F. Herrmann is a freelance writer and editor of www.westfieldny.com. She lives in Westfield with her husband Alan.