On Sunday, Auburn’s first Farmers’ & Cultural Market took place at the Riley-Pappas Performance Pavilion in the Pappas Recreational Complex. Under sunny skies and comfortable conditions, well over 300 people attended to examine and purchase everything from honey to beef and from soaps to jewelry.

The one thing that was largely missing was fresh fruit and vegetables after the scheduled farm had to pull out at the last minute, but there will be at least one farm represented at the next market on July 30th. Live music is also planned for this event. Markets on the last Sunday of the month are planned through October, and Pakachoag Church will host the event in the event of bad weather.

The Farmers’ & Cultural Market has three sponsors: Pakachoag Church, the Town of Auburn through its Recreation and Culture department, and the Auburn Cultural Council. Recreation and Culture Director Kristen Pappas said on Sunday, “This is the place to be.” Pakachoag Pastor Dennis Knight was also very pleased as the market got busier, and Cultural Council Chair Joe Spano said, “I couldn’t be happier.”

John Hedly who has raised bees on Rice Rd. for years and sells some fantastic honey said bee keeping is gaining in popularity which is good for bees and the many plants and flowers they pollenate. He said the Worcester County Bee Keepers’ annual school regularly fills up early with 300 students. He was selling a lot of honey at the market.

Local maple sugar processor Bruce Hopper who boils down sap in his backyard sugar shack on Central St. was also doing a brisk business at the market. His business, “Pure BS Maple Shack”, always draws some glances because of the name alone, but the product is worthy of a sampling and probably a purchase.

This was a great start to a great idea, and things can only get better as the season continues.