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    Smash a Pumpkin – Win a prize


    Pumpkin Smash at the Portsmouth Farmers Market
    A crowd gathers to cheer on a young pumpkin smasher

    Get ready, ’cause this Saturday is the annual Pumpkin Smash at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market!

    Every year, the Pumpkin Smash consumes a quadrant of the Farmers’ Market with squash pummeling and raucous destruction, all in the name of Halloween fun.

    This highly interactive fundraiser supports the Portsmouth Halloween Parade. For a $5 donation, smashers can choose their pumpkin and their weapon and give it their best shot. Successful smashers get their pick from the prize table.

    Testing the effectiveness of the wooden hammer
    Here we see the stunning effectiveness of the wooden hammer, a fine choice from the smashing arsenal that includes assorted sized mallets and bats.


    Pumpkins before and after
    Pumpkins: before and after

    Check out the PHP Facebook page for photos and be sure to post pics on Saturday if you’re smashing. We’ll be posting them too on the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market Facebook page.

    prize goggles
    To the victor goes – well, for this victor, a fine pair of hypnotizing goggles. The spoils go back to the farm to feed the pigs.


    Next Week – Last market days of the season

    For continuing Halloween fun, come to our Halloween Market in Exeter next Thursday, October 30th. It’s the final Exeter Farmers’ Market of the season and costumes are definitely encouraged.

    The final Portsmouth Farmers’ Market closes out the season next Saturday, November 1st. Can you believe it? One more week to take advantage of the open air markets and stock up!

    Have a great week & we’ll see you at market!
    October 22nd, 2014

    Bells, Buckets and Belts

    Traditional leather craft at market

    Diane Louise Paul
    Diane Louise Paul demonstrates her stitching technique at the Exeter Farmers’ Market

    It’s been a busy year for Diane Louise Paul, a local craftsperson and familiar face at the SGA Farmers’ Markets. Diane is internationally recognized for her pre-Civil War heritage leather work. When she is not demonstrating how to stitch leather belts at the Exeter or Portsmouth Farmers’ Market, she is traveling across the country with her exceptional work.

    Earlier this year, Diane presented a display of her antique leather working tools in Virginia for the International Bell Association. “It was a big hit,” Diane says. She’s been asked back next year to their conference in Missouri to lead a seminar on how to preserve antique sleigh bells. “It’s a big thing to be asked to do a talk in front of this group of international bell people.”

    The American Bell Association featured Diane in a recent edition of The Bell Tower Magazine. The article describes a part of her history in the craft:

    Her fascination with sleigh bells goes back to the day, years ago, when she went to an antique auction to get sleigh bells for her horse, Missy. While waiting for the bells to be auctioned, she studied how the sleigh bell set was made.

    As it turned out, she was outbid for the sleigh bell set (it sold to the highest bid paid that year for sleigh bells in New England), but Diane was hooked. She went home, bought sleigh bells… and started making her own.

    See the full article here.

    For the eleventh year in a row, Diane was given the highest award as a traditional artisan in the Directory of Traditional American Crafts, as judged by Early American Life’s panel of national experts.

    leather tools
    Display of traditional leather tools that Diane uses

    Diane was also included in an article by the Hippo, featuring a group of NH artists. They fill in more of Diane’s early history:

    Before she was a leather artisan, Diane Louise Paul raced horses at Rockingham Park. Naturally, she came across leather items all the time — chaps, straps, sleigh bells, you name it. On occasion, she came across very badly made items. One day in the mid-1980’s, when her chaps needed replacing, she took matters into her own hands. She rented an antique sewing machine and got to work.

    “The very first pair I made, I wore,” Paul said… People noticed quickly. Many other riders were facing the same problem — worn-down or broken leather gear — and requested help. “They used to give me things to practice on, and I repaired their stuff. It’s how I taught myself: I took things apart, repaired them, and put them back together,” Paul said.

    See Hippo article here.

    Diane will be at both the Exeter Farmers’ Market and Portsmouth Farmers’ Market this week. Stop by and ask her about the custom dog collar and leash that Blue buffalo dog food company ordered to use in their next dog food commercial!


    October Events – Save the Date

    Saturday, October 25th is the annual Pumpkin Smash at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market, in support of the Portsmouth Halloween Parade.

    Thursday, October 30th, come to our Halloween Market in Exeter – celebrate the holiday in style and join us in costume at the Farmers’ Market.

    Stay tuned for more details on these October events in upcoming newsletters.

    Have a great week & we’ll see you at market!

    October 15th, 2014

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