Best of Local Food --> Westford, MA and environs
I am from San Francisco, and here I write about the importance of buying local and sustainably grown food, and highlight farmers and farmers markets in the area.
This week, I am staying with friends in Westford, MA and would love to find the best that the area has to offer in terms of local produce, local meats, farmers' markets, farmstands, or restaurants featuring local purveyors. Any ideas? I am willing to drive a ways, so the request is not too tied to Westford.
I'm in Littleton, just next door to Westford. This is my list of favorites (far from complete, I'm always looking for new sources).
Local meat - Blood Farm in Groton. They raise their own pigs and cattle, run a USDA-inspected butcher and are certified halaal. We get most of our meat from them.
Farmers markets - plenty in the area as well as farmstands, small and large. I've gone to the markets in Groton (Friday afternoons) and Maynard (Saturday mornings) but my favorite is probably Waltham (Saturday mornings) - they have more produce to offer. But all are worth a visit to see good local products.
Farmstands - I'm lazy so I go to the ones close to home, on Route 119 in Littleton. There are 3 close together on the road from Littleton to Groton and I can get local tomatoes, milk (Springdell), corn etc. from these. There are plenty all around the area. Your friends may be able to suggest places to visit. Verrill Farm in Concord and Parlee Farm in Chelmsford both have good selections. They both have websites with directions and information. Verrill supplies some of the top restaurants in Boston.
Westford boasts two fine farmstands that feature local (or almost local) produce: Stony Brook Acres at the intersection of Depot St. & Plain Rd, & Hill's Orchard, a little harder to find but worth it, at 4 Hunt Rd, near the intersection with Chamberlain Rd.
There's a farmers market in downtown Lowell every Friday at the JFK plaza. I've never been so can't vouch for quality.
I don't know which restaurants in the area offer locally grown food. I've heard good things about a fairly new place, Belle's Bistro, on Littleton Road (rte. 110) in Westford at Power Road. For my money, the best area restaurant is Number 5 Strawberry Hill in Acton (on the corner of rte. 2A).
And no report about Westford would be complete without mentioning Kimball Farm, which used to be a simple ice cream stand on Littleton Road (at the Littleton end) but has grown into a small amusement park. When the fruit is in season, they offer fresh peach ice cream & wonderful raspberry sundaes. You can call ahead to find out what they've got (978-486-3891).
Hope you have a great time in Westford!