Largest New England Farmers Market
- trev80 Sep 5, 2007 07:08 AM
Just wondering what the largest farmers market in NE is.
I've heard Brattleboro Vermont.
I heard that as well – actually I read about it in the Boston Globe. I ended up doing a day trip up to Vermont and stop in Brattleboro for the farmers market. It was nice – I would go back but it did not seem that big to me. When I think of a Farmer’s Market I think of the Haymarket downtown, by Quincy Market. I have not been to the Haymarket since I was a kid but I remember how big it was - and I remember the retailers or farmers (whatever they are called) yelling at us to buy their produce. I have been in search for a good farmers market with fresh, local and organic produce…
Sorry, Haymarket is not a farmers market. It's a place where the produce wholesalers bring their leftover produce that won't hold until next week. That could mean perfectly ripe fruit/veg for a good price, or bait and switch and you get the composting item in a paper bag.
I've heard Brattleboro is bib, too. Brookline has a great one also.
I shopped in Haymarket two years ago during a visit. There are a lot of vendors selling the same things. Last summer I great enjoyed the farmers market in Brunswick ME where there were several bakers, a lady selling Middle Eastern foods, several fruit and/or vegetable sellers, a vendor selling a great variety of herbs plants, and I've forgotten what else. We bought fresh shitake mushrooms to add to some leftover rice. Fresh biscuits to go with some fresh strawberries. An interesting bread to try. A small pie for dessert. Fresh veggies. Several herb plants. I think it's variety that counts, not the quantity of vendors. There's a small market near me where I am able to purchase plants, fruits, baked goods, eggs, veggies, etc. I think it's also important to be able to find a surprise like an heirloom tomato you've never tried or unusual herb. I think that keeps things interesting. I like knowing the farmer experiments. If I want same old/same old, I can keep going to the supermarket.
I wouldn't call this one -large- but I think it's a really great farmer's market. The one in Montpelier every Saturday through the season is fantastic. There's a variety of people selling ethnic foods (Pakistani, Jamaican, Indian, Chinese) as well as a lot of local produce, baked goods, and artwork. There's usually some sort of performance as well. Very nice community vibe. :)
I was at the Brattleboro market this past Saturday. There were five or six different vegetable vendors, in addition to many prepared food vendors, and various jewelry, soap, and massage sellers. It was bigger than any farmer's market I've ever been to, and pretty much covered all the bases as far as in-season produce goes. Although it seemed the selection of heirloom tomatoes was not large- I've seen a bigger selection at my local farmstand, Lull Farm in Hollis/Milford NH. Maybe the heirlooms didn't make it to the market because they don't travel well.
Later we hit a few farmstands up Rte. 5. Walker Farm in Dummerston had a decent but not extensive produce selection, and fabulous still-warm bread. Livewater Farm in Westminster West turned out to be a garlic/ dairy operation, where locals go for fresh milk at 4 in the afternoon. The garlic lady doesn't usually sell out of the farm, but goes to the Chester farmer's market. She very kindly let us browse her products though, since we were there, and we bought some great Music garlic, and two beautiful quart jars of dilly beans and pickled garlic, which we haven't tried yet. She had pickled garlic scapes, too.
A little further up Rte. 5, we stopped at the Harlow Sugar House, and the Harlow Farm Stand. The two are not related. The first has apples, lots of maple sugar products, a large selection of State of Maine brand beans, and Vermont cheeses, which seemed to be marked up a little higher than at other places. The second had a limited produce selection, a cafe that looked very nice, some smoked meats, a good cheese selection, and various other gourmet products.
We planned our itinerary based on the Vermont state website:
I'm not sure how big it is, but I went to the Farmer's Market in Norwich, VT a few weeks ago - quite a few sellers -- I'd say about 8 or 9 farms selling fresh veggies, many other booths selling things like canned fiddleheads, fresh organic meat, bread and pastries, sausage, fresh fruit, and other goodies.
I'm not sure exactly where it's located as the local we were visitng was the one driving, but I know it wasn't far from the center of town. It was a great experience -- I wish I had one of those close by to me.
There's a very good market in Londonderry, VT, on Saturdays through Columbus Day (9 – 1). ±45 vendors – at least 10 farmers, all growing organically, plus an excellent French charcutiere (Pascal), 4 cheesemakers (Consider Bardwell, Woodcock Farm, Taylor Farm, and West River Creamery), free range pork and beef from Tilldale Farm, lots of prepared foods, baked goods, preserves/pickles, wild-crafted herbal remedies, and crafts (including 3 of the state's eminent glass blowers: Hot Glass, Vitriesse, and Tsuga Studios).
The market is at the junction of Routes 11 and 100; if you drive into Londonderry on a Saturday morning, you can't miss it.