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Boston Farmers' Markets

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thefatkid Jul 30, 2011 08:41 AM

Hi All--

I recently moved to Boston by way of NYC, San Francisco and Atlanta. I live in Brookline, but work in downtown Boston. In reviewing this board's postings and others, including:

http://massnrc.org/farmlocator/map.aspx

I'm quickly discovering there is a dearth of options for Saturday markets with relatively 'reasonable' hours (7 am - 7 pm), especially for the summer. For working folks, the weekday schedules are tough to accomodate. Granted, I've been spoiled by NYC's Union Square Farmers' Market and the too numerous to count in SF/Bay Area, including the Ferry Building and Atlanta's Int'l Farmers' Market, but is Boston's farmers' market scene that lacking?

I'm not in-tune with the New England food scene/culture, but I always assumed there was a rich one to be discovered (i.e. Vermont maple syrup, Maine/Boston seafood, etc.). Are there not definitive go-to destinations for such bounty in/around the Boston area? I'm currently researching the benefits of joining a local CSA as well, but the thought of being able to walk/peruse an open air farmers' market on a beautiful weekend afternoon is my idea of time well spent. Your thoughts are appreciated.

B

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    skippy66 RE: thefatkid Jul 30, 2011 09:13 AM

    Have you been to Allandale Farm? It's not a farmers' market but an actual farm in Brookline. I used to go there all the time when I lived in the area.

    http://www.allandalefarm.com/

    1. chefematician RE: thefatkid Jul 30, 2011 09:28 AM

      Check out this website.

      http://www.massfarmersmarkets.org/

      I know there's a Saturday market in Roslindale, but it finishes quite early. All the days and times of other markets in the area will be listed on the site above.

      Also, there is SOWA on Sundays. That may be closer to what you're looking for.

      http://www.sowaopenmarket.com/

      1. BostonZest RE: thefatkid Jul 30, 2011 09:32 AM

        You may be better off using the Mass Farmers Market site to locate the weekend markets.

        http://www.massfarmersmarkets.org/FMF...

        Under "find" pick market and then enter a zipcode and the day of the week. It will give you a full list of markets that are running on each day. I tried your zip and found a better result with a central Boston zipcode. Use 02116.

        You might enjoy the SoWa market in Boston's South End on Sundays. It is a combo arts, crafts, farmers, food truck fest.
        http://www.sowaopenmarket.com/

        And, there is a nice little market in Harvard Square on Sundays.

        On Saturdays there are a couple of my favorite market destinations.

        Roslindale Village has a nice little market but since you love food, the village offers other delights. A GREAT bakery, cheese shop, and more. This is one you may want to research and spend some time exploring.
        http://www.roslindale.net/farmersmarket/

        Union Square in Somerville is another small saturday market with a great surrounding food community, this one international. Again, enjoy the morning market then explore the neighborhood.

        http://unionsquaremain.org/food/farme...
        http://unionsquaremain.org/food/other...

        And, if you have reason to be in Cambridge on Saturday, there is a small market near Trader Joes in Cambridgeport.

        Penny
        http://www.bostonzest.com/

        7 Replies
        1. re: BostonZest
          BlueMagic RE: BostonZest Jul 30, 2011 09:41 AM

          Are you in Boston? There was a pretty good sized farmer's market set up that I could see across the Greenway from the corner of Hanover and Cross...I am sure someone with better knowledge can tell us what it was.

          1. re: BlueMagic
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            BJK RE: BlueMagic Jul 30, 2011 10:02 AM

            If you're referring to Haymarket, it is most certainly not a farmer's market. Open air produce, yes. Local, straight from the farm produce, not even close.

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            Haymarket
            Blackstone St, Boston, MA

            1. re: BJK
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              lergnom RE: BJK Jul 30, 2011 12:44 PM

              You can do very well at Haymarket once you've seen the same vendors over and over. Much of the produce this time of year is good and very cheap. Some of it does come from local farms, but you have to recognize it because that isn't trumpeted. I know one farmer who gets cheesed off when he sees stuff bought from him by a wholesaler then ending up at Haymarket. Yesterday, I bought 4 beautiful cubanelles for $1, 2 nice red peppers for $1.50, some genuine carrots - with tops - for $1, haricot vert in a package for $1, cilantro & parsley, 10 lemons for $1. I'm very careful buying fruit but they have generally the same quality berries as you get in the grocery stores. The squash prices are unbeatable.

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              Haymarket
              Blackstone St, Boston, MA

              1. re: lergnom
                BostonZest RE: lergnom Jul 30, 2011 01:33 PM

                Wouldn't it be great if Haymarket vendors had to disclose the source of their product the way farmers at farmers' markets do and the date it was picked? Wonder how good a deal it would seem then?

                They do get great prices on the produce left at the wholesale markets because the supermarkets and restaurants didn't buy it. As long as you understand all the things that are different about Haymarket and Farmers' Markets and you are able to keep them from using any of their tricks on you because they know you, you MAY get a deal.

                But, I will still question the nutritional value of what they are selling. Nutrition declines with every day a piece of produce is bouncing around. Some of the stuff sold one step up from Haymarket, in big chain supermarkets, is too old to deliver much nutrition.

                Penny
                http://www.bostonzest.com/

                1. re: BostonZest
                  BlueMagic RE: BostonZest Jul 30, 2011 01:39 PM

                  That's interesting and thanks for the information. It makes sense that it was Haymarket and I didn't cross over because time did not permit. I guess being from the suburbs, when I see that type of scene I assume Farmers Market because you would never see that otherwise. I think local is best . Thankfully there is no shortage of farmer's markets outside of the city.

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                  Haymarket
                  Blackstone St, Boston, MA

                  1. re: BostonZest
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                    lergnom RE: BostonZest Jul 31, 2011 07:11 AM

                    Oh dear, tricks? Really? Here's how it works in the modern era: you pick your own stuff, with your hands, and the vendor hands you a bag for it. If the vendor doesn't let you pick your stuff, you walk away. OR, and here's the weird part, you can actually trust many of them to pick for you. That takes more of a relationship.

                    I don't mean to pick a fight, but to worry about nutrition in the age of vegetables considering what people actually eat in America is ...

            2. re: BostonZest
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              czarp RE: BostonZest Jul 31, 2011 08:28 PM

              +1 on the recommendation for Union Square in Somerville. They have a nice variety of stands, and often there is someone playing music. Sherman Cafe or Bloc 11 are great places to get your pre- or post-market coffee fix.

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              Bloc 11 Cafe
              11 Bow St, Somerville, MA 02143

            3. s
              stomachofsteel RE: thefatkid Jul 30, 2011 11:38 AM

              I know it's not the same as perusing an open air farmers' market on a beautiful weekend afternoon, but if you work downtown, you may be able to make it to one of the downtown week-day markets on your lunch break or before heading home at the end of the day. Boston Public Market runs nice farmer's markets at Dewey Square and City Hall, which are convenient to the financial district:
              http://www.bostonpublicmarket.org/ind...

              1. t
                thefatkid RE: thefatkid Jul 30, 2011 08:01 PM

                Thank you all for the great suggestions. That should be enough to get me started, but I certainly welcome any ongoing suggestions.

                1 Reply
                1. re: thefatkid
                  BostonZest RE: thefatkid Aug 1, 2011 05:36 AM

                  Just posted the August Farmers' Market, CSA, Farm Stand post. That may give you a few new ideas.

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/799112

                2. b
                  bear RE: thefatkid Jul 31, 2011 06:27 AM

                  It's a bit of a hike for you, but you can hop on the commuter rail out to the Waltham market on Saturdays. Nice market and close to the train.

                  1. t
                    teezeetoo RE: thefatkid Jul 31, 2011 06:34 AM

                    we don't have the wonderful markets of SF or anything like Union Square. We do have some good local options. Watertown: explore the excellent Armenian markets which carry fine produce, spices, olives, etc. such as Arax and Severn. Also in Watertown, shop at Russos for very good produce, deli, flowers, cheese (some local, some not). Visit our Russian markets: Bazaar and Baza are the two best. Check out Verril Farms and Wilson Farms. And for seafood, head to Cambridge to New Deal where you will find Boston's best. Good luck and happy eating.

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                    Wilson Farm
                    10 Pleasant St, Lexington, MA 02421

                    Baza
                    30 Tower Road, Newton, MA 02464

                    1. dmullin699 RE: thefatkid Aug 4, 2011 06:54 PM

                      The Farmer's Market in Dorchester Lower Mills is on Thursdays, but they often stay open until 7pm or so. Some items are pricey, but if you are only buying for 1 or 2, the quality is worth it.

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