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Best Sat am Boston market

itryalot Jul 24, 2013 06:16 AM

We are early risers and would love to walk around a farmer's market on a Sat am. We have a car but would like to stay in town.

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  1. Allstonian Jul 24, 2013 06:38 AM

    Not sure how early you mean. Union Square Somerville opens at 9. The Waltham farmer's market is another good one and opens at 9:30. There's not much on Saturdays in Boston proper, and many don't open until 11 or 12.

    There's a good website here: http://www.massfarmersmarkets.org/FMF...
    You can search for markets on a specific day of the week.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Allstonian
      itryalot Jul 24, 2013 07:20 AM

      Thanks; that is actually late. By early, we're talking 6am...

      1. re: itryalot
        C. Hamster Jul 24, 2013 07:38 AM

        Farmers markets around Boston never open that early.

        Like Allstonian says, many of the best ones open at 11.

        1. re: C. Hamster
          itryalot Jul 24, 2013 11:06 AM

          Wow; I am shocked. I wonder why when so many other cities' markets open so early? Will check a few out.

          1. re: itryalot
            Allstonian Jul 24, 2013 11:44 AM

            The model of farmer's markets in the Boston area is to have smaller markets in different neighborhoods, once or twice a week (although some like Copley, City Hall Plaza, and Brookline are bigger.)

            In general, the weekday ones cater to workers on their lunch breaks and folks shopping after work, and they run from late morning to sunset. Some of the weekend markets start earlier, but honestly, why should they be starting at 6? In my experience at least there aren't many people doing their grocery shopping at that hour.

            Okay, Saint Paul's market does start at 6, but its size also leaves any of the Boston markets in the dust - I'd say that the Saturday market in downtown Saint Paul is easily 4 to 5 times the size of the biggest markets in Boston. If you're expecting something like that here, you are going to be sadly disappointed.

            1. re: Allstonian
              itryalot Jul 24, 2013 01:29 PM

              Interesting...just wondered why the difference compared to a few I've been to (NYC, Chicago, San Fran, LA). They don't have to and different cities have different practices. No biggie.

              1. re: itryalot
                kimfair1 Jul 24, 2013 02:07 PM

                Given the 4 cities you list, you have 3 (NYC,Chicago, LA) which are MUCH bigger in size and population than Boston, and the one on par with Boston in size (SF) is one of the foodiest cities I've ever been to (AND they have so much great local produce available that we don't have).

                I work at a hospital, and so am often driving into work (in the city) on the weekends at between 6 and 6:30am, and it's not unusual for me to only see 5-10 other cars on the 2+ mile drive at that hour. We're a pseudo- Ben Franklin city, early to bed, late to rise!

                1. re: kimfair1
                  itryalot Jul 24, 2013 06:35 PM

                  Point taken! I guess I was thinking you all did have great produce (I just haven't seen any at a farmer's market). Early to bed and early to rise is partially true for me. Late to bed, early to rise!

                2. re: itryalot
                  VintageMolly Jul 24, 2013 02:12 PM

                  Also, in those cities, markets that open that early are doing so to cater to chefs shopping the market. I don't think there's a lot of demand for that in Boston, since the number of farms that have the kind of produce chef-driven restaurants want is relatively small, and people just tend to have relationships with the purveyors.

                  1. re: VintageMolly
                    itryalot Jul 24, 2013 06:36 PM

                    You're right; we often see chefs shopping in those other cities.

                    1. re: itryalot
                      femmevox Jul 25, 2013 05:54 PM

                      The farmers I know who sell at farmers' markets in the Boston area actually get up that morning, pick the produce themselves, and bring it to market that day.

                      If the market started at 4 AM, you'd be getting yesterday's stuff.

                      1. re: femmevox
                        BostonZest Jul 26, 2013 03:39 AM

                        And, these farms may be a two hours or more drive to Boston. Atlas Farm comes from Deerfield.

                        I do see chefs shopping at the Copley Market. But, the farms may also be delivering to the restaurants. We also have a few Chefs who have their own farms. That's the ultimate farm to table.


      2. trufflehound Jul 24, 2013 12:34 PM

        Boston doesn't have a central market like most cities. The biggest thing we have like that is Haymarket and that isn't a farmer's market but a way for the produce wholesalers to get rid of the weeks leftovers. You'll get some good deals but some of it is just compost. Not sure how early they open.

        2 Replies
        1. re: trufflehound
          CportJ Jul 25, 2013 04:15 PM

          Maybe the new Public Market going in by Haymarket will open earlier. It's supposed to open 7 days a week. Anyone know what the hours will be?

          1. re: CportJ
            itryalot Jul 25, 2013 05:30 PM

            That's OK; we are early risers and have done the park walks and other different walks on our last trip. We often like to stroll the local farmers' markets, admire the veggies we don't have and pick up a pastry and coffee. We don't have a serious need or have to buy something, just an interesting way for us to pass the time.

        2. C. Hamster Jul 25, 2013 07:08 PM

          My 80 year old mom who lives in suburban Chicago is a farmers market junkie.

          When she visited done years ago I asked her if she wanted to hit a farmers market. She was delighted!

          The next morning she was up at 6 am and ready to roll because you have to get to the market early before the good stuff is gone.

          When I told her that it didn't open until 11 she thought that was my excuse to sleep longer.

          When I finally got her to believe me she was incredulous.

          I have visited her and gone to many suburban Chicago markets and they are huge -- much bigger than our largest -- and open and mobbed very early.

          1 Reply
          1. re: C. Hamster
            itryalot Jul 26, 2013 03:57 AM

            Good to know I am not the only one!

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