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Best farmer's markets/ farm stands?

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Are there any (really anywhere in New England) that are really good? Lots of vendors - organic choices - maybe even reasonable prices? I've happened along some farmer's markets that have been pretty useless with less than a half dozen vendors.

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  1. The one in Hingham is great in addition to veggies you can also get fresh seafood, high quaility meats and wonderful prepared foods.

    1. Lots all over Vermont.
      The best (IMO)
      Burlington
      St. Johnsbury
      Montpelier
      Shelburne
      Middlebury
      Waitsfield.
      Have not been to the one in Brattleboro but I've heard its great.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bm_vt

        Also, the West River Farmers Market in Londonderry (VT) Saturdays 9 – 1 and the Sunday market in Dorset 10 – 2.

        1. re: bm_vt

          Very hard to beat Burlington...at least a dozen standard farmers setups, plus many many other special food stands, artists, etc. I guarantee success and enjoyment.

        2. The Portland farmers markets are pretty fantastic--many organic choices, some pretty spectacular cheesemakers, a token program so you can use credit/debit cards--between it and my small garden I can avoid the grocery store the whole summer!--

          1. Camden, ME has a spectacular farmer's market Saturday mornings. Several great produce vendors, 3 cheesemakers with incredible cheeses, all kinds of meat (I bought water buffalo kebab meat and some fabulous merguez lamb sausage), poultry, fish, eggs (I got duck eggs), bakers, a booth selling amazing smoked sausages and other smoked things I didn't try. Someone making pizzas, a couple of other people selling food to eat right there. There is a smaller version Wednesday afternoons. I would be thrilled to have access to that Saturday market more than one week a year!

            I saw just the end of the Belfast, ME market (Thursday mornings) and it looked as though it was very good.

            Not sure if you are interested in greater Boston area, but Lexington (Tuesday afteroons), Arlington (Wed afternoons) and Belmont (Thurs afternoons) are all excellent.

            1. Dorset VT is a really nice one -- a couple dozen local vendors including veggies, plants, food and crafts, and there's live music. Sundays from 10am to 2pm on Rt. 7, then you can go swimming at the marble quarry just south!

              1. Thought I had already replied.
                VT: we made a special trip to the Brattleboro farmers mkt on Saturdays. Love the ethnic food stands for an interesting lunch.

                Maine: Have been to the Brunswick market held on the common on Fridays several times while vacationing. I have picked up plants (nice selection of potted herbs), pastry, etc. Last year we thought the Bath market was very good - local cheese/yogurt, seafood, etc. Thought the Rockland market was a little small but it was a rainy day.

                Portsmouth NH: large variety and popular

                During the winter, the winter Tilton Farmers Market is outstanding. In addition to expected vendors such as eggs, Miles Smith beef, etc there's the pasta guy from the Nashua area and the mushroom guy from Tamworth. He has both fresh and dried mushrooms that he grows in a custom facility. I haven't been to the summer market.

                I think the bigger markets have their own websites with a listing of vendors so you can decide if a market is worth it or not. I was recently very surprised by the variety of local and regional (including a Boston fish purveyor) food at the Moulton Farms (farm stand) in Moultonboro NH near Lake Winnipesaukee. I thought the prices were a bit high but they have a very upscale customer base. There were people in line for cider donuts. The state depts. of agriculture usually have a list of markets because they are trying to promote them.

                Expect to pay more for organic choices but the grass fed ground beef we buy from Miles Smith farm from Loudon NH seems to be comparable in price for the grass fed beef in vacuum packs at the supermarket that come from other countries but the quality is better. Also keep in mind that some small farmers can't afford to get organic certification.

                What I like at farmers markets is the opportunity to try some different veggies and fruits that I'm not going to see at the supermarket. I discovered garlic scapes at a farmers market and now grow my own hardneck garlic. I tried growing ground cherries last year but failed. I thought the ones I tasted at a farmers market were very interesting. There's only two of us and I thought $4.50 a lb for fingerling potatoes was very expensive but the seed potato is also expensive. I'm growing for the first time this year and hope I can save my own seed potatoes for next year.

                There are several excellent PYO blueberry farms around Concord NH. I thought it was well worth it and easy to PYO and freeze some for winter muffins. It's been a wet summer so the ones I had last week were very good. Last year the berries at one farm suffered from lack of water and they had to close early.

                1. There's one in Norwich right down the road from King Arthur that is pretty good. They always have a lot of variety.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: SuperGrover

                    Updating this report. Went to the Norwich farmers market 6/21/14 (Saturday) and thought it was terrific. What a gathering place (live music and friendly people). There are a couple of prepared food vendors, craftspeople, and all the vendors you would expect Except I didn't find any honey! Did get a strawberry/rhubarb/mint popsicle though. Got some cheeses. Was impressed to see early summer squash and some nice size beets. Suspect some of the farmers might be using some heat in their high tunnels. Nice selection of plants, too.

                    1. re: dfrostnh

                      I went to that Norwich Market a few weeks ago when I was staying with friends locally and it knocked my socks off, especially the cheeses. Super friendly people as you say.

                  2. Great suggestions all around - we find the Stowe market (route 108) on Sunday mornings excellent as well. It's a little early for produce right now however

                    1. I don't know about "The Best of New England" but my personal favorites in Southern NH are:

                      Saturday market in Concord, NH (it takes up a full side street adjacent to the State House) -- usually has music, good amount of farms, plus meats and dairy, various vendors, prepared foods/baked goods and food to-go, samples, etc. Overall just a really friendly market, plus the Concord Arts Market also runs nearby

                      Tilton, NH (its right in the outlets) -- lots of neat vendors, plus music and food you can eat, prepared food, along with organic and local farms

                      Bedford, NH -- lots of neat vendors and overall an enjoyable market experience, plus local farms, the Sanders fish truck (pick up your fish for dinner! also at the Concord Saturday market)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: attridgee

                        To the Southern NH list I would add the Thursday afternoon market in Exeter. Particularly appreciate that it has a really deep selection of vegetable vendors.

                        1. re: attridgee

                          I haven't been to Concord's summer market in ages but hope to go this weekend. Alison Laddman who owns Crust and Crumb Bakery got started with a table at the markets. Her bakery is within walking distance of the market just across the street from State House. I love her whoopie pies and I don't recall seeing them at the markets. Her bread is wonderful.

                          I liked Tilton's winter market a lot but if I just needed a few things, Hopkinton and Warner are fine but not worth a special trip. Special trip means I had friends who drove 2 hours to get to the Tilton Winter Market and thought it was worth it.

                        2. I live in Western MA, where I find the best farm stand, The Berry Patch, in Stephentown, NY. The have the most vast variety of vegetables, especially in the height of the growing season (late July-September). Since they a green house, they can offer greens year-round, especially through their permanent stand at the Troy, NY, farmers market. The farm also maintains a stand each year at the Williamstown, MA farmers markets (Thanksgiving and Christmas). I've also heard good things about the farmers market in Brattleboro.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: terrierboy

                            As well as the farmers' market in Brattleboro, there is great farm stand at Scott farm to the north of the town. During the apple season it has a huge range of apples from their orchards and lovely pies, jams etc.

                            1. re: terrierboy

                              Sorry to reply to my own post, but I noticed some typos, for which I wanted apologize. I couldn't find an edit button. I must have been half-asleep when I typed that.