Note: On Mondays, one of our various Market Scene correspondents checks in with what's fresh at farmstands, what's coming up, and what you better get while the gettin's good. This week, we hear from Boston correspondent Penny Cherubino of Boston Zest. Take us to the market, Penny!
At the Copley Square Farmers' Market in Boston's Back Bay, customers and vendors were saying goodbyes. Their market season is ending. Customers asked, "How many more weeks do we have?" Vendors counted down, "Two more weeks, three more markets."
Under a pale gray sky, with a punishing wind, a powerful gust took down one of the market tents. Simeon Cook from Cook's Farm and Bakery kept one eye on his own tent from behind his pies, breads, cookies and granola. He had mixed feelings about the end of the season. Yes, he'll miss his customers, but he said, "On a day like today, I look forward to sitting by my fireplace all winter."
On the other side of Copley Square, a woman named Meytal from a nearby office was shopping at Iggy's Breads. She shops the market twice a week and loves Iggy's sandwiches for lunch. With a big smile she said she'll miss, "the excuse to leave the office."
Shari Martel from Stillman's at the Turkey Farm was busy taking orders for fresh turkeys that customers would pick up at the market the day before Thanksgiving. She'd already sold out of large birds, 20 pounds and over, for this year.
Martel described regulars who bought meat from her all season as in a panic, "How can we reach you? Where will we be able to find you?" She explained that because animal production continues year-round, the farm finds ways to reach their shoppers in winter. Their e-mail newsletter and local food bloggers let people know when the Stillman's truck is coming to the city.
James Barbuto is finishing his first year as the market manager at Copley. As the season ends he said, "It's bitter sweet. I'm going to like the rest, but I'll miss coming in and all the fresh food to eat. It's been great all year to see everything change and evolve."
At Siena Farms, market regulars, Alexandra and Chris from Bay Village were stockpiling for the winter. It's something they do all year.
Chris explained why the market is important to him. "With me, it starts and ends with the food, but it's that much nicer to have a personal relationship with the people who are growing it."
Alexandra turned to the Siena Farms display and said, "Look at this, it's beautiful! It's gorgeous! It's fantastic!" Soon they'll be eating from their stockpile and buying food from supermarkets. But, she later pointed out, "This is so much nicer. We wait for this."