This year, shoppers have have been finding some of their favorite farmers and food vendors scattered among the tropical plants inside the greenhouses at Russell's Garden Center in Wayland, Massachusetts. Each Saturday, 25 vendors or more set up shop at the Wayland Winter Farmers' Market.
Russell's hosts the Wayland Farmers' Market during the summer season. This year, Market Manager, Peg Mallett said the idea of a winter market came up as the summer market was ending.
Besides farms selling meat and cheese, Mallett was able to get winter market committments from a few farmers with an ample supply of root vegetables, and some who were actively growing lettuces, greens and herbs.
Farmer Michael Docter from Winter Moon Farm in Hadley, MA was a perfect fit. He specializes in organic winter crops- carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, potatoes, and radishes.
Red Fire Farm was on hand with herbs, lettuces, and greens in addition to root vegetables, onions, and eggs. Cravings for local greens had people lined up at their scales all morning. Red Fire is no stranger to winter markets, they even have a winter CSA.
This customer was disappointed that some cuts of lamb from Windsong Farm in Harvard MA had already sold out. The morning was so busy that they had only ground lamb and liver left when she arrived.
Around the corner, she could have switched her menu to seafood from Globe Fish Company. They bring pristine selections, straight from the docks in Boston, for each market and had salmon, scallops and flounder in their ice chests.
Producers of local food products like Bola Granola were also on hand giving out samples and making sales. As you wandered the aisles, tastes of cheese, dips, honeys, pastas, coffee, root beer, and fruit snacks were on offer.
And, on one of the coldest days of the winter, many shoppers where wandering the market with cups of gelato from Giovanna Gelato e Sorbet. The warmth and sunshine inside this tropical setting made one, two or even three flavors of these frozen treats seem like a perfect idea.
Wayland Winter Farmers' Market at Russell's Garden Center
Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through February 27
397 Boston Post Road, Wayland MA 01778 (map)
About the author: Publisher of BostonZest.com, Penny Cherubino is a perpetual student of food, wine, cheese and the good things in life. She loves cooking, dining out and being part of the Boston food community.