This January, the city of Somerville launched a winter farmers' market to bring fresh, local, healthy food to residents of this densely populated urban center. Jaime Corliss, director of the Shape Up Somerville Program, has been very happy with the response. And, vendors (selling everything from daikon radishes to cider doughnuts) are certainly finding this location worth the trip.
In addition to local farm produce, there are some goods from up and down the East Coast. "We made a policy decision early on that we'd allow some regional sourcing because we wanted to make sure there would be enough diversity to satisfy all our customers," Corliss said. "But, we do require that the vendors are very clear about what is being regionally sourced and what's local."
Katey Tobin (in the blue sweater) from Enterprise Farm in South Deerfield, Massachusetts, explained that over the past four years they've built a network of small organic growers from Prince Edward Island to Homestead, Florida. This allows them to supply their CSA customers with a full range of quality produce in the winter months. Now, they're also selling this regional assortment at the Somerville Market.
David Neilson from Coastal Vineyards was one of two winemakers at this market. New legislation in Massachusetts allows farmstead vineyards to sample and sell wine at farmers' markets and other agricultural events. Turtle Creek Vineyards was also offering sample sips.
Somerville Winter Farmers' Market
191 Highland Avenue, Somerville MA 02143 (map)
Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through March 26th
Seasonal Produce Guide
In Season Right This Minute
Storage Daikon radish
Storage Sweet Potatoes
More of the same but, Stillman's Farm tells me they will plant next season's tomatoes in the greenhouses, "as soon as we get past the -4 degree nights."