Market Scene: Somerville Winter Market, Massachusetts

[Photographs: Penny Cherubino]

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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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Where is it? At the easy-to-spot Arts At the Armory building. MBTA buses drop you almost at the door.

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 Apples Apple Cider Greenhouse lettuce Greenhouse spinach Storage Turnips Storage Carrots Storage Daikon radish Storage Potatoes Storage Sweet Potatoes Storage Onions Greenhouse Kale Greenhouse Chard

Coming Soon

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."