One summer long ago, I found myself on my hands and knees picking strawberries at Tougas Family Farm in Northborough. My Noni wanted fresh strawberries to make her famous strawberry-rubarb pie; so, it was up to me pick them from the low-lying bush in the hot summer sun.
This summer, you don’t have to get down on your hands and knees to get the freshest fruits and vegetables. Check out these local farmers’ markets:
One reader recently suggested shopping at Water Fresh Farms – Open Monday through Thursday 7 a.m to 8 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m on 151 Hayden Rowe St., in Hopkinton.
Owners Phil Todaro and Jeff Burton use a method called hydropanic greenhouse farming, a pesticide free way of farming that recycles water and uses hydroponic – a term used to describe growing plants without soil. (Read more about the concept here).
I’ve been hearing a lot about the Ashland Farmer’s Market recently – it’s expected to have its biggest year yet, with over 30 vendors. I haven’t had a chance to go, but it’s definitely on my summer to do list.
Ashland Farmers Market – Open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from now until October 11, on 125 Front St., in Ashland.
According to the MetroWest Daily News, “The farmers market is a unique asset for Ashland as the town doesn’t have its own farms or farm stands. This summer’s market will bring in five farms from Hopkinton, Medway, Sherborn and Holliston. The market has also invited a Hmong farmer who grows Asian vegetables.”
The Westborough Farmers Market – Open every Thursday from noon to 6 p.m. through September at the Congregational Church in downtown Westborough.
Features include: Organic fruits and vegetables, local artisanal cheeses, wine and baked goods, fresh seafood, grass-fed pork and lamb, honey and maple syrup, local crafts, handmade goods, live music and free children’s activities, and lunch from local food trucks.
“Bernadette Markey of Hopkinton has been going to the Westborough Farmers’ Market since 2011. . .The organic kale, lettuces, and berries that you can get from Harvey’s, Dismas, and Heirloom Harvest are wonderful and incredibly fresh. Nothing like it. But I’m also drawn to Five Loaves Bakery with their yummy scones and country bread – amazing. My kids love the Farmers’ Market, too, especially Yummy Mummy Brownies which are incredible!” (Read more).
And coming soon… new for this year is the Shrewsbury Farmers’ Market opening Wednesday, July 9, from 3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at Ski Ward in Shrewsbury. (Open every Wednesday following July 9 to October 15). Features include: local produce, special jams and honey, baked goods, dairy products, and more.
If you’d like to share your favorite farmers’ market or places to get fresh food, comment below! I’d love to hear your recommendations.
[Note from Beth: Since all these places Alyssa wrote about seem great for kids, too – I’m adding it to my list of “what to do with your kids this summer” posts. As with most of these, it doesn’t mean they aren’t great places for people without kids, too!]