In many cities when the weather turns colder, the farmers market ends for the year. But not in Somerville. We’re lucky to have a nearly year-round series of farmers markets that bring residents fresh produce and products from local vendors. And this Saturday marks the first Winter Farmers Market of the season!
“We want to promote healthy, fresh foods in the city of Somerville,” said Doug Kress, who works for the city. “There’s going to be a mixture of different types of vendors. We’re truly trying to look at a variety of things. And it’s all stuff that’s produced here or around here.”
The vendors are still being finalized, but market attendees can expect some familiar faces as well as some new vendors. There will be everything from fresh produce, meat and seafood to sweet treats, jams and jellies to pastas and cheeses for sale.
Market favorites like Culinary Cruisers who make and sell Ocean Ave Pops (and vend on-tap kombucha) will be back as will Somerville-based companies like Fiore di Nonno and Taza Chocolate. There will be grab-and-go foods and beverages as well, many of them coming from the Arts at the Armory Cafe (191 Highland Ave.), which will be open during the market.
“We had an amazing number of vendors who’ve requested to be there,” Kress said. “There’s a nice variety and it will change up periodically so that we do have that variety every week. We’re trying our best to stay local and have a variety of products for customers and really building on that. So far we’re really excited about it.”
And the Somerville community seems excited too. For weeks people have been eagerly posting to the Somerville Winter Farmers Market Facebook, which is where the market will post the list of vendors and special events on a regular basis.
As a way to reach out to those who may not be able to make it to the market, the organizers are looking into bringing people from Somerville’s large housing developments in each week. This is all part of the city’s mission to encourage a healthy lifestyle through providing fresh, local food to residents throughout the year.
Kress said there were a few reasons the winter market is so important to the local community. “To continue the whole idea of where your products are coming from and the relationship between customers and growers/producers. To still have access to fresh produce and for people to continue to know that that’s available. And to help foster the continued production of winter produce, especially up in this area.”
In addition to the usual market offerings, there will be live entertainment many weeks so shopping feels more like an event. The market organizers are also planning to do some cooking demonstrations and challenges.
“One of the things we’re really trying to look at and work with is cooking classes and recipes on how to use the winter produce,” Kress said. “And not just for the root vegetables. One vendor is coming in that will be providing goat, which is something different. Somerville has a variety of populations and hopefully this will expand the places they can get meats that they understand.”
The market will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday beginning December 1 through April 13 at the Armory giving the people who grow and create local food a place to sell their products. And providing the Somerville community with access to fresh, local, healthy food throughout the winter months.
“Healthy, fresh produce is really important for a healthy lifestyle and having access to that is really key,” Kress said.