For Immediate Release - June 25, 2012

Massachusetts Agriculture Officials Kick off Farmers' Market Season

BOSTON – Monday, June 25, 2012 – Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Commissioner Gregory Watson today reminded Massachusetts residents that the time is ripe to step outside and shop at a local farmers’ market. Farmers’ markets provide an abundance of locally grown produce and other products such as meats, cheeses, eggs and specialty foods.

“Most farmers’ markets are community-based initiatives,” said Commissioner Watson. “There’s no better way to support your local community than by buying direct from the producers who grow local food.  I would like to thank all of the community volunteers and organizations that sponsor farmers’ markets. They work, year-round, behind the scenes, to make these markets happen.”

Massachusetts boasts over 250 farmers’ markets – up from 139 in 2007 – and most will be open until the end of October – with some staying open through Thanksgiving. This past year, more than 30 winter farmers’ markets operated between December and April with more expected this coming season.  

21 new farmers' markets are debuting in the following communities:

Berkshire County

  • Great Barrington/Berkshire Community Market – Berkshire South Regional Community Center, Saturday, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, May 26 to October 6
  • Hancock – Appletree Hill Organic Farm, Sugar House Lot on Hancock Rd., Sunday, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, July 8 to October 7
  • West Stockbridge – Harris Street/Merritt Way in Village Center, Thursday, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, May 24 to October 18

Essex County

  • Amesbury – Union Congregational Church, 350 Main St., Saturday, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, May 26 to October 13
  • Swampscott – Swampscott High School, 200 Essex St., Sunday 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, June to October

Hampshire County

  • Easthampton – Municipal Building, 50 Payson Ave., Friday 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 1 to October 19

Middlesex County

  • Ashland – 125 Front St., Saturday, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, June 9 to October 20
  • Malden – Government Center Plaza, 200 Pleasant St., Tuesday, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, June 19 to September 18
  • Somerville/Swirl and Slice – Union Square Plaza, Thursday, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, June 14 to September 20
  • Tyngsboro – Tyngsboro Gardens, 347 Middlesex Rd., Sunday, 9:00 am – Noon, July 8 to October
  • Wellesley – Whole Foods Parking Lot, 442 Washington St., Thursday, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, May 10 to November 15

Norfolk County

  • Medway – 38 Summer St., Thursday, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, July 5 to September 6
  • Needham – First Parish Unitarian-Universalist Church, 23 Dedham Ave., Sunday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, June 10 to October 28
  • Westwood – Council on Aging, 60 Nahatan St., Tuesday, 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, June 19 to October 30

Plymouth County

  • Onset – Prospect Park, Wednesday, 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm, June 13 to September 19
  • Scituate/Kennedy’s Country Gardens – 85 Chief Justice Cushing Highway, Sunday 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 1 to September 30

Worcester County

  • Athol – Uptown Commons, 1551 Main St., Saturday, 9:00 am – Noon, June 16 to October 27
  • Gardner/Haywood Hospital – 242 Green St., Wednesday, Noon – 4:00 pm, July to October
  • Leominster/Health Alliance Hospital – 60 Hospital Rd., Friday, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, July to October
  • Shirley – Town Common, Thursday, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, July 12 to October
  • Sturbridge – Old Sturbridge Village, Sunday, Noon – 4:00 pm, May 17 to October 7

To help consumers find a nearby market, DAR has put together a directory of all the farmers' markets currently open. DAR’s list of farmers' markets provides days, locations and times for each market. Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as Food Stamps) will be able to use their benefits at more than 100 farmers’ markets this year.

DAR's mission is to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions - Agricultural Conservation & Technical Assistance, Agricultural Markets, Animal Health, and Crop and Pest Services - DAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the rich diversity of the Commonwealth's agricultural community to promote economically and environmentally sound food safety and animal health measures, and fulfill agriculture's role in energy conservation and production. For more information, visit DAR's website at www.mass.gov/agr, and/or follow at twitter.com/MDARcommish.

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