For Immediate Release - June 10, 2010

Agricultural Officials Celebrate the Start of the 2010 Farmers' Market Season

16 new farmers' markets bring total to 214 statewide, up 88 in four years

BOSTON - June 10, 2010 - Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Commissioner Scott Soares today marked the start of the Massachusetts farmers' market season by recognizing 16 new markets opening across the state this year.

This year's new markets bring the total number of farmers' markets in Massachusetts to 214 - an increase of 88 since 2006 when 126 markets operated statewide. Many markets are already open, with others opening now through the beginning of July. Most markets continue to the end of October, with some staying open through Thanksgiving.

"The growing number of farmers' markets throughout the state is greatly enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts in so many ways," said Commissioner Scott Soares. "Our Bay State farmers' markets not only provide greater access to wholesome, locally grown food, they offer a colorful meeting place for folks to connect with their neighbors and the local farmers who grow their food."

At these festive markets, shoppers will find an array of freshly harvested and locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers, and a variety of other local farm products such as maple, honey, eggs, meats, farmstead cheeses, baked goods, and jams and jellies - all sold directly by farmers.

To help consumers find a nearby market, the DAR recently launched the new MassGrown & Fresher website that lists a wide array of agricultural destinations, including farmers' markets operating in cities and towns across the Commonwealth this season. The site features a new Agri-Google mapping feature that makes it easy to find farms, farmers' markets, agricultural fairs and more. DAR also publishes an annual brochure of Massachusetts farmers' markets that provides days, locations, times, and opening and closing dates for each market.

View the listing online or use the farmers' market Google map feature. A printed copy of the listing is also available by calling the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources at 617-626-1700.

Sixteen new farmers' markets are making their debut this season in the following communities:

Barnstable County

Dennis
Harwich

Bristol County

North Attleboro

Essex County

Lawrence

Franklin County

Charlemont

Hampden County

Longmeadow

Middlesex County

Cambridge (Kendall Square)

Norfolk County

Walpole

Plymouth County

Kingston
Pembroke

Mattapoisett

Worcester County

New Braintree
Leominster
West Brookfield
Worcester (Great Brook Valley)

 

DAR's mission is to ensure the long-term viability of local agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions - Agricultural Development, Animal Health, Crop and Pest Services, and Technical Assistance - DAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the Commonwealth's agricultural community, working 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 us at twitter.com/MDARCommish.