That was quite a winter farmer’s market out in Wayland on Saturday. Wow. Picture, if you dare, what the Russell’s parking lot looks like during the first warm week of spring and that should give you an idea of the kind of numbers we’re talking about. People were commenting about the crowds and someone noted, “The Globe ran an article last week.” Somebody else chimed in, “Yeah, and some lady wrote about it on her blog.” What? Who? Well, lots of people have been writing about it on their blogs lately, not just me, but I slipped away from the group and around the corner to the relative safety of the gelato stand just in case. (Gelato Guy has the potential to be my new best friend though he doesn’t know it, yet.)
This is not to dissuade anyone from going. It was all perfectly civilized. That it was so successful is a very good sign, both in terms of support for local farmers as well as local businesses. Judging by the activity at the registers, Russell’s was benefiting from this brilliant collaboration as well (I still have my eye on a particular kite). Also, I don’t know if this was part of the regular gig or not, but there were lots of tables with yarn and pretty knitted things for sale, which made a lot of sense given the farm-oriented theme. The Preschooler enjoyed looking at the angora rabbits and touching the fluffy heaps of wool in the display baskets.
As far as food, there was soup to sample and honey to buy, grass-feed beef from Springdell Farm in Littleton, fresh seafood from Globe Fish, apples from Groton, and tons of beautiful vegetables. Red Fire Farm in Granby had pretty much every root vegetable you could think of, plus garlic and kale. E and T Farms had lovely salad and micro greens that they grow hydroponically on their Cape Cod koi farm. Winter Moon Organic Farm in Hadley had parsnips, celery root, and watermelon radishes. Then I saw they were also selling organic popcorn AND POLENTA, and my budget was shot.
I cannot emphasize enough the moral-boosting properties of going to a market in a lush, heated greenhouse in the dead of winter. Makes you feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. A big, warm, potentially-cancer-causing-but-simultan-eously-life-giving ball of light. I forgot my camera, but there are some nice photographs of the market up at Serious Eats with a write-up by Penny at BostonZest. I wonder what other kinds of community partnerships like this could be forged?
Only three more shopping weeks left!