Wakefield Farmers Market

Saturdays June 17 – October 14 2017

May 22, 2017
by Market Manager
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Opening Day June 17! In the Meantime: What IS a Farmers Market, Anyway?

Click HERE to learn about and link to all our vendors.
Check out our Pre-Order Page and our Weekly Specials Page


There are less than 4 weeks to go before the Wakefield Farmers Market launches its 9th season of bringing local farm fare, specialty foods, and artisan products to Hall Park (next to Veterans Field) each weekend from mid-June to mid-October! This year the market will be held on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. starting June 17 through October 14, 2017.

FYI: The Los Sugar Kings Duo, upper right in the collage, will be with us July 29!

We’ll have updates and/or farmers market-related information in upcoming emails and web posts in the upcoming weeks, but, today I wanted to share  the column I recently wrote for the Wakefield Daily Item. I decided to use my Friday 5/19 column space to present a history of our market, as well as information about what defines a farmers market, how they benefit their communities, and a Q&A regarding some of the guidelines followed by most farmers markets across the USA and Canada.

Here is the bulk of it with some additions and adaptations:

To start: The mission of the Wakefield Farmers Market (WFM) is to provide locally grown produce and help local farms remain vibrant, as well as promote our town as a cultural arts, recreation, and dining destination so as to bring more business activity to our town, and bring neighbors together to commune and share resources.

Wakefield Farmers Market (WFM), which held its first season in the summer of 2009, was conceived of and created by the Wakefield Initiative, an informal group of residents committed to improving the quality of life in Wakefield. A big thank you to Bill Chetwyn, who is also a long-time WFM volunteer, Anthony Guardia, and Kevin Piskadlo for spearheading the Wakefield Initiative!

Because there is income involved via vendor fees, sponsorships, and, if a nonprofit, grants and donations, a farmers market needs to be a legally recognized entity, whether it be a sole proprietorship, a corporation of some sort, a nonprofit organization, or a program of a nonprofit organization. In addition, it needs insurance, which is provide to us, along with A LOT of advice and support, from Mass Farmers Markets.

Wakefield Climate Action Project (WCAP) a local 501 (c) (3) organization that addresses environmental issues, agreed to adopt the newly forming WFM as one of its projects since efforts supporting local farmers and shopping locally fall within its mission statement.

Wakefield Initiative members Maura Racamato and Kelli Stromski were the Co-Market Managers during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, and, thanks to them, WFM is a popular destination for shoppers and vendors alike. Because I, as a co-founder of WCAP, had already been taking care of the financial and legal end during the first two years, Kelli and Maura thought it made sense to ask me if I could take on the role of Market Manager in 2011 when life changes meant they were not able to continue as managers.

For those not familiar with the Wakefield Initiative, it was a small group of folks whose mission was to implement innovative programs that would positively impact the financial position of the community while also adding to the quality of life within the community, with “making Wakefield a better place to live” a key parameter. A big thank you to Bill Chetwyn, who is also a long-time WFM volunteer, Anthony Guardia, and Kevin Piskadlo for spearheading the Wakefield Initiative!

Given that they brought us the canoe and kayak rental on Lake Quannapowitt and the December Holiday Stroll, the latter now a project of the Wakefield Events Planning Committee, along with our farmers market, I would say they succeeded in their mission!

Now we get to the “What is the definition and mission of a farmers market” part. Here are the minimum qualifications for a Massachusetts Farmers’ Market as deemed by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR):
Two or more farmers primarily selling products grown, produced, or raised by the farmers. The market has set hours of operation and operates on a regular schedule. The products are clearly labeled as to origin. The market complies with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations The market must have, and abide by, a set of rules that governs the operation of the market and, at a minimum, assures the primary purpose of a Massachusetts Farmers’ Market as providing a direct marketing opportunity for Massachusetts farmers, foresters and fisheries and addresses the following:
o Terms and conditions of sales, including pricing and labeling
o Vendor eligibility and product source
o Compliance by all vendors with local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

Now, here is the more friendly, but still accurate definition of a farmers market from the Farmers Market Coalition: “A farmers market is a public and recurring assembly of farmers or their representatives selling the food that they produced directly to consumers.”

They continue with “What is at market depends on a combination of location, season, and market rules about what can be sold. Many farmers markets only carry locally-grown, locally-made and/or locally-processed foods, [while many also feature local artisans, as well] and create a system of guidelines that ensure vendors are producing what they are selling.”

So, how does a farmers market help a community? Beyond bringing just-picked produce and creating a pleasant place to shop or just hang out, numerous studies have determined that communities benefit in a number of ways by hosting a farmers market, including increasing traffic to local storefronts, albeit it is apt to take place at a higher rate when the market is directly in the downtown area. But, regardless of the specific location, if the market is successful, which ours is, it helps make a community a “destination location.”

Fun fact: I know of more than a few people who had “town has a farmers market” as a criteria when searching to purchase a new home. Also, according to Kelli Stromski, many current listings on Zillow mention our market as positive feature of our community.

Farmer’s markets, including ours, also benefit the community by providing a free spot for charitable groups to highlight their good works, and provide a valuable venue for the Board of Health to provide flu shots and important information, as well as for groups such as Wakefield Main Streets to highlight all the good things in our downtown area and beyond.

And, while I have yet to find a person or group to take over the “Wakefield Presents” spot that we hosted in 2015 to promote cultural arts in our town, or to take on my idea of a spot that is hosted by, and thus highlights a different merchant each week but that always offers coupons and flyers from any business wanting to participate.

As noted above, farmers markets have rules and guidelines beyond those set by their state and the USDA. As do most, ours includes the “make, bake, or grow it yourself” rule. Why? Because it is all about local and buying direct from the person, or someone hired directly by the person to sell at the market, who has grown or produced the product. That is what folks across the USA and Canada expect to find at a farmers market.

There are also guidelines that makes good business sense, such as not saturating the market with a vendor type and being loyal to current vendors, both critical to a successful market that will support as many farmers as possible. For, bottom line, while a successful farmers market greatly benefits a community, it is all about the farmers. And we are lucky to have some great farmers!


Before we go on, don’t forget:
Volunteers ALWAYS welcome and needed!

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com Click the logo or this link to  sign up here for spots and tasks throughout the entire 2017 season!

NOTE: Potential volunteers are always welcome to “shadow” a volunteer doing a task you are interested in learning how to do before you sign up for a market day volunteer spot next year.


Thanks to all who took the time to vote via the American Farmland Trust Annual Farmers Market Celebration last season!!! Our farmers market came in 1st in Massachusetts and #22 nationally in the “People’s Choice” and “Pillar of the Community” categories!! For more information, see :markets.farmland.org


As always, along with accepting credit and debit cards, we also proudly welcome SNAP/EBT transactions in exchange for “Market Bucks.” Our market continues to match SNAP/EBT purchases up to $10 per visit so all of our neighbors can afford to eat healthy local foods. Just stop by the Market Manager Tent to get your Market Bucks. Check back for updates on the new HIP program, brought to you by the USDA and being implemented this summer in Massachusetts.


The Wakefield Farmers Market runs RAIN OR SHINE (except in dangerous weather, e.g. lightning or hurricane conditions).  Our next summer season will run from  June 17 through October 14, 2017. Please look around this website for a complete listing of vendors and upcoming events and to sign up for the email newsletter.  You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler! See you at the Market!Wendy Dennis
Market Manager


Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr!
twitter.com/wakefieldfarmmk

instagram.com/wakefieldfarmmk/
wakefieldfarmersmarket.tumblr.com

Find us on Facebook!
facebook.com/wakefieldfarmersmarket

April 27, 2017
by Market Manager
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MEWA Wrap-Up, April 23 Recipes: Celeriac and Spinach Soup & Roasted Kidney Beans, and Look for WFM News Soon!

Click HERE to learn about and link to all our vendors.
Check out our Pre-Order Page and our Weekly Specials Page


Now that the winter market season is over, it is time to start thinking about our summer farmers market that opens on June 17 and runs through October 14, 2017. The Wakefield Farmers Market is held on Saturdays 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Hall Park, North Ave, next to Veterans Fields and across from the main entry parking lot of the WMGLD building.

Before we move on, though, I’d like to say a big thank you to all who stopped by the Melrose-Wakefield Winter Farmers Market this year and in the previous two seasons. Cindy Chabot, the currently outgoing Melrose (Sally Frank) Farmers Market Manager was great to work with, as were all the Melrose staff and volunteers, and I met some great vendors, as well, some of whom you will see at our summer market this year.

While we are proud of creating a pleasant market venue for our farmers, vendors, and customers these past three winter seasons, we have decided to do only the Thanksgiving Harvest market next year and not continue the monthly winter market for the foreseeable future. However, I will be sure to let everyone know where you can find your favorite farmers and vendors next winter. And, who knows, maybe we’ll do an indoor pop-up market or two here in Wakefield to tide us over to the next summer season.


WHAT’S COOKING? Back to the last winter market day: In searching for cooking demo recipe ideas that would highlight vegetables available on our April market day, I found a lovely recipe for Celeriac and Spinach Soup on the United Kingdom Allrecipes site that totally fit the bill. The measurements were all in metric, which led me to make an error when figuring out the amount of water needed, which, happily, led to my discovering that cooked cannellini beans are great for thickening and are also the perfect flavor match for this soup.

I also neglected to think through my saucepan choice when grabbing a size up from the market pan from my own supply of cookware. Note to self: make sure all cookware for demos works on an induction burner. Disaster was averted because Memorial Hall, where the market was located, has a kitchen with a stove.

Because I used way too much water, albeit was able to save the day and create a soup that was rather splendid, if I do say so myself, I made it again at home so I could be sure of the proportions of the veggies to water, etc. before sharing the recipe. The following recipe makes 4 cups of soup, less than the original recipe but easy to halve, double, and adapt to your liking.

Cook’s Note: While you can use a regular vegetable peeler and box grater to prep the celeriac, I (with my arthritic thumb joints) recommend using a ceramic Y type peeler or use a knife to slice off the peel and use the grate option on a food processor if that is an option. Also, although the original recipe calls for “young leaf spinach,” the regular fresh spinach I used, including an inch or two of the stems, cooked down and puréed just fine.

For the soup, I used celeriac and spinach from Farmer Dave’s, an onion from Oakdale Farm, beans from Baer’s Beans, Greek yogurt from The Roasted Granola Co., and Ras el Hanou (an African spice mix that contains nutmeg, among many other ingredients) from Soluna Garden Farm, who will, someday I hope, join our market. They are located in Winchester and also have an online store. I highly recommend you check them via solunagardenfarm.com.

I also sprinkled a bit of tamari over some light red kidney beans from Baer’s Beans that I had cooked earlier, spread them in one layer on a foil-lined tray, and popped them into the market toaster oven preheated to 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. It made for a fun and tasty part crunchy, part chewy, and very nutritious snack. Seconds on samples were requested by many.


Okay – Here is the recipe!

Celeriac and Spinach Soup

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, 5 oz or so, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 celeriac, about 10 oz, peeled and grated to make three cups lightly packed
3 1/2 cups water*
1/2 pound spinach to make 7 cups lightly packed
½ cup cooked cooked cannellini beans* (optional)
½ tsp Ras el Hanou* (or grated nutmeg to taste, see directions, below)
salt (start with ½ tsp) and pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp Greek-style yogurt* per cup, stirred in (optional)

NOTES: *I used plain water, but the veggie stock called for in the original recipe would be a nice addition. I used the beans at the demo and I think they add a wow factor, but my batch at home was also great without them. I highly recommend investing in a jar of Ras el Hanou, but I am sure just the nutmeg that the original recipe calls for would add a lovely touch, as well. As to the yogurt, if you don’t do dairy, leave it out and use the beans if you want a thicker soup.

Directions: Cook the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes or until getting soft. Add the celeriac. Pour in the water of stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the celeriac is tender. Stir the spinach into the soup, bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Let the soup cool slightly before puréeing it with an immersion blender or in batches with a standard blender or food processor. Add cooked beans if using, adding water if too thick. Reheat the soup, if necessary, then stir in the Ras el Hanou or a little grated nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Or not; it is tasty either way.

This recipe was adapted from http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/2711/celeriac-and-spinach-soup.aspx. I encourage you to check it out as it includes lots of tips for further adaptation.


And, before we go on, don’t forget:
Volunteers ALWAYS welcome and needed!

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com Click the logo or this link to  sign up here for spots and tasks throughout the entire 2017 season!

NOTE: Potential volunteers are always welcome to “shadow” a volunteer doing a task you are interested in learning how to do before you sign up for a market day volunteer spot next year.


Thanks to all who took the time to vote via the American Farmland Trust Annual Farmers Market Celebration last season!!! Our farmers market came in 1st in Massachusetts and #22 nationally in the “People’s Choice” and “Pillar of the Community” categories!! For more information, see :markets.farmland.org


As always, along with accepting credit and debit cards, we also proudly welcome SNAP/EBT transactions in exchange for “Market Bucks.” Our market continues to match SNAP/EBT purchases up to $10 per visit so all of our neighbors can afford to eat healthy local foods. Just stop by the Market Manager Tent to get your Market Bucks. Check back for updates on the new HIP program, brought to you by the USDA and being implemented this summer in Massachusetts.


The Wakefield Farmers Market runs RAIN OR SHINE (except in dangerous weather, e.g. lightening or hurricane conditions).  Our next summer season will run from  June 17 through October 14, 2017.Please visit  www.wakefieldfarmersmarket.org for a complete listing of vendors and upcoming events and to sign up for the email newsletter.  You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler! See you at the Market!Wendy Dennis
Market Manager


Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr!
twitter.com/wakefieldfarmmk

instagram.com/wakefieldfarmmk/
wakefieldfarmersmarket.tumblr.com

Find us on Facebook!
facebook.com/wakefieldfarmersmarket

April 21, 2017
by Market Manager
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April 23 – Don’t Miss our Final Market Day! LOTS of Fresh Produce and Much More, Fun for Kids, Cooking Demo. Come Stock Up Until Summer!😃

LOTS of fresh produce as well as farm cold stored apples and root veggies, plus just about all your other favorite farmers and vendors will be at our final Melrose-Wakefield Winter Farmers Market this Sunday, April 23. The market is open from 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. at Memorial Hall at 590 Main Street, Melrose. There is plenty of parking out back and we are conveniently located on the 136/137 bus line

Be sure to come stock up on fresh local produce, sustainably raised meat, poultry, eggs, and cheese, fresh fish, pasta, dips and spreads, maple syrup, honey, preserves, teas, spice blends, wine, hard cider, and all kinds of fresh baked goods, as well as a great selection of artisan fare such as soaps, candles, jewelry, herbal products, and all natural health and beauty products. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until our summer market starts on June 17!

There will be fun for kids: Yarrow will be with us to creating magical balloon creatures and more, plus Jessica Buster will be i providing delightful entertainment for the youngsters as well as a great place for one parent to go shopping while the other enjoys the songs and stories with the kids. You will find Yarrow in the main hall and Jessica in the bright and cheerful upper area, accessible via stairs or elevator. We will also continue to have our café area up on the stage where you can enjoy a snack from one of our vendors or just take a break and hang out.

WHAT’S COOKING? Since Baer’s Beans will be here, beans will be highlighted in our cooking demo, as will interesting and tasty fresh veggies from our farmers. Samples will of course be available. Recipes are always available at the market and are also posted on the Wakefield and winter market websites. Also: If you see something at one of our farmers’ tables that you want to try, let us know and we’ll will get it, wash it off, and chop or slice it up for you to try. You’ll find it all at the market kitchen area on the stage.

NEWSFLASH: Don’t forget that we hold a FREE DRAWING FOR $20 in Market Bucks each month! Just pick up a ticket when you enter, fill it out and drop it in the jar – location TBD. The winning ticket will be selected at the end of the market day. You don’t need to be at the drawing to win.

VENDOR HIGHLIGHT:

This month we will have Foxboro Cheese Company, a regular vendor at the Melrose summer market, at the winter market.  This small farmstead cheese-maker is part of the Lawton Family Farm in Foxbor MA, which is the home to a herd of 25 Ayrshire cows that supply milk to OKA Real Milk ( a raw milk retailer) and Foxboro Cheese Co. Fromage Blanc is their award-winning flagship cheese. Light and creamy, with a buttery and slightly citrus taste, it is an excellent medium for flavoring. In the winter they offer two varieties, maple and garlic, with tomato basil and lemon honey available ih the summer. They make Asiago cheese from fresh Ayrshire milk that they warm, hand packed, and age for 60 days using traditional methods.

Back for a second visit this season, we welcome back Pleasant Moments, which specializes in hand-made soaps, bath products & potpourri. All soaps are glycerin-based with additives such as oatmeal, herbs and essential oils as noted in the type and variety. They also make potpourri from scratch to include a combination of dried lavender, orange peel, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, essential oils with a dried rosemary base. A note on their website says “Our products are individually wrapped & make perfect gifts for Mother’s Day , Birthdays, Holidays – or ANY day!”

Speaking of great sources for gifts, Greg Hilller of Wakefield will be back with his exquisite assortment of jewelry that Greg hand crafts from silver sheets and wire and hand cut & polished stones, rocks & minerals.

Now, here’s what you’ve been waiting for – this month’s vendors!

Produce: Farmer Dave, Oakdale Farm.

Pasture-raised Meats, Poultry, and Eggs: Lilac Hedge Farm and Shady Pine Farm. Lilac Hedge also has honey and really tasty dried meat treats.

Cheese: Foxboro Cheese (West River Creamery was originally not able to come this month. Look for Old School Kitchen, below.)

Seafood: Roberto’s Seafood – fresh fish at great prices!

Specialty Syrups: Shagbark Farm, featuring a syrup from locally sourced hickory bark and sweetened with organic sugar.

Specialty Foods: Coutt’s Specialty Foods, Deano’s Pasta, Habibi, In Good Taste, Jaju Pieroji. Old School Kitchen (Jane of WRC will be here with her line of pickled veggies and mustards.)

Baked Goods: Goodies Homemade, Mamadou’s Artisan Bakery, Swiss Bakers, The Popover Lady, and The Roasted Granola, that latter also offering yummy locally produced yogurt.

Spices and Seasonings: Soluna Garden Farm, which also offers teas and local honey.

Beverages: Aaronap Cellars, (try their award-winning Forest Gold Maple Wine) Pony Shack Cider, and Tower Craft Beverages.

Pet Treats: Emmett’s Edibles –Along with a great selection of healthy dog treats, you’ll find delectable bits your cats, too.

Artisans:  Hiller Silver Studio Kittredge Candles, with soaps, too, Sarah’s Originals, featuring hand sewn items including lovely potholders and cloth children’s books, Sheepshed, offering handspun yarn, knit products, and pottery, soaps and bath products from Pleasant Moments.

As always, thanks to the USDA, the market accepts SNAP benefits. We also match up to $10 per market day, and “market money” accepted by all the vendors can be purchased via your credit or debit card.

NOTE: you can exchange any Wakefield Market Bucks that you may still have for Melrose market money at the Market Manager Table.

For more information about our winter market, see mewawinterfarmersmarket.org and sign up for our MeWa newsletter to get the latest updates. You will also find a sign-up link for volunteer on the MeWa website. Please consider volunteering! It’s fun and you will meet really nice people. You can also Like the MeWa Facebook page via facebook.com/melrosewakefieldfarmersmarket and follow us on Twitter via twitter.com/MWwintermarket.

And, don’t forget to check wakefieldfarmersmarket.org from time to time for updates about our famers and vendors and news about next year’s June 17-October 14, 2017 market season. See you at the market!
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March 24, 2017
by Market Manager
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Recipes from the March 19 MEWA Winter Market Day: Carrot-Beet Slaw, Sautéed Celeriac with Lemongrass

This month, I decided to follow the December 2016 cooking demo lead and make a root veggie based slaw, this time using carrots and beets with a touch of apple. The cooking demo again featured celeriac, but this time in a sauté versus a slaw. (See the post about the December 2016 Cooking Demo to see how to use celeriac in a slaw; it does make for a mighty tasty crunch.)

Here is the slaw recipe: Scrub but don’t bother peeling two medium sized beets and four smallish to medium carrots, grate with the large hole side of a box grater, and mix the results in a bowl. Next, cut in quarters and core a smallish apple and grate, holding the skin side on the outside,  discarding the skin once all the inner fruit is ready for the slaw. Mix together, and then stir in maybe a tablespoon of rice or other mild vinegar. That’s it! You can, of course, dress it up with a creamy dressing, perhaps some walnuts,  maybe instead or also add a touch of minced onion, or some salt and pepper…hey – poppy seeds would work, I bet. But be sure to try it “naked,” even without the apple, first. You may be surprised at how the veggies speak for themselves.

For some great – grate? :=) – ideas for dressing up this slaw, click HERE. And, be sure to bookmark this wonderful cooking blog by  Clotilde Dusoulier, the cook and writer behind Chocolate & Zucchini.

Given that Farmer Dave’s was back with us this month, I did want to also feature one of my favorite “ugly” veggies that Farmer Dave is wise enough to always grow. Again, see the post about the December 2016 Cooking Demo for info about this so very versatile vegetable.

While a lovely base for or addition to a slaw, celeriac also has just the right texture when cooked.  And, while maybe not news to everyone, I discovered that, contrary to a number of recipes I reviewed online, you do NOT need to parboil celeriac before sautéing slices or small chunks.

Bottom line, slices or small chunks of celeriac sautéed until just soft in olive oil and then seasoned with a nice turn off freshly ground pepper and a touch of salt is really tasty. BUT, sauté it in olive oil that was first infused with fresh – or fresh from the freezer – lemongrass, then you have quite the thing.

Last fall, I froze some stalks of lemongrass that I had purchased from our Flats Mentor Farm farmers by just folding them in half, wrapping them in foil, and storing them in the freezer with the intent of using them in a cooking demo this winter.

Along with using the top half of the stalks for tea by simply cutting them up and simmering them in water, I decided to augment the celeriac sauté as well.

To flavor the oil, I cut the bulb end of the stalk into pieces and sliced into them lengthwise and then just let them simmer at a low temperature in the olive oil for about 15-20 minutes. I then removed the lemongrass, and then sautéed the celeriac in the infused oil. It did indeed give an extra touch of flavor, but I think I will try it with more lemongrass the next time, just for fun.

 

 

March 17, 2017
by Market Manager
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March 19 Market Day: Fresh Produce, Holiday Roasts, Award Winning Wine, Tower and Yarrow are Back, Fun for Kids, A Taste of Summer Cooking Demo!😃

FRESHLY PICKED GREENS from Farmer Dave’s greenhouses! How does that sound after a cold and snowy week? You will be able to get that and so much more at our  Melrose-Wakefield Winter Farmers Market this Sunday, March 19. The market is open from 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. at Memorial Hall at 590 Main Street, Melrose. There is plenty of parking out back and we are conveniently located on the 136/137 bus line. Our final market day of our winter season will be held on April 23.


HOLIDAY ROASTS! Get your Holiday Roasts! The meats and poultry from our farmers come frozen, so you can easily stock up early, whether your feast celebrates Easter, Passover, or Lailat al Miraj. Our final market day is later in April, so this weekend is the day to stop by and stock up on meats, poultry, eggs, for your holiday meals. Both Lilac Hedge Farm and Shady Pine Farm will have plenty of roasts and other meat and poultry options, as well as freshly laid eggs on hand. And, don’t forget winter veggies that store nicely from Farmer Dave’s and cheese from West River Creamery – their cheese is packages to last at least a month in the fridge.


FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES! Yarrow had to bow out last month but will be back to create whatever animal, hats, or other balloon entity you might desire, Jessica Buster will also be with us presenting delightful entertainment for the youngsters as well as a great place for one parent to go shopping while the other enjoys the songs and stories with the kids. You will find Yarrow in the main hall and Jessica in the bright and cheerful upper area, accessible via stairs or elevator. We will also continue to have our café area up on the stage where you can enjoy a snack from one of our vendors or just take a break and hang out.


WHAT’S COOKING? Lemongrass – “fresh” from the freezer! Early last fall, I folded uncut stalks of fresh lemongrass that I had purchased from Flats Mentor Farm into 15 inch or so lengths, wrapped them tightly in foil, and then stored them in a big plastic bag in the freezer. I took one out just before writing this. The green of the leaves ends are not quite as vibrant, but otherwise, it is just fine and ready to give any meal calling for a lemony flavor a delightful touch of summer. We’ll use it along with fresh veggies from our farmers to create and easy, tasty entrée or side dish or two. Samples will of course be available. Recipes are always available at the market and are also posted on the Wakefield and winter market websites. Also: If you see something at one of our farmers’ tables that you want to try, let us know and we’ll will get it, wash it off, and chop or slice it up for you to try. You’ll find it all at the market kitchen area on the stage.


Want to Win Some Market Bucks?

Each market day we are going to offer a free “raffle” for $20 in Market Bucks that you can use with any vendor! All you have to do is get a raffle ticket when you come in the door, put your name and phone number on it, and come up to the second level to drop it off next to the elevator door.
You do not have to be at the end of day drawing to win. We will call the winner.


Come Help Make It All Happen!
We still have 4 volunteer spots open for this Sunday as of Friday around noon.
Please consider signing up. It’s fun!

– One Set up Assistant from 9:30-11:00 a.m.
– ONe Breakdown Assistants from 3:00-4:00 p.m. 

These positions can entail some lifting, but, for those used to summer set up and
breakdown, this is a breeze!
One Shopper Counters from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Counters use a clicker to count shoppers as they enter the building and encourage
folks to enter the free drawing for market bucks.
One Market Money Machine Volunteers, one from 11:00 1:00 p.m.
Greet folks who come to the Market Manager Table and process credit card and EBT transactions.

To sign up for a volunteer spot, just CLICK HERE!


Now, here’s what you’ve been waiting for – this month’s vendors!

Produce: Farmer Dave, Oakdale Farm.

Pasture-raised Meats, Poultry, and Eggs: Lilac Hedge Farm and Shady Pine Farm. Lilac Hedge also has honey and really tasty dried meat treats.

Cheese: West River Creamery: This is seriously the best cheese around. Jane will also have her tasty pickled products and maple syrup and more.

Seafood: Roberto’s Seafood – fresh fish at great prices!

Specialty Syrups: Shagbark Farm, featuring a syrup from locally sourced hickory bark and sweetened with organic sugar.

Specialty Foods:  Deano’s Pasta, Habibi (formerly Samira’s Homemade), In Good Taste, Jaju Pieroji.

Baked Goods: Goodies Homemade, Mamadou’s Artisan Bakery, Swiss Bakers, The Popover Lady, and The Roasted Granola, that latter also offering yummy locally produced yogurt.

Spices and Seasonings: Bondat Foods and Soluna Garden Farm, which also offers teas and local honey.

Beverages: Aaronap Cellars, (try their award-winning Forest Gold Maple Wine) Pony Shack Cider, and Tower Craft Beverages is back!

Pet Treats: Emmett’s Edibles –Along with a great selection of healthy dog treats, you’ll find delectable bits your cats, too.

Artisans:  Kittredge Candles, with soaps, too, Sarah’s Originals, featuring hand sewn items including lovely potholders and cloth children’s books, Sheepshed, offering handspun yarn, knit products, and pottery, all natural health and beauty aids from Simplicity Apothecary, and lovely herbal products from Trow’s Treasures.


For a list of all the vendors throughout the season and last minute updates, be sure to visit our website. Here is the direct link to our list of vendors and the vendor schedule:
https://mewawinterfarmersmarket.wordpress.com/our-vendors/


As always, thanks to the USDA, the market accepts SNAP benefits and will match up to $10 per market day, and “market money” accepted by all the vendors can be purchased via your credit or debit card.

NOTE: you can exchange any Wakefield Market Bucks that you may still have for Melrose market money at the Market Manager Table.


For more information about our winter market, see mewawinterfarmersmarket.org, and sign up for our MeWa newsletter to get the latest updates. You will also find a sign-up link for volunteering on the MeWa website or, just  CLICK HERE.
Please consider volunteering to help create a great market day! It’s fun and you will meet really nice people.

See you at the market!

Cindy Chabot
Wendy Dennis
Co-Market Managers

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February 20, 2017
by Market Manager
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Recipe From the February 19, 2017 MEWA Market Day: Spaghetti Squash with Kale and Cannellini Beans

There is nothing like bright green and yellow veggies to liven up cooking in the winter.  Hmm, I bet some julienned carrots would go with this dish, taste-wise, along with adding even more color. But, the recipe totally works as is.

While you do have to plan ahead to have the cooked squash and beans available, this meal otherwise comes together in minutes. Click HERE and scroll down  for easy instructions for cooking beans. As noted below, you can used canned beans in this recipe, but cooking up from dried is worth the time, especially if you have freshly dried local beans, such as from our farmers at Baer’s Beans. They really are the best! At the What’s Cooking? demo, we used Cannellini beans from Baer’s Bean’s, spaghetti squash, kale, and garlic from our farmers at Oakdale Farm, and, the All Purpose Seasoning from Bondat Foods.

Spaghetti Squash with Kale and
Cannellini Beans

1 medium-large spaghetti squash

2 cups  chopped kale leaves

2 cups cooked cannellini beans *

5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

A pinch of Bondat Foods All Purpose Seasoning (optional but recommended)

Prick holes in the squash with a kitchen fork, cut it in half lengthwise, and scrape out seeds and pulp. Bake the squash for approx. 45 minutes in oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit or until soft.

While the squash is cooking, prep the other ingredients. When squash is fully cooked, remove from oven and put open side up to cool a bit.

Heat 1-2 Tbsp oil in a 12 in frying pan, add garlic, and cook over medium heat until fragrant.

Add kale and cook down, 3-5 minutes or more to desired texture.

Stir in cannellini beans, then scrape strands of squash out into the pan.

Mix everything together in the pan over heat for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. If available, sprinkle over and stir in a pinch or so of the All Purpose Seasoning. The recipe is great as is, but the extra seasoning pops it with an extra depth.

*one 15 oz can beans, drained, can be substituted.

 

February 17, 2017
by Market Manager
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February 19, 2017 MEWA Winter Market Day: Fresh fare from local farm, fishermen, and specialty food vendors, lovely artisan products, fun for kids, and What’s Cooking? is back!

Here are a few updates:

  • Deano’s Pasta will be cooking up some pasta to sample during the market day!
  • The cooking demo will be on the stage and will feature a quick and easy entree of spaghetti squash, kale, and cannellini beans.
  • Shopping Tip: Can’t decide which type of bread to buy? Get one of each because bread freezes really well. You can freeze loaves whole, or slice first and freeze so you can then take quick to defrost slices out as needed.

And here is all the news! With good weather expected, this Sunday will be a great day to get out and shop for freshest of locally raised produce, meats, cheese, and eggs, as well as delicious specialty foods, including all sorts of baked goods, syrups, and spice and tea blends, and beautiful handcrafted artisan products at the Melrose-Wakefield Winter Farmers Market. Our next market day is February 19, followed by market days on March 19 and April 23. The market is open from 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. at Memorial Hall at 590 Main Street, Melrose. There is plenty of parking out back and we are conveniently located on the 136/137 bus line.


FUN FOR KIDS! The Magic of Yarrow will create whatever animal, hat, or other balloon entity as requested, and Jessica Buster of Baby Songs will also be with us presenting her Baby Songs program, which features delightful entertainment for the youngsters as well as a great place for one parent to go shopping while the other enjoys the songs and stories with the kids. You will find Yarrow in the main hall and Jessica in the bright and cheerful upper area, accessible via stairs or elevator.


WHAT’S COOKING? is back! We’ll once again be cooking up a quick and easy recipe or two each market day. As always, all the main ingredients will be sourced that day from our farmers and specialty food vendors This month we will create a recipe or two using dried legumes from Baer’s Beans, vegetables from Oakdale Farm (Farmer Dave will be returning in March!) and at least one of Bondat Food’s fabulous seasoning mixes. Recipes will be available at the market and will also be posted on the Wakefield and winter market websites. Also: If you see something at one of our farmers’ tables that you want to try, let us know and we’ll will get it, wash it off, and chop or slice it up for you to try! NOTE: the cooking demo will take place on the stage by the café area this month.


Want to Win Some Market Bucks?

Each market day we are going to offer a free “raffle” for $20 in Market Bucks that you can use with any vendor! All you have to do is get a raffle ticket when you come in the door, put your name and phone number on it, and come up to the second level to drop it off next to the elevator door.
You do not have to be at the end of day drawing to win. We will call the winner.


We featured Baer’s Beans in our vendor spotlight last week, but in case you missed it, do check out their website at baersbest.com to learn about one of the few farmers growing “dry beans” in New England.

Baer’s Beans offers a wide variety dried legumes, mostly heirloom, that have grown here in the Northeast since colonial days, including Jacob’s Cattle, Soldier, and Yellow Eye. FYI: In the WFM market manager’s opinion, Yellow Eye beans, a traditional favorite in parts of Maine, make the best baked beans! Along with recipes from the current and past cooking demos, we will also have a really easy, tasty, and foolproof slow cooker recipe for baked beans available at the Market Kitchen table.


NEWFLASH: Deano’s Pasta will be cooking and giving out samples of our raviolis and sauce this Sunday at the market!


Come Help Make It All Happen!
With Co-Manager Cindy out of town this week, and newly open SNAP Coordinator position yet to be filled, we really hope all the volunteer spots will be filled this month! Please consider signing up. It’s fun!

– One Set up Assistant from 9:30-11:00 a.m.
– Two Breakdown Assistants from 3:00-4:00 p.m. 

These positions can entail some lifting, but, for those used to summer set up and
breakdown, this is a breeze!
Two Shopper Counters, one from 11:00 – 12:00 p.m., and one from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Counters use a clicker to count shoppers as they enter the building and encourage
folks to enter the free drawing for market bucks.
Two Market Money Machine Volunteers, one from 11:00 1:00 p.m. and once from 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Greet folks who come to the Market Manager Table and process credit card and EBT transactions.

To sign up for a volunteer spot, just CLICK HERE!


Now, here’s what you’ve been waiting for – this month’s vendors!

Produce: Oakdale Farm (Oakdale will have extra and Farmer Dave’s will be back in March.)

Dried Legumes: Freshly dried heirloom beans from Baer’s Beans. They are the best!

Pasture-raised Meats, Poultry, and Eggs: Lilac Hedge Farm and Shady Pine Farm. Lilac Hedge also has honey and really tasty dried meat treats.

Cheese: West River Creamery. Jane will also have her delectable pickled products and maple syrup and more. And, have I ever mentioned that her cheese is the very best around?

Seafood: Roberto’s Seafood – fresh fish at great prices!

SHOPPING TIP: Stock up on seafood and put some in the freezer. If wrapped tightly and put in the freezer right when you get home, and used as soon as it defrosts, it will still have a great taste and texture.

Specialty Syrups: Shagbark Farm, featuring a syrup from locally sourced hickory bark and sweetened with organic sugar.

NEWFLASH: Sandy Hunt of Vermont Gourmet Candy Dish will not be able to attend for the rest of the season due to injuries from an accident. She is okay, but the recovery will be lengthy. Please send healing thoughts and look for ways to help, if so moved, at the market and in future newsletters.

Specialty Foods: Coutt’s Specialty Foods, Deano’s Pasta, Habibi (formerly Samira’s Homemade), In Good Taste, Jaju Pieroji, and The Soup Guy.

Note: The Soup Guy, pictured to the left, offers soup for take home or to enjoy right at the market at our cafe area on the stage. The Soup Guy also has excellent taste in headgear.

Baked Goods: Bagel Land of Winchester, Goodies Homemade, Mamadou’s Artisan Bakery, Nanette Pastries, Swiss Bakers, The Popover Lady, and The Roasted Granola, the latter also offering yummy locally produced yogurt.

LAST CHANCE for French pastries, chouquette, financiers, cannelés, brioches, croissants, from Nanette Pastries! While she certainly plans to resume baking by next season if not sooner, Nanette will be focusing on her “soon to appear” new baby for the next several months.

Spices and Seasonings: Bondat Foods and Soluna Garden Farm, which also offers teas and local honey.

Beverages: Aaronap Cellars, and Pony Shack Cider. (Tower Craft Beverages will be back next month.)

Pet Treats: Emmett’s Edibles – a favorite of Boogaloo, the WFM market manager’s new pup.

Artisans: Hiller’s Silver Studio, Kittredge Candles, Sarah’s Originals, Sheepshed, and Simplicity Apothecary. Remember, EVERY time of year is a great gift shopping time, including for yourself!


For a list of all the vendors throughout the season and last minute updates, be sure to visit our website. Here is the direct link to our list of vendors and the vendor schedule:
https://mewawinterfarmersmarket.wordpress.com/our-vendors/


As always, thanks to the USDA, the market accepts SNAP benefits and will match up to $10 per market day, and “market money” accepted by all the vendors can be purchased via your credit or debit card.

NOTE: you can exchange any Wakefield Market Bucks that you may still have for Melrose market money at the Market Manager Table.


For more information about our winter market, see mewawinterfarmersmarket.org, and sign up for our MeWa newsletter to get the latest updates. You will also find a sign-up link for volunteering on the MeWa website or, just  CLICK HERE.
Please consider volunteering to help create a great market day! It’s fun and you will meet really nice people.

See you at the market!

Cindy Chabot
Wendy Dennis
Co-Market Managers

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January 9, 2017
by Market Manager
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Recipes from December 18. News for our January 15 MEWA Winter Market Day Coming Soon!

Thanks to all who shopped for their holiday feasts and gifts at our Sunday December 18 Melrose Wakefield Winter Farmers Market Day! Our next market day is coming up soon. Be sure to put January 15 on your calendar so you can stock up on fresh, locally grown veggies, pasture-raise meats, poultry, eggs, and cheese, and wonderful specialty foods and artisan goods.

News and updates and info are coming soon for the January market day, but in the meantime, here are the recipes from the December cooking demo. You should be able to find all the fresh veggies at the January market and, if you missed Baer’s Best Beans in December, they will be back at our February market day.

While you probably won’t find celeriac in your average grocery store, it is worth hunting down at a winter farm stand or market. It’s low in calories, high in fiber, has a lovely crunch when raw, and a mellow “celeryish/almost but not quite turnipy” flavor that deepens when roasted. And, it Before storing in the fridge, remove any attached greens and store them separately to use as garnish or in salads. Peel using a sturdy chef’s or paring knife to cut off ALL the tough, fibrous skin. And yes, this is one homely vegetable!

To use raw, grate or julienne for slaws, salads, or to give a crunch to a sandwich or a cooked soup, stew, or casserole dish. You can also roast it in chunks, slice thin to bake into “chips,” or even slice it to make “French fries!” You can also cook it by boiling or steaming and serve seasoned with butter and herbs or puree into a soup. NOTE: After prepping, toss with a little lemon in water to keep from browning if not cooking or putting in a vinegar or lemon based salad right away.

Quick Celeriac Slaw

Simply combined equal amounts of grated celeriac, carrots, and apple, and then add finely chopped white or red onion to taste. That’s it! You must of course peel the cereriac and onion, but just scrub the carrot and grate the whole thing, and rinse the apple, quarter to remove the core, and grate the flesh holding the skin side of the apple until you are lef with just the skin in your hand for disposal. So easy, healthy, and most important, REALLY refreshingly tasty!

Boston baked beans are great! But what else to do with legumes? Charley of Baer’s Best Beans, whose legumes we featured this month, recommends eating the Black Coco or other dark beans right out of the oven or room temperature with a dash of tamari or soy sauce. We tried it at the market. Delicious! You can also toss any kind of cooked bean into a green or veggie salad, mash for a bean dip or spread or as a base for veggie burgers,  or pureed for a soup or stew. Plus, you can always cook a batch and freeze to use later in soups, stews, dips, or spreads.

But, what if you want to cook and use the beans now but forgot to soak them? No fear. You do NOT NEED TO SOAK DRIED BEANS BEFORE COOKING. Really! And, let’s clear up the “when to salt issue, while we are here. Multiple studied published in the likes of the Journal of Food Science and the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, as well as experiments by the folks at the Cook’s Illustrated Test Kitchen have shown salt to decrease cooking time and even produce beans with a softer skin. The salt also makes your beans taste better, as the salt penetrates the whole bean, rather than only flavoring the surface. But, salt before or after, here it how to cook beans without having to soak beforehand.

No Soak Method for Cooking Dried Beans
Preheat oven to 350.
Put 1 pound of dried beans in a Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot or casserole, cover with 1 to 1 ½ inch water. Add 1 tsp salt per pound beans, cover tightly, and cook for about 1 hour and fifteen minutes or until most of the water is absorbed and the beans are tender. NOTE:  Check beans after 45 minutes to stir and add water if needed, then check/stir occasionally until done to desired tenderness.

Don’t need to cook a pound of beans? Cook only what you need! For example, put 1/4 pound in a quart corning ware with 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt. Cover and cook the as recipe above directs.

For the latest information about our winter market, sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates. Or check back in this space for news about our January 15, February 19, March 19, and April 23 Melrose Wakefield Winter Farmers Market dates  And, don’t forget to visit us here from time to time for updates about our farmers and vendors and news about next year’s June 17-October 14, 2017 market season. See you at the market!

December 1, 2016
by Market Manager
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Giving Thanks for our Farmers Markets and the Recipe from our 11-20-16 MEWA Market Day

mewa-bannerAfter a great first market day on November 20, we are already busy getting ready the next Melrose-Wakefield Winter Farmers Market day on December 18. The market will then continue through mid-spring, taking place on January 15, February 19, March 19, and April 23 from 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. at Memorial Hall at 590 Main Street, Melrose. There is plenty of parking out back and we are conveniently located on the 136/137 bus line.

Check this spot in the upcoming weeks to see who will be at the market, what products will be featured, and just how much gift and holiday meal shopping you can get done at our next market day on December 18!

In the meantime, in the spirit of the recent Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I thought I’d share a list of things that make me thankful for all our local farmers and farmers markets, adapted from an article titled “10 Reasons to Support Farmers Markets,” published by the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture.

1. Taste Real Flavors
The fruits and vegetables you buy at our farmers markets are the freshest and tastiest available. This food is as real as it gets—fresh from the farm.

cooking-demo-ingredients-11-202. Enjoy the Season
The food you buy at our farmers markets is seasonal. It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavors. Shopping and cooking with the produce from our farmers helps you to reconnect with the cycles of nature in our region.

3. Support Family Farmers
Because large agribusiness dominates food production in the U.S, small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and other products and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.

4. Protect the Environment
Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Food at our farmers markets is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.

5. Nourish Yourself
Much food found in grocery stores is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. In contrast, most food found at our farmers markets is minimally processed, and many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties.

ingredients6. Discover the Spice of Life: Variety
At our farmers markets you can find an amazing array of produce that you don’t see in your average supermarket: red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, green garlic, bitter melon, loofa squash, and much, much more. It is a wonderful opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet.

7. Promote Humane Treatment of Animals
At our farmers markets, you can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets, and who have been spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions of feedlots and cages that are typical of animal agriculture. And you can taste the difference!

8. Know Where Your Food Comes From
A regular trip to our farmers markets is one of the best ways to connect with where your food comes from. Meeting and talking to farmers and food artisans is a great opportunity to learn more about how and where food is produced.

wendy-cooking-web9. Learn Cooking Tips, Recipes, and Meal Ideas
Farmers, ranchers, and artisans at our farmers markets are often passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they are selling, as is your Market Manager.

10. Connect with Your Community
Both our indoor and outdoor farmers markets have become a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends, bring your children, or just get a taste of small-town life in the midst of our busy lives.

I would like to add that I am so very thankful for all the amazing farmers, specialty foods and artisan vendors, musicians, the folks behind the special programs and entertainment for kids, nonprofit and civic group guests, and all the dedicated and talented volunteers who make both our summer and our winter markets possible.

You’ll find news specific to our December 18 market date in this space next week, but for now, here is the recipe from the November 20 cooking demo. It was a hit, enjoyed even by an otherwise avowed hater of Brussels sprouts!

Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts Sauté

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups peeled and cubed butternut or winter squash
2 cups trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts
2 tsp maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

squash-sprouts-saute-doneHeat the oil in a frying or sauté pan and cook the onion over medium heat for a few minutes, raise the temperature just a bit, add garlic and stir it in until fragrant, add squash, and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the Brussels sprouts and continue cooking until to desired tenderness. Stir in the maple syrup, add at least a bit of salt to bring out the sweetness and then, with pepper, to taste.

Cook’s Notes: A heavier hand with the pepper, especially if freshly ground, will add a nice little kick in conjunction with the garlic. To speed up cooking time, add a cup of water and cover for a few minutes, then uncover and cook off the water before adding the maple syrup and other seasoning.

For more information about our winter market, see mewawinterfarmersmarket.org and sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates.  And, don’t forget to check wakefieldfarmersmarket.org from time to time for updates about our farmers and vendors and news about next year’s June 17-October 14, 2017 market season. See you at the market!

October 21, 2016
by Market Manager
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Thanks To All For A Great 2016 Season! 2017 Season Dates: June 17-Ocotber 14 😃

Click HERE to learn about and link to all our vendors.
Check out our Pre-and Special Order Page


fall-newsletter-headerThis was written to be published in the Wakefield Daily Item. Check your inbox for special updates about our winter market, news about our vendors, volunteer opportunities, and more!

I’d like to send a great big THANK YOU to everyone who helped make the 8th season of our Wakefield Farmers Market the most successful ever! Whether you were a vendor, shopper, volunteer, performer, nonprofit guest, and/or one of the many folks who voted to help make our market #1 in the Massachusetts in the American Farmland Trust Favorite Farmers Market Celebration, this means you.

We are blessed to have wonderful local farmers, specialty food vendors, and artisans whose products are raised or made with great care and thus are always top-notch in quality. But, without loyal shoppers, we’d have no market. As I say every year, our farmers and other vendors always say how nice the people who shop at our market are. Please know that your support is greatly appreciated and is crucial to the ongoing success of our market.

Our WFM Volunteer Team members are also crucial for a successful season. Thank you to all who stepped up at least once, and some many times, this season: Dianna Boothe, Debbie Gronback, Jane Gillette, Robin Greenberg, Laura Guido, Doug Heath, Michelle Leahy, Sue Mitchell, Mary Pasquale, Bernard Platt, James Platt, Sarah Lynne Reul, Marietta Schwartz, Alison Simcox, Henry Stikeman, Kelli Stromski, Brian Thompson, Missy Thomson, Cathy Wensley, and Janice Williamson. I think that’s everyone! That is Janice and Dianna in the picture.

We had live music just about every week, starting with the talented students and teachers of the Onset School of Music joining us, as they have each year, on our opening day. We enjoyed music by each of the following during at least one, if not multiple Saturdays: Betty’s Bounce, banjo duo Ed Britt and Don Borchelt, Eddie Dee, Kev G. Mor Los Sugar Kings Duo, Amy Spillert, and new to our market this year, Kali Stoddard-Imari. We also enjoyed a visit from North Shore 104.9, known as “your hometown radio station on the FM dial,” and hope to have them back next year. When no live music was playing, we had excellent tunes from the farmers market soundtracks created by former Market Manager Kelli Stromski.

The Magic of Yarrow and Blake the Balloon Guy, along with the occasional face painter, added greatly to the festivities, and Henna tattoo artist Shweta Singhvi of Wakefield delighted young and old with her beautiful designs on a number of market day.

Visits from Curious Creatures and Drumlin Farms were their usual big hits, and, new this year, we were pleased to welcome the Pop-Up Adventure Playground. All will be back next year, with multiple visits by the Pop-Up Adventure Playground in the planning.

Our nonprofit and civic guests are a big part of our market, too. Thank you to all who supported the efforts of the Friends of Beebe Library (Book Give-Away!), 4H Clubs of Wakefield, Habitat for Humanity,  Hartshorne House, More Than Words, Tonneson+Co for the Wakefield Interfaith Food Pantry, WMHS Alumni Foundation, Wakefield Educational Foundation, Wakefield Health Department/Mass in Motion/Wake-Up (bike helmets and flu shots!), Wakefield Human Rights Commission, Wakefield Independence Day Committee, and Wakefield Main Streets.

The Wakefield Beebe Library Pop Up Library was able to returned for two visits later in the season. At their tent you could check out books and even sign up for a library card, and they offered two storytelling sessions each visit, sharing community and farm themed interactive stories, enchanting children of all ages. We are hoping for monthly visits next season!

When I learned that our former cooking demo person Holly Pierce would not be available on Saturdays as the 2016 season began, I filled in, thinking that I would do the cooking demonstrations only until I found a new person to fill the role. However, I was having so much fun, and, even more important, was also getting folks to buy the featured produce from our farmers, that I just kept doing the demos. Thank you to all who stopped by to try a bite, talk “kitchen shop” and/or give great advice on cooking times and final seasonings!

This year we welcomed Heather Tribe in the newly created position of Assistant Market Manager. Heather volunteered numerous times during the previous season, thus she was already quite familiar with how the market runs. In addition, she has excellent administrative and project management skills; topped off with an outgoing and diplomatic approach that makes her an excellent coworker and team member. I am SO glad to have Heather on board! That would be Heather photobombing on the right. 

Support from our town government is also crucial to the success of our market. Our Board of Health always works hard to ensure that the permitting process goes smoothly, and our WMGLD and DPW ensured that there would be no more power glitches at the market As always, a big kudos to our Town Administrator Steve Maio who is always just an email away for help of all kinds, even on a Saturday morning.

I‘d also like to thank Town Counsel Tom Mullen for making sure all the legalities were in order, and the Board of Selectmen, who approved both the yearly contract with the market and the wine/cider sales applications. I am especially grateful to the BOS for granting permission for the placement of a storage unit at Hall Park. A special shout out goes to Wakefield High art students Samantha Cardoza, Jillian Chan, Griffin Ell, John Glendye, and Ashley Sullivan, who, under the direction of Art teacher Joy Schilling, did a fantastic job painting the unit, transforming it into a canvass for public art.

Throne Depot deserves a big shout out for ensuring that our vendors had a pleasant facility on the premises, even when vandals caused last-minute issues here and there.

And, The Wakefield Daily Item has always been integral to our market’s success. Thank you, Bob, for all your support, as well as to Donna Larsson for the great photos.

A special thank you goes to my husband, Steve Breton, who is always on call to help  with market day breakdown, fetching signs, repairing equipment, brainstorming advice, and more. As always, his support more than doubles my resources.

Stay tuned for upcoming columns about the monthly Melrose-Wakefield Winter Farmers Market that starts on November 20, and for next year, keep Saturdays 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. free from June 17-October 14. To check for updates or to sign up for the email newsletter, visit wakefieldfarmersmarket.org. You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Again, thank you to everyone who took part by shopping, volunteering, or even just hanging out on a Saturday morning – it takes a great community to make a great market.


As always, along with accepting credit and debit cards, we also proudly welcome SNAP/EBT transactions in exchange for “Market Bucks.” Our market continues to match SNAP/EBT purchases up to $10 per visit so all of our neighbors can afford to eat healthy local foods. Just stop by the Market Manager Tent to get your Market Bucks.


COMING UP: The Melrose-Wakefield (MEWA) Winter Farmers Market, featuring many of your favorite vendors, starts November 20, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, continuing on December 18, the Sunday before Christmas, and then on the 3rd Sundays of January-April: January 15, February 19, March 19, and , due to Easter being on the 3rd Sunday, April 23. The market takes place at Memorial Hall at 590 Main Street in Melrose from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Updates coming soon.


The Wakefield Farmers Market runs RAIN OR SHINE (except in dangerous weather, e.g. lightening or hurricane conditions).  Our next summer season will run from  June 17 through October 14, 2017.Please visit  www.wakefieldfarmersmarket.org for a complete listing of vendors and upcoming events and to sign up for the email newsletter.  You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. See you at the Market!

Wendy Dennis
Market Manager


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