The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center’s (EBNHC) Let’s Get Movin Farmers Market will kickoff next Wednesday, July 3, at 3 p.m. in Central Square.
Once open, the widely popular market that features a wide array of locally sourced fresh fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, coffee and preserves will run each Wednesday from 3 to 6:30 p.m. until Oct. 16.
Director of the EBNHC Let’s Get Movin program Gabrielle Whitman said the East Boston Farmers Market has become a place during the summer and fall that brings together farmers and neighbors to shop, enjoy performances by local musicians, and find information on healthy eating. The Farmers Market is the place to see friends, meet your neighbors, and celebrate being a member of Eastie’s diverse and vibrant community.
“So we have several vendors this year with some of the favorites coming back like Farmer Dave’s and Asia Farms,” said Whitman. “One of our new vendors this year is Arrowhead Farm and they sell produce, meat, eggs, flowers and preserves.”
Whitman was also glad to announce the return of Eagle Hill Coffee Company that were a big hit with the Farmers Market crowds two years ago but were on hiatus last year.
“Another new vendor is Valicenti Pasta who does fresh pasta, ravioli and sauces,” said Whitman. “Also Mr. Tamole will be selling tamales biweekly as well as Seacoast Cheese Maven that sells locally sourced cheeses.”
Another newcomer will be TC Market who will be on hand Wednesdays to offer preserves, hot sauces, honey and vinegars.
Whitman said the residents of Eastie come from many different places and have many favorite foods and the Farmers Market should reflect that diversity.
With a community that has roots in the Americas, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Africa the Farmers Market has become a source for the greens, herbs, fruits, and vegetables of all traditions. Aside from tomatoes, corn and beans, hot peppers there are always unique items like amaranth, yierba mora, and papalo, water spinach and bok choy, pea tendrils, scallions and Asian mustard, collard greens, cilantro, peaches and apples, Italian and sweet Thai basil.
“I think people will be excited,” said Whitman. “Some have asked for more variety and to meet that demand we’ve added those new vendors to give folks more variety. That was kind of our goal–to diversify things and have a little bit of everything. Diverse cultures make up the community of East Boston and I think we are starting to achieve that variety that reflects the neighborhood.”
Whitman said aside from shopping at the Farmers Market the market will include musical performances, a Bike Safety Day, Back to School Backpack Day, and more.
The Farmers Market will also be an out-of-school summer lunch site for kids.
Whitman also noted that the market would not be possible without all of this year’s sponsors.
EBNHC does not charge a fee for vendors to participate in the Farmers Market, and all vendors take home 100 percent of their profits. However, there are still costs associated with running the market and sponsors like First Priority Credit Union, Portside at East Pier, Reelhouse and Spinelli’s helps defray those costs.
The Farmers Market accepts cash, credit, debit, WIC coupons, senior coupons, and SNAP/food stamps. Vouchers and coupons for shopping at farmers markets are available for qualified families. SNAP/EBT customers receive a 100 percent incentive (a dollar-for-dollar match up to $40-$80, depending on household size) for each SNAP dollar spent on targeted fruits and vegetables purchased at the Farmers Market.
WIC supports farmers as well as good nutrition through the Farmers Market Nutrition Program. WIC Farmers Market coupons may be used at the East Boston Farmers Market on fresh, uncut fruits and vegetables.
Also eligible seniors can contact the senior agency that serves their town to find out when and where Senior Farmers Market Coupons will be distributed. Senior Farmers Market coupons may be used on fresh, uncut fruits and vegetables and honey.
“I love working with the different vendors year after year and see the work they do farming all year and be able to bring those affordable fruits and vegetables to the community,” said Whitman. “The farmers definitely try and make the food accessible to people by accepting SNAP, WIC coupons and senior coupons and that makes it a lot more affordable for those folks.”
Farmer Dave’s: Produce, bakery products, beans, preserves/sauces. Dracut, MA. Weekly
Meadowbrook Orchards: Fruit, preserves/sauces, bakery products. Sterling, MA. Weekly
Asia Farm: Specialty vegetables. Brockton, MA. Weekly
Arrowhead Farm: Produce, meat, eggs, flowers, preserves. Newburyport, MA. Weekly
Veronica Robles Cultural Center: “Elotes locos” (Mexican street corn). East Boston, MA. Weekly
Eagle Hill Coffee Company: Iced coffee, bagged coffee beans. East Boston, MA. Biweekly
Valicenti Pasta: Fresh pasta, ravioli, sauces. Hollis, NH. Biweekly
Mr. Tamole: Tamales. Dorchester, MA. Biweekly
Seacoast Cheese Maven: Portsmouth, NH. Biweekly
TC Market: Preserves, hot sauces, honey, vinegars. Somerville, MA. Biweekly
Lost Art Cultured Foods: Sauerkraut. Cranston, RI. Monthly
July 31: Bike Day: Free bike helmets for kids starting at 3:00 pm, free kids’ bike raffle, bicycle repair by Boston Cyclists Union
August 7: National Farmers Market Week: Join us in celebrating our farmers with a cooking demo by Project Bread Chef Vanessa LaBranche, a raffle, and more!
August 28: Back to School Day: Backpack giveaway for school-aged kids, free apple coupons for kids, special guests, and more!
September 11: Community Programs Day: Learn about fall programs from local youth, sports, and fitness programs!
First Priority Credit Union
Portside at East Pier
Brook Property Mgt.