Get ready to purchase farm fresh vegetables and fruits, meat and seafood, flowers, preserves and cider, and many other products as the Watertown Farmers Market returns for its second season.
The season opens on June 4, and the market will be held weekly on Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. according to an announcement from the Farmers Market.
The market showcases a wide variety of Massachusetts grown produce, greens, fruits, eggs and meat, as well as local seafood and specialty foods.
Last year, the market made its debut, with the help of athenahealth, the owner of the Arsenal on the Charles complex.
“We’re excited to welcome back the Watertown Farmers Market for another great season at Arsenal on the Charles. The variety of products is amazing and it’s a great chance for the community to get together for what’s becoming a summer tradition. athenahealth is proud to help provide the healthy and delicious offerings of the market vendors. With the music and neighborhood outreach throughout the season it’s a great addition to the campus,” said Bridger McGaw, Director of athenaEnvironment at athenahealth.
The market is more than just about food, said MaryCat Chaikin, one of the organizers.
“The Watertown Farmers Market is a neighborhood gathering spot with a regular schedule of music and other performers, children’s activities, special guest vendors, and a community booth featuring local groups and organizations,” Chaikin said.
To make the market more accessible to everyone, customers using food assistance are welcomed and encouraged to come to the market every week. The market offers a dollar-for-dollar SNAP match to anyone using a MASS DTA card, up to $15 per customer per week. Swipe for $15 and receive $30 in market tokens to spend on fresh local foods. Tokens are also available to customers using any major credit or debit card – no need to stop at the ATM on the way to market. WIC and Senior Farmers’ Market Coupons also accepted.
Arsenal on the Charles is at 311 Arsenal Street. The market is under the smokestack, immediately behind the parking garage. Come any way you wish!
Driving & Parking: Free parking is available in the structured parking garage on Kingsbury Ave. on the Arsenal campus. Elevators serve the northwest corner of the garage.
Public Transportation: MBTA buses 70 and 70A.
The market features many favorites from last year, plus some new ones:
Favorite farm vendors return this year including Warner Farm of Sunderland, one of the oldest family farms in Massachusetts, and Drumlin Farm of Lincoln, a project of Mass Audubon. They both have a wide variety of produce from heirloom tomatoes and corn, to onions and squash.
From Shelburne, Apex Orchards will join the market in July with tree fruit including several varieties of apples, pears, apricots, plums, and grapes as well as honey.
The Farm School in Athol has an established CSA pick up at the Arsenal on the Charles. They’re back at the market this year and expanding their offerings of certified organic vegetables, melons, and strawberries, as well as limited quantities of grass fed beef, pastured pork, and eggs from free range hens.
The Neighborhood Farm comes to Watertown for the first time this year. This group from Needham plants six gardens in local yard as well as big planting on land leased from The Trustees of Reservations. They’ll bring a variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers each week.
Lilac Hedge Farm based in Berlin returns with beef, pork, lamb, goat, and poultry, all raised using sustainable, natural practices. They’ll also sell fresh eggs, honey and wool products from their own sheep.
Red’s Best Seafood out of Boston has become well known as a leader in traceability of seafood. Their labels allow consumers to track every step of their products from the catch on the fishing vessel to unloading, through transportation, processing, and distribution. Each week they’ll bring wild caught seafood and shellfish from the New England coast.
Increasingly, farms are doing more than selling whole vegetables and fruit. Carr’s Ciderhouse, located in Hadley, creates hard cider, apple cider vinegar, and apple cider syrup at their orchards. Among their hard ciders are Stars in a Bottle, perfect for a refreshing bubble at a summer picnic, and special selections infused with other fruit like black currant or blended with apple brandy aged in wooden barrels.
Mariposa Bakery, Tex Mex Eats and Tipping Cow Ice Cream bring their culinary talents to local produce and turn them into extraordinary treats. Mariposa Bakery offers a variety of pies using local fruit as well as other baked items such as pretzel rolls, scones, donuts, bundt and tea cakes.
Tex Mex Eats is a new business and gives locally sourced products a Texas twist, offering up salsa, tamales, and prepared dishes.
Each week, Tipping Cow Ice Cream will have pints of gourmet ice cream and ice cream sandwiches in off-beat flavors like strawberry basil and a sweet corn ice cream that tastes like a summer’s day.
Two guest vendors from last year will be regular features of the market this season, as Sa’s Homestyle and Spindler Confections attend each week.
Iggy’s Bread of the World returns with a booth bursting with fresh baked breads.
To make for a more refreshing experience at the market, Barismo Coffee will be on hand each week with iced coffee, coffee beans and bottled cold brew coffee to bring home.
On the Edge Sharpening Service will be at the market twice a month, on the first and second Thursdays of each month to sharpen kitchen knives, scissors, and other blades while customers visit other vendors. Their first market appearance will be June 4.
Apex Orchards (Shelburne, MA) – Tree fruit including apples, pears, peaches, apricots, plums, grapes, honey. Starts early August as products come into season.
Drumlin Farm (Lincoln, MA) Full range of vegetables, strawberries, melons, drop cherries, cut flowers, maple
The Farm School (Athol, MA) – Certified organic vegetables, melons, strawberries
The Neighborhood Farm (Needham, MA) – Variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers.
Soluna Garden Farm (Winchester, MA) – Fresh cut herbs & flowers, as well as potted plants, specializing in unusual and hard to find varieties. Also, hand crafted tea & herb blends and spice rubs
Warner Farm (Sunderland, MA) – Full range of vegetables including tomatoes and corn, fruit including melon, raspberries and strawberries, herbs. Some certified organics (corn, asparagus, strawberries)
Meat, Dairy and Seafood
Bedford Blueberry Goat Farm (Bedford, MA) – (alternating weeks) goat milk, cheese, soap and lotion, as well as duck eggs
Lilac Hedge Farm (Berlin, MA) – beef, pork, lamb, goat and poultry using sustainable, natural practices. Also, eggs, honey & wool products
Red’s Best Seafood (Boston, MA) – wild caught shellfish and seafood from the New England coast
Carr’s Ciderhouse (Hadley, MA) – hard cider, apple cider vinegar, apple cider syrup
Barismo (Arlington, MA) – iced coffee, coffee beans and bottled cold brew coffee
Iggy’s Bread of the World (Cambridge, MA) – Country, whole wheat, french, light and dark rye, olive bread, ficelle and bread sticks, brioche, focaccia, 7-grain and pecan
Mariposa Bakery (Cambridge, MA) – A variety of pies, pretzel rolls, scones, donuts, bundt and tea cakes, with a focus on local fruit
Sa’s Homestyle (Natick, MA) – sweet and spicy sauces
Spindler Confections (Somerville, MA) handmade chocolates, caramels, nut brittles
Tex Mex Eats (Cambridge, MA) – “Texachusetts” specialties using locally sourced products including salsa, tamales, and prepared dishes
Tipping Cow Ice Cream (Cambridge, MA) – Gourmet ice cream with off beat flavors
Valicenti Organico Pasta (Hollis, NH) – Seasonal ravioli and fresh pasta and tomato-basil pasta sauce made with ingredients grown on their own farm