Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Farmers Market Growing in Bedford

On June 16th, Bedford will gain a Famers Market. It will be based in the Depot Park area right next to The Bikeway Source at the Intersection of Railroad avenue and South Road (across from the end of the Minutemain Bikeway. The Bedford Farmers’ Market will be open every Monday from 2-6:30pm from June 16th through October 20th.

While now covered in snow, come June this will be the location of the Bedford Farmer's Market. It will feature 8-10 local vendors offering fresh produce, eggs, meats, fish and more along with local performers.

The actual market will be held on the grassy area and the parking area adjacent to the Bikeway Source. Parking will be in the municipal lot adjacent to the Bikeway Source who has agreed to make several bike racks available for anyone who comes via bike.

I recently spoke with Susan Grieb, Founder of the non-profit Bedford Farmers Market. Susan decided to move forward with the idea after attending Lexington Farmers Market and reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. She has alway thought it important to take good care of the Earth.She started working on the idea in early November and has been spending about 4 hours per day on it. In December she was joined by co-founders Moira Sarson and Barbara Purchia. To date they have organized a team of over 1 dozen volunteers, all from Bedford.

Her goal with the market is to provide locally grown organic food along with a community place where you go to meet friends and take advantage of open space. Along with the food, Susan wants to educate the Bedford community about eating healthfully. The Market will include books and demonstration programs to achieve this. Susan also would like to have some volunteer performers like a magician, jugglers or street performers to provide entertainment to liven things up. In addition, nonprofit and community organizations are invited to have a information table.

The Bedford Farmer's Market plans to have 8-10 merchant booths on board by the time it opens. In addition to produce, the Market will also feature fresh seafood along with grass fed Chicken, Lamb, Beef and maybe Pork.

Some of the local merchants include Chip-In Farm, Busa Farm, Globe Fish Company, Stillman's Farm and others. It will be cash only. The Merchant booths will be covered in case of rain.

The actual land is owned by Ken Larson who has deeded a right of way to the town who now has it as municipal parking, so it comes under town land. Susan mentioned the town is not actively involved but is supportive. In fact March 10th should be the last planing meeting with the town.

I asked Susan why did they choose Mondays? She mentioned that the vendors like earlier in the week as people stock up for the week. If you have it later in the week many people go away for the weekend and tend not to buy as much.

The Farmer's Market is a great idea for Bedford and will be a welcome addition. I think it would be useful to somehow get a display case or a few signs up on The Minuteman Bikeway to make users aware of it. I also think it would be useful to let many of the local companies in the nearby office parks know about the Market as many of the workers are not from Bedford and will probably not be aware they can pick up fresh produce and meats on the way home after work.

Along with Bedford, many other local towns also offer Farmer's Markets. Please click here to see a list. My only recommendation is to avoid the ones on the Mass Turnpike. A few years ago, I made the mistake of stopping on the Mass Turnpike after seeing Farmer's Market signs only to find there was no produce at all.

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