It’s farmers market season, and there’s plenty to choose from

Although the Chester Farmers Market remains closed for the 2nd year in a row, within a short drive, area residents still have a lot to choose from when it comes to fresh produce, organically grown plants, farm-raised meats, homemade foods and fine handicrafts.

Summer vegetables from Deep Meadow Farm/Photo by Christa Valente

Summer vegetables from Deep Meadow Farm/Photo by Christa Valente

The Bellows Falls Farmers Market opened its season on Friday, May 10, as always at the Waypoint Center next to the train station on Depot Street in Bellows Falls. It runs from 4 to 7 p.m. every Friday through Oct. 11. This market specializes in featuring live music, creating a street-party atmosphere. The market is handicapped accessible.

For a quieter Friday night market experience, take a quick hop to Ludlow for the Ludlow Farmers Market, which opens this Friday at 4 p.m. on the lawn of the Okemo Mountain School, 53 Main St. in Ludlow. It too runs to 7 p.m. but the atmosphere is more sedate than Bellows Falls. One factor could be the setting: most vendors are under trees and shoppers get to walk on grass. Picnic tables are usually available.

On Saturday morning, shoppers have two area markets to chose from: The West River Farmers Market in Londonderry and the Springfield Community Market.

The West River Market, the area’s oldest and largest, has more than 40 vendors setting up at the public park bordering the West River at the intersection of Routes 11 and 100 in Londonderry. It is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. beginning this Saturday, and offers a bucolic atmosphere, plenty of parking, picnic tables and music. (Be sure to check out the large ad on the Telegraph homepage below the News Categories to visit some of farms online) Market vendors include large organic farms from Athens to Shaftsbury selling produce, meats, eggs and cheeses as well as flower and plant growers and food vendors, including squeezed to order lemonade and limeade.*

Beginning Saturday, June 1, the Springfield Farmers Market will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday (except Alumni Weekend) at the People’s Bank parking lot, 6 Main St. in Springfield. The relatively young market has about a dozen vendors, including a produce vendor throughout the season, a mushroom grower, a beef farmer and vendors who sell homegrown honey and their own photography. The atmosphere is casual, family-friendly with folksy live music.

To get to a Sunday market, you’ll have to travel a little farther afield.

The Putney Farmers Market opens from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 26, across from the Putney Co-op on Carol Brown Way in Putney. It boasts vendors from the southern Vermont region including those specializing in medicinal herb tinctures, a canner and wood carvers.

And of course, don’t forget the local farmers and shops. Just north past the Stone Village is the Stone Village Farmers Market. The owners grow a good deal of the produce they sell, and all of their own plants — including beautiful flowering baskets. They also offer locally grown meats and eggs. And their shop is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

North of the Stone Village market, in Gassetts, is WAAWWE, at the corner of Routes 103 and 10. WAAWWE (which stands for We Are All What We Eat) also carries local eggs, meats and cheeses, salad greens and other locally made products. WAAWWE is closed Monday’s and Tuesdays and open till at least 5 on other days.

*The publisher and editor of The Chester Telegraph is a vendor at the West River Farmers Market.

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  1. Oliver Owen says:

    The Springfield Food Co-op in N. Springfield is a bustling hub for fresh produce growers and producers of many foods in our locale. Open 7 days.