Cold New England winters give way to carts of plump tomatoes and peppers in the summer, filling Boston’s long-anticipated farmer’s markets with overflowing stalls. Both seasonal and year-round markets offer plenty of activity and authentic local items – you can enjoy what’s on offer in all parts of the city.
Boston residents and tourists alike go to farmer’s markets to pack their canvas shopping bags with produce, baked goods, seafood and homemade gifts from hundreds of vendors across Massachusetts. The tradition has been going strong in the city since merchants first sold their wares in 1742 at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and it’s still a popular activity today. Most farmer’s markets in Boston set up bi-weekly in May and June and linger until the week of Thanksgiving, when pies and berry crumbles sell out fast. Today, nearly 30 markets pop up in parking lots and main squares across the Boston area. Here are some of the best.
It’s won every award you can shake a carrot at, and every season is full of new vendors, musicians and family activities. The Roslindale Village Main Street Farmer’s Market spreads out across Adams Park from June to November, every Saturday, rain or shine. Run by volunteers and founded by one of the first urban Main Street organizations in the country, the market is community-run and community-focused. Stalls highlight microgreens from nearby urban farming projects, herbs and botanicals, ceramics and jewelry from local artists and house-made marshmallows and caramels. At the RVMS stall, locals can gift each other “Rozzie bucks” certificates to spend at neighborhood restaurants, boutiques and specialty shops and indulge in local businesses even after the market closes Saturday afternoon. Plus, a day trip to the neighborhood is perfect for hanging out in the Arnold Arboretum or massive Franklin Park.
It’s not a traditional farm stand, but it deserves all the applause, oohs and aahs it gets. The Boston Women’s Market started as a one-time event in 2017 and has since blossomed into a professional network for female entrepreneurs, artists and makers in the greater New England area. Events hosted by the BWM provide space for anywhere from 25 to 50 vendors at five to seven events throughout the year, and vendors bring goods like homemade candles, body butters, paintings and illustrations, jewelry and embroidery. Each pop-up event brings new goodies and surprises to find, like cheeses, wind chimes and honeys. The energy is electric and inviting, and it’s bolstered by the network’s frequent encouragement to bring families, kids and dogs. The network also posts regular “Meet the Maker” stories online, showcasing inspiring stories and interviews from local business owners and artists.