Today is August 22nd - also known as the start of Massachusetts Farmers Market Week. Tinky over at In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens organized a week-long blogathon from today until the 28th. Over 70 blogs are participating in this event. You can get the complete list and get more info by visiting the Loving Local website. I'm hoping to post most of the week about a local Farmers' Market and what deals to be had and how their prices relate to big chain grocery stores.
My first stop this week was at the Weymouth Farmers Market. This takes place every Saturday from 9 am - 1 pm in the Town Hall parking lot located on Middle St.
It was a festive time. There were about a handful of local farmers on hand selling fresh produce. They had one fisherman selling sea delights - but at 11:45, were already sold out of pretty much everything except salmon and some haddock (or other fish. No lobster or clams were available). There were quite a few craft tables - some just individual merchants and others set up from local shops in town. Looking through booths, I have to say that a lot of the handmade items were very reasonably priced and made me think of Christmas. It's definitely something to check out if you have that "hard-to-shop-for" individual in your family. There was a bakery there - which we sort of "skipped". My son was excited about blueberries - I didn't want to jeopardize that for cookies! Sorry Mr. Baker guy!
One thing that I thought made the Weymouth Farmers Market unique is that they have "Village Celebration Days" once a month. We happened to hit Weymouth Landing this weekend. This is great (and FREE!) for merchants in each of Weymouth's 4 neighborhoods to set up a booth to help promote their business. Nowadays, we are so focused on "big chains" and we tend to forget about the small business owners out there in our very own neighborhoods. We got to see and talk to some merchants from the Landing to include some restaurants, a florist, a bank (who gave us free rulers and coloring books!), a propane company, driving school, etc.
They even had this handy dandy map out there to show you where all the featured merchants were located. This is a fabulous way to promote neighborhood pride!
Although one of the farmers said that business was "so-so" today - there seemed to be a nice crowd out and about.
So what did we end up with? I took just my 4 year-old to have some bonding time. I have two boys aged 2 & 4. The two of them together out in public is insanity. When it's just one of them out and about with me, they both actually act very good. Only children are very underrated.
Well my son wanted blueberries. That container was full to the brim (about 12 oz. of blueberries) before my son devoured some. It cost me $4.50. 12 oz. of blueberries at Stop & Shop this week would cost me $3 (because they are on a REALLY god sale this week). If they weren't on sale, the same 12 oz. would be about $6. So although $4.50 may seem expensive, you're paying around the same (if not more, if not on sale) at the grocery store. My son also picked out a pint of yellow cherry tomatoes. This container was $3. I don't think I've ever seen yellow tomatoes at chain grocery stores. Pints of grape tomatoes are usually about $2.50 at Stop & Shop. I dig yellow tomatoes because they are different. They aren't as sweet as their red counterparts. My son likes them too - just because he thinks them being yellow is "cool". Whatever works to get him to eat vegetables.
So overall, I spent $7.50. These days, I usually spend about $30 on produce a week at the grocery store. I'm planning on hitting up other Farmers' Markets this week so I need to spread out the money and love. Check back on me as I start to venture into other items and talk about how the prices relate to grocery store prices. I'll be checking out other South Shore farmers markets this week - including Quincy, Scituate, Cohasset, Hingham, and North Easton.
If you haven't been to a MA Farmers' Market, check out your local ones by visiting their website MASS Farmers Markets. You can also make a donation to by clicking THIS LINK.