An expanded market season, Market Match SNAP doubling, and the relocation for the Williamstown Farmers Markets
This year, Berkshire Grown extends its Great Barrington winter market season into March and April. The winter markets feature fun activities for kids, food for breakfast and lunch, plus live music by local musicians. Berkshire Grown’s farmers markets showcase the Berkshire’s winter bounty of apples, potatoes, carrots, beets, winter squash, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and a variety of greens including kale, brussels sprouts, and micro greens. Plus shoppers can find the freshest eggs, chicken, lamb, grass fed pork and beef, and over a dozen different kinds of locally-produced cheeses, jams, pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, honey, and delicious baked goods.
Berkshire Grown’s Winter Farmers Markets in Great Barrington feature the freshest locally grown and produced foods and gifts, including fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, breads, preserved foods, plus the yummiest grilled sausages, egg sandwiches, and lamb kebabs. These tremendously popular events take place on the 3rd Saturday of the month, November through April. All winter long shoppers can find their favorite farmers, food producers, and craft vendors at the Monument Valley Regional Middle School from 10 am to 2 pm. Join us for food, friends, farmers, and loads of fun on December 15, January 19, February 16, March 16, and April 20.
“What is wonderful is that every dollar shoppers spend at a farmers market grows the local food economy, puts money directly into a farmer’s pocket, and keeps the Berkshires the pastoral place we love,” said Margaret Moulton, Berkshire Grown’s new executive director. “Farmers markets reflect their community and bring people together. The remarkable Berkshire community has always embraced local food and our expanded market season reflects a growing desire to buy that food directly from the farmers.”
In Williamstown, Berkshire Grown’s Holiday Farmers Market will take place on Sunday, December 16. This month, the market will move to the big red barn at Sweetwood of Williamstown, 1611 Cold Spring Road. While the location is different from past years, shoppers will still be able to find their favorite farmers and vendors from 10 am to 2 pm. Market vendors will fill the big red barn with veggies, alpaca mittens, mushrooms, maple syrup, and more produce and gift items, while farmers selling freshly-made egg sandwiches, soups, and hot cider will gather in the Sweetwood dining area. Music and kids crafts can be found in the activity room.
This year, the Williamstown community expanded the concept of community support when it became clear that the market’s traditional location at the Williams College Towne Field House would not be available due to construction delays. While scrambling to find a suitable location within the heart of the Williamstown community, Moulton reached out to the school district administration, among other community leaders. Williamstown elementary Principal Joelle Brookner had a brainstorm – “What about the big red barn at Sweetwood?” One phone call to Sweetwood’s Community Relations Manager, Aimee Boesse, and the problem was solved. “The staff and residents at Sweetwood are incredibly generous,” says Moulton. Sweetwood will clear their parking lots for market use, open up their lounge and activity rooms for eating and visiting, and shuttle shoppers to over-flow parking at Mt. Greylock High School as needed. “It gives me chills to see how the Williamstown community came together from all directions to make sure local farmers had a place to come together for the Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers Market.”
Admission is free and SNAP/EBT is accepted at all markets. Thanks to our supporters at the Berkshire Food Co-op and Mountain One, SNAP dollars will doubled at the Berkshire Grown December Holiday Farmers Markets! Major sponsors of the Winter Farmers Markets include Iredale Mineral Cosmetics and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at Williams College. In addition, Berkshire Grown is grateful for generous support from the Ed Herrington Inc., Storey Publishing, Lee Bank, Berkshire Food Co-op, Berkshire Property Agents, CMC Berkshires, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, , WAMC, Rolling Rock Salt, Sweet Brook Farm, the Center for Environmental Studies at Williams College, and Williamstown Chamber of Commerce.
Berkshire Grown supports and promotes local agriculture as a vital part of the Berkshire community, economy, and landscape; its mission is to “Keep farmers farming!” Through events, workshops, promotions, advocacy, and education highlighting locally grown and produced food, Berkshire Grown helps to create a thriving local food economy. For more information, go to berkshiregrown.org or call 413.528.0041.