Woman picking out vegetables at a Farmer's Market

It’s Farmers’ Market Season

Summer is the perfect time to wander through your local farmers’ market. However, amidst a busy season of life, it can be difficult to schedule grocery shopping in general, let alone a farmers’ market trip. The tips below can help make it easier for you to get your fruits and veggies from a nearby farmer. If you can find the time, take advantage of these sunny days to visit a market. You will get a chance to move your body as you go up and down the farmers’ booths, while also possibly finding some delicious fruits and veggies to share with your family.

Asian woman picking out red peppers at a farmer's market

Find the Best Price

Farmers’ markets have a reputation for being expensive, but they do not have to be! Fruits and veggies at your local market can be very affordable with a few tricks. First, when you arrive at the market, do a quick walk through to compare prices. This is similar to comparing different brands of the same foods at the grocery store. Instead of the foods being next to each other on a shelf though, they may be different prices from different vendors. Another thing you can do is ask for B-grade produce for a discount. This might mean having funny looking carrots or slightly smaller strawberries, but they will be just as delicious. A third trick is to shop toward the end of the market’s open hours. Many vendors do not want to have to lug back many pounds of produce when the market closes. You might get a better deal if a seller is eager to get rid of some extra items. Combine all three of these ideas and you are sure to get a great deal!

Most importantly, use your food benefits at the farmers’ market. Your EBT card can stretch your dollars very far. Many markets accept SNAP or Summer EBT, as well as HIP, which can essentially double your SNAP dollars. Learn more about the HIP program here. For even more tips on navigating the farmers’ market, check out this blog post.

Know Where and When to Go

Finding a nearby farmers’ market at a time that works for you can be difficult. The DTA Farmers’ Market map can make that easier. This interactive map shows where markets are located, what their hours are, and if they accept SNAP/EBT and HIP. SNAP-Ed also shows up often at many farmers’ markets across Massachusetts, and that can be a great tool to guiding you through a busy market. There are a variety of nutrition education activities you might see, ranging from scavenger hunts to food samples and more. See below for where we will be in your area.

Young man in wheelchair rolls by a sign for a farmers' market

Eastern Massachusetts

In the Greater Boston area, SNAP-Ed visits many different markets. If you drop by the SNAP-Ed booth, you can learn more about the market, play games, and maybe even taste something new. Check out the following:

  • South Boston: June 17, July 8, August 12 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
  • Medford: June 20, July 18, August 15 from 3:00pm to 7:00pm
  • Roxbury Crossing: June 28, July 12, August 30 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
  • Central Square: July 1, August 19 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Belmont: July 11 from 2:00pm to 6:30pm
  • East Boston: July 17, August 7, August 28 from 3:00pm to 6:30pm
  • Somerville Mobile Market at East Library: August 9, August 30 from 2:30pm to 4:30pm

Central Massachusetts

In Worcester, SNAP-Ed partners with the Worcester Regional Environmental Council mobile farmers’ market. Kids and adults can receive kitchen gadgets by completing a scavenger hunt around the market. There will be food tastings, activities, and more at the following locations, dates, and times:

  • Seabury Heights: June 12, June 26, July 10, July 24, July 31 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm
  • Beaver Brook: June 24, June 28, July 12, July 19, July 26 from 9:00am to 12:00pm
  • Webster Square: June 25, July 16 from 1:30pm to 2:30pm
  • Worcester Senior Center: June 26, July 18 from 8:30am to 9:30am
  • Family Health Center: July 11 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Murray & Wellington: July 11 from 3:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Lincoln Village: July 30 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Western Massachusetts

In Western Massachusetts, you will find SNAP-Ed activities all over. You may stumble upon a food tasting at your local market. Stop by to say hello, and you may be able to try something new! Check out the following:

  • Springfield Area:
    • Brightwood Health Center: July 23, August 6 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm
    • Colonial Estates: July 29 from 1:30pm to 2:30pm
    • Downtown Springfield Farmers’ Market: July 26, August 2, August 9, August 23 from 11:00am to 2:00pm
    • East Springfield Public Library: July 24 from 3:00pm to 3:30pm
    • Forest Park: July 9, July 16, August 20 from 12:00pm to 3:30pm
  • Holyoke Farmers’ Market:
    • Holyoke Medical Center: July 17, August 7 from 11:00am to 2:00pm
    • Veterans Park: July 30, August 13 from 11:00am to 2:00pm
  • West Springfield Farmers’ Market: August 15 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm
  • Westfield Farmers’ Market: July 25, August 22 from 12:30pm to 4:00pm

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