My Saturday mornings are usually spent Yard Sale-ing and running mundane errands. Groceries are on the list and I’ve found a terrific resource for my fresh fruits and vegetables…THE FARMERS MARKET. I was raised in suburbia, so vegetables and fruit was always bland ...supermarket pre-packaged or canned produce.
Farmers make food from the land. They rarely get a day off because there are livestock and crops to tend to. They work very, very hard. Once a week, usually on a Saturday, some of them gather to sell freshly picked produce and homemade treats. They make a little extra money to help them get by in these hard times, and you can get great bargains on super fresh food.
Just watch the movie THE EGG & I and you will get a glimpse into their world.
Our closest Farmers Market is here in Williamstown, right at the lower end of SPRING STREET. Park and walk through the line-up of tents and see what treasures you can find. Great bargains on just-picked fruits and veggies, straight off the tree or bush, or out of the ground, (or wherever they come from!).
I scored some deals! There are a variety of products and the farmers vary from week to week, so get it when you see it, because they may not be there next week if they are busy with the farm.
I debated getting a half or a whole pint of fresh Grade A Maple Syrup made from our Berkshire maple trees.
The Sweet Brook Farm tent had some Alpaca Yarn…imagine, yarn from a critter with a name like Mimi!
One industrious lady baked many delicious and beautiful specialty gourmet cakes, just perfect for a special housewarming gift or dessert for tonight's dinner. These are just half of the variety she had this morning.
I was tempted to buy these beautiful flowers. Glorious color!
Pick your own veggies from boxes and bins!
I enjoyed the social aspect of going to the Farmers Market.
Theresa Buck, a longtime Williamstown resident, had a wonderful tent full of dolls, clothes for dolls (fits 18” and baby-dolls), handmade tea towels, potholders and stuffed animals. She has sewn most of her long life and keeps busy, despite the arthritis she sometimes gets in her hands.
In January when her husband died, sewing these clothes and toys helped her deal with the grief.
She proudly explained several of the doll outfits to me, pointing out the intricate details and graceful trimmings.
The grand shimmery pink ball gown had special handmade fancy shoes and even a mini size corsage! I was never a doll lover (I used to cut their hair off and float them in the pool), but Therea's beautiful stuff could possibly convert even me.
Theresa makes doll carriers as well (this one is shown with a bear)
and she makes oodles of different cloth dolls (similar to Raggedy Ann), but I liked the funny chicken and cow stuffed toys, with whimsical details… like cleavage and sewn on eyelashes!
Theresa worries over the closing of many fabric stores in the area. A sign of the times, sadly. Old time crafts are not as popular nowadays, but some folks are keeping the skill alive. She tells me, with tears in her eyes, how grateful she is for her children to help get her through this difficult time of her life.
OF COURSE I BOUGHT SOMETHING FROM HER…
(actually a pretty cool retro apple tea towel) : )
Heading down Route 2 East just a few miles, I ventured into the North Adams Farmers Market. Bigger than the Williamstown version, it is located right off Route 2 between Mass MoCA and Big Y.
Todd’s Blackberry Jam will be the center star of my Linzer Tart Cookies when I bake them next month. (If I don't open it and eat it all by then!)
Scapes are a garlic type plant. I never heard of them before. You can cut up the stem part into little bits and cook them in a sauce for a great garlic flavor, and also use the tiny white bulb at the end just like garlic. I grabbed up about 5 of these (only .10 cents each!). Found these from an olde tyme farmer who patiently explained what they were. I gotta get out more!
I was told these are the best darn dill pickles in the Berkshires!
There is always a great assortment of canned farm vegetables and fruits at this market. Think ahead for holiday food gift baskets!
Apples are here! YAY!
Guess who bought a peck of Macs to make her famous Spiced Apple Butter this week?! For baking and applesauce and butter, I use Utility apples, which are “drops” and imperfects that taste just as good as the fancy ones…at a great savings.
There is even a tent that sells soaps, hand lotion and doggie treats and toys…you never know what you will find! Those two lucky Airedale dogs at The 1896 House will sure be happy I came here today!
Are you ready for the Garlic Fest coming up in October????
Informal signage adds so much charm to the market experience.
Guess who ate a whoopie pie for breakfast today? Me and about 12 other people. She was almost sold out by 11am! This stand also has apple cake squares that are very moist and delicious. Lip Smackin Good!
All kinds of flowers picked this time of year. Perk up the livingroom, surprize a sweet grammy or mom or set the table for a special meal.
Go to the Farmers Market!
Even as a traveler, you can pick up a treat for the drive, or piece of fruit for the flight, or even grab a jar of pickles or jam to take as gifts or use for yourself when you are back home (to remind you of this terrific vacation). : )
The outcome of my take today? ... Steamed herbed vegetables over buttered noodles and fresh garden tomato slices with ranch dressing ...and a ganache-coated brownie for dessert! OH BOY! Jealous? ;0)
It doesn’t get any fresher than this!
Farmers Markets generally open early in the morning but close early in the afternoon.
Don’t miss out if you are visiting the area on a Saturday!