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Supporting a local farmer’s market can decrease your carbon footprint, strengthen your connection with your community, and help you stay fit and healthy. Massachusetts farmers are as abundant as the offerings they produce, so add some local flavor to your meals by purchasing direct from the source at a farmers’ market near you or through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share.

Farmers’ Market Tips

  • Take public transportation, walk, or bike to your local market.
  • Bring your own bags to minimize waste and environmental impact.
  • Bring cash. Some vendors accept credit cards, SNAP/EBT benefits, and WIC farmers’ market coupons, but cash is accepted by all.
  • Learn what fruits and vegetables are in season to plan ahead for a healthy dinner.
  • Take your time. Browse all vendors before purchasing, and ask questions to get to know the people behind the produce.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new. You may come across produce you’ve never seen before; try it. You never know what new discovery you will make.
  • Turn a trip to the market into a fun and educational adventure for your children. Encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables by giving them an allowance to pick out their own produce.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation operates farmers’ markets at each of its 18 service plazas. Local farmers can sell at these locations for free. If you are a farmer who would like to sell at one of these locations, contact Dave Fenton by email or call (413) 572-3171. To learn more about selling your products at additional farmers’ markets across the Commonwealth and for advice on best practices visit the EEA’s Farmers’ Market Resources for Farmers.

Community Supported Agriculture

Community supported agriculture allows consumers to invest directly in a local farm. Generally an entire season is paid for in advance, though some CSAs will allow monthly or weekly payments. Throughout the season, customers get a basket of produce – sometimes including eggs, fish, meat, or dairy – delivered or available for pick-up weekly. Because contents of the weekly share are dependent on recent crops and harvests, each CSA is slightly different. Find the right one for you by perusing this interactive map from MassGrown.

Brighten up your summer by visiting a farmer’s market and trying some new fun and healthy recipes.

What are your best farmer’s market finds or recipes? Share by commenting below or tweet us @MassGov.

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