Boston Area Farmers' Markets, One with a Horse Show
The Big E Agricultural Fair and Farmers Market
In Massachusetts, farmers markets may join the Massachusetts Farmers Markets organization and participate in a related State Fair called the Big E during the last two-and-a-half weeks in September.
The Big E is the 6th largest and the oldest agricultural fair in the United States (founded 1917), outdistancing the Ohio State Farm each August, which is primarily agricultural.
The Big E actually encompasses the six New England States and each state has a replica of its statehouse on the Avenue of States. If you want to know about New England and purchase sproduce from that area, see it all at once by vacationing at the Big E.
The Big E hosts old time farm related competitions like tractor pulls, exhibits and displays, live entertainment, a circus, rides, arts and crafts, and retail areas. New England's food is offered at a variety of good concessions stands and kiosks.
Visiting in September is one way of seeing most of the state's farm markets up close and finding some great produce and other home made goods. Agricultural items probably best exemplify Made In America. It is located about 90 mile west of Boston MA off highway I-90. visitors can visit the fair, shop farmers' market stalls, and view the changing autumn leaves all in one trip, even over a weekend.
In addition, in 2013, the number of Massachusetts farmers' markets that accept SNAP cards rose to over 200, helping hungry families.
Avenue of the States
Boston, on Massachusetts Bay
Massachusetts Farmers Markets
- Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets
Annual Urban Barn Dance, each October
Big E Butter Cow and Her Motorcycle
The Big E
I have never seen a market as large as the Big E and I've never seen so many red radishes together before. What is ore remarkable is the variety of entertainment and events at this agricultural market and fair.
The Big E Horse Show features hunters and jumps for a week in the middle of September. Saddle Horse and Draft Horse events also fill the week. There is even a final competition between draft horse 6-hitch teams - its like thunder in the Colosseum.
The last thing you might expect at a farmers' market event is a circus, a Mardis Gras Parade, and a lot of live musical entertainment.
Living and tribute artists entertain fairgoers with music each night of the fair and much of it is free of charge. These artists include people like:
- The Beach Boys
- Tommy James and the Shondells
- Elvis tour musicians
- Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn
- Don Felder of The Eagles
Farm-O-Rama at the Big E
This fair really is all about farming and good food. At Farm-O-Rama, fairgoers can milk a cow and watch baby chicks hatch. You can pet the Clydesdale horses. You can see the bee hives working, even though bees have been dying off lately around the world. You can even listen to storytellers here.
Nearby, a 19th Century village is replicated with docents that talk about life and times in this agricultural era in Massachusetts and America.
Future Farmers of America and 4-H are involved and the Big E has many food contests during this exposition, including a cupcake event. Pick up some recipes here.
Visit the Incredible Big E Web Site
The Big E
Boston University Farmer's Market
Thjis farmer's Market is held just a couple of miles west of the center of Boston on the Charles River at the University. Hours are Thursdays from 11:00am - 3:00pm during September and October each year. it specifically encourages and supports local sustainable farmers and producers of food products.
The market is held at 775 Commonwealth Ave. on the Boston University Plaza.
George Sherman Union Plaza at Boston Unviersity
Boston Neighborhood Farmers' Markets
Boston supports over 30 neighborhood farmers' markets, with the number growing each year. Some of them include:
Boston Medical Center's Menino Pavilion
- 850 Harrison Avenue; Fridays 11:30am – 2:30pm
Boston City Hall
- 1 City Hall Plaza; Mondays and Wednesdays 11:00am – 6:00pm
Bowdoin Geneva Farmers' Market at the Bowdoin Community Health Center
- 230 Bowdoin Street in Dorchester, MA 02122; Tuesdays 2:30pm - 6:00pm, June through October.
- Large selection of produce, herbs, fish, eggs, bread, honey, spreads, flowers, others.
- Central Square at Meridian, Bennington and Border Street; Thursdays 3:00pm – 6:30pm
- 525 River Street; Saturdays 10:00am – 1:00pm
- .Mars Farmers' Market, Mattapan; 926 Cummins Highway. Phone: (617) 298-9600
ReVision Urban Farm Stand - Don't miss this one. it sets up farm stands locally and offers education and job training programs. The organization also houses 22 homeless families. Web site: http://www.vpi.org/Farm/FarmStand.htm
- 1062 Blue Hill Avenue
- Thursdays & Fridays 2:30pm - 6:30pm
- Saturdays 10:00am - 2:00pm
The City of Boston includes over 200 community gardens, along with school gardens, urban gardens, urban farms, and urban orchards. In fact, Higher Ground Farming is an urban farm on a city rooftop. Boston residents can donate copost materials at seral sites to help these enterprises.
Roslindale Farmers' Market - One of the largest Boston markets
- Adams Park, Washington at Cummins Highway in Roslindale, MA. Saturdays 9:00am - 1:00pm June through November each year.
- Vegetables, honeys, meats, baked goods, jams/jellies, herbs, cheese, milk, eggs, popcorn, crafts.
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