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Boston Area Farmers' Markets, One with a Horse Show

Updated on September 7, 2013

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

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.


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.

The Big E

A markerEastern States Exposition, Massachusetts -
Memorial / Circuit, West Springfield, MA 01089, USA
get directions

Boston seen from Boston University.
Boston seen from Boston University. | Source

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

A marker775 Commonwealth Ave., Boston MA -
775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA
get directions

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.

Capital Square

  • 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:

  • 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.

The USS Constitution at Boston
The USS Constitution at Boston | Source


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    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I used to visit Boston a lot when I was younger but have never been to the Big E! Here we have Farmers' Markets but they are basic fruit and craft stands! Interesting hub!!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Fascinating stuff! It's amazing what's out there. The motorcycle butter sculpture is too much.

    • bearnmom profile image

      Laura L Scotty 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      You have brought back memories of the now extinct Allegheny County Fairs that my Dad would take me too every Labor Day weekend and have given me a desire to visit this Farmer's Market. Good job.

    • AUPADHYAY profile image


      Very informative hub you have shared. Appreciated it. thanks for sharing it. voted it up also.