I was just rereading Food Rules, Michael Pollan’s handy eating guide from two years ago. What a great reminder of what is and is not, food! Sometimes is the rush and bustle, we forget what is real, and what is not. This food reminds us in one to three paragraph (average) nuggets of reality.
Chapter 15: Get out of the Supermarket Whenever You Can
You won’t find any high-fructose corn syrup at the farmers’ market. You also won’t find any elaborately processed food products, and packages with long lists of unpronounceable food ingredients or dubious health claims, anything microwaveable, or, perhaps best of all, any old food from far away. what you will find are fresh, whole foods harvested at the peak of their taste and nutritional quality – precisely the kind your great-grandmother, or even your Neolithic ancestors, would easily recognize as food. The kind that is alive and eventually will rot.
You can find farmers’ markets all over Massachusetts this year. I would personally recommend four, for your off-the-beaten-path perusal:
Bernardston on Tuesday’s from 4-7 (look for the signs: it’s in the center of town — you can’t miss it!) Bernardston has a vibrant market with nearly a dozen vendors, some ready-to-consume baked goods, veggies, meats, and more. While you are in Bernardston, you could drop by a new candle company, a great little general store, grab a bite at a local restaurant, and go golfing!
Northfield on Thursday’s from 4-7 (look for the signs: it’s slightly north of the center of town) Northfield has an established market with a connection with the Trinitarian Congregational Church, who offers up completely cooked, take-out meals (or eat-in) that coincide with the market hours. Many locals – from busy families with kids, to business professionals on their way home from work, to retirees, come by and purchase a reasonably priced, tasty meal (complete entree/salad/roll is around eight dollars). Market vendors offer meats (ours!), veggies, and maple products, locally produced crafts and more. Northfield is a great town for outdoor activities: biking, boating, golfing, hiking, fishing, kayaking, rock climbing, eating ice cream cones, and more…
Conway on Thursday’s from 4-7 (look for the signs: we are in the center of town – you can’t miss us!) Conway’s market has a diverse farmer and local crafts-person base: locally handcrafted jewelry, cards, veggies, lemonade, meats (ours!), jams, jellys and relishes and chutneys, and even a farm with Beefalo meat, and another with cordwood for sale… Conway is a weekly market for all-seasons. Conway now has a couple of places to get ice cream cones in the center of town (a block away), places to eat, an eclectic bookstore, and miles of winding country roads snaking alongside picturesque babbling brooks and rivers.
Charlemont on Saturday’s from 10-2 (look for the signs: we are in the center of town – you can’t miss us and please Do Not Park ON Route 2. There is a parking lot beside the market — for your safety please pull off the road!) Charlemont is a market with a social conscience — the farmer’s involved with that market are all un-certified, nearly organic, humane and sustainable. You can get goat cheese, eggs, our meats, and another farm has grassfed beef steaks, and still another has lamb and veggies. In Charlemont, as with Northfield, outside sports activities abound: River-centric sports especially — kayaking, canoeing, and then there is zip-lining, hiking, biking and more.