Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Stoneham Farmer's Market Returns

After a hiatus, the Stoneham Farmers Market has been resurrected and opened last week. I checked out the first market and look forward to returning again, to revisit some of the vendors and see what other new vendors begin showcasing their products. The Market is open every Thursday, from 2:30pm-6:30pm, on the Town Common and will take place into mid-October. There is plenty of parking in the area, making it easy to stop by the Market.

In the middle of the Common is the main Market booth, where you can obtain additional information, check the calendar of upcoming events, enter a raffle, and more.

This sign provides a calendar of upcoming events at the Market, from entertainment to artisans.

There was a community booth with the Stoneham Alliance Against Violence whose mission is: "To raise community awareness of domestic violence, and to promote programs that work to reduce violence and encourage healthy relationships." It is good to see the Market helping to promote such important community issues.

Obviously, at a Farmers Market, you hope to get some fresh and delicious produce and there were three vendors at last week's market. During the next few months, you will see a number of different produce vendors, including Kelly's Farm, Sugar River FarmArrowhead Farm, and Lanni Orchards.  Some of these farms sell organic produce. Everything I saw looked very fresh, and the items I eventually purchased, from tomatoes to Romaine were tasty.

Some of the produce may be more expensive than you find at the local, chain grocery stores, but I believe it is worth the extra cost. It is local and fresh, and some of the produce you get at the grocery stories might come from anywhere in the world. You get to support a local farm, a small business, rather than a huge corporation. The organic produce can be more expensive but it is just as pricey as organic produce at the chain grocery stores. I also think the local produce tastes better than much you might find at the chain grocery stores.

Red Fire Farm was also at last weeek's market.

Based in Somerville, Deano's Pasta produces a variety of pasta, from fresh egg fusilli to ravioli. You can also purchase theit sauces, such as marinara or cream sauce. Their menu is likely to change each week, offering different items all the time.

There were several baked goods vendors at the Market. Top Shelf Cookies, which bakes its cookies in Dorchester, offered about five different types this week, and it seems they will offer some different choices in the future. From Chocolate Chip to Green Monster Mint, the cookies cost $3 for a pack of 2 and $7 for a pack of 6. I sampled some of the cookies and they were soft and fresh, with very nice flavors. Top notch products. I especially liked Alex's Sweet Heat, a chocolate cookie made with hot sauce which gave it a pleasant, spicy finish. I'll be back to buy more of their cookies.

Jennifer Lee's Bakery offers cookies, breads, cupcakes and more. I bought one of the corn breads and it was good, especially watm, slathered in butter and accompanying some pulled pork.

Two other bakers who were at the Market last week include Swiss Bakers and Mad Cake Genius. Swiss Bakers is one of my favorite bakeries, and they always have lots of delicious Swiss treats, from preztel breads to berliners, linzers to weggli. Mad Cake Genius now has a store in Melrose and they produce Finnegans, those small, cinnamon puff pastries which once were made by Hank's Bakery. That alone is reason to check them out.

Roberto's Seafood offers about a dozen types of frozen seafood, such as Haddock ($9 lb) and Tuna ($9 lb). I didn't buy anything from them last week but plan to do so soon. Local seafood is a great choice and the prices seem reasonable. As I often say, people need to eat more seafood so it was great to see such a vendor at the Market.

Besides all the food, last week there was a booth selling paintings and prints.

There was also Wicked Good Soap Company,, which makes bath and beauty products, including goats milk soap.

It is great to see the Stoneham Farmers Market back again, and I hope you check it out to buy some fresh produce, baked goods, seafood and more. I'll be returning there and if I find anything particularly special, I will be sure to let you know. I am hoping the Market will have a meat vendor in the near future.

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