Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wakefield Farmer's Market

Support your local farmer's market!

The Wakefield Farmer's Market is open every Saturday, 9am-1pm, from now through October 17. It is located at Hall Park on North Avenue, adjacent to the Veterans ballfield and parking lot on Lake Quannapowitt. It was established by the Wakefield Initiative, "...a small group of residents who are committed to improving the quality of life in Wakefield."

I recently stopped there and they have a number of booths spread out over a grassy area with a nice view of the lake. They have some diverse vendors, including some types which are not available at some other farmer's market. You can find items from seafood to bread, cheese to produce. Plus even items for your pets.

Some of the vendors include: Giovanna Gelato, which makes artisan Gelato; Petsi’s Pies, which makes sweet and savory pies (though they were not there on the day I visited); Coutt's Specialty Foods, which make jams, jellies, preserves, relishes and applesauce; Sassy River Sauces, with low calorie, low fat pestos, tapenades, spreads and sauces; and LaCascia's Bakery, with fresh baked Italian crusty bread.

At MooBaaNaa Cheese, Phil Hermann sells a variety of locally made, artisan cheeses including mozzerella, ricotta, goat cheese, cheddar, gouda and more. I bought a few different cheeses here, including a delicious Champlain Triple, a soft ripened triple crème cheese. I spoke a bit with Phil and he was an exuberant and passionate cheese lover.

Fior D'Italia Pasta: Vic Tirrito owns this pasta company which is based in Vermont. He uses only products from New England tries to use as much organic as possible. At the market, he sells various pasta, ravioli and sauces. Pasta includes items like gnocchi, sweet potato gnocchi, tagliatelle, rigatoni and more. Ravioli include four cheese, grilled portobella, shellfish & wild mushroom, and much more. Sauces include marinara and tomato & basil. I really enjoyed the gorgonzola & walnut ravioli, as well as the tomato & basil sauce. I have more pasta to try and look forward to cooking it for dinner soon.

SwissBäkers: This excellent Swiss bakery, which is located in Reading, sells many of its products at this market. It is one of my favorite local bakeries, selling a delicious variety of fresh and natural breads, pastries and baked goods. You definitely should stop here and check out what they have to offer. Get there early though as they do get a crowd and might sell out quickly of their best items.

Flats Mentor Farm: One of the booths offering produce, they primarily sell Asian produce grown by local Hmong farmers using sustainable farming methods. You might find items such as Asian Cucumber, Chinese Broccoli, and Daikon Radish.

Farmer Dave's: This is another stall selling various local fruits, vegetables and flowers. The farm is located in Dracut, and Dave tries to be as organic as possible.

Globe Fish Company: This Boston based seafood company is family owned and operated. They offer fresh, not frozen, fish from the fishermen of Gloucester, New Bedford, and Boston. They sell items such as haddock, cod, halibut, salmon, swordfish, bluefish, tuna, scallops and shrimp. The items come prepackaged and the swordfish and scallops I bought were excellent. The seafood is a bit pricey but you certainly are getting high quality fish.

So please stop by the Wakefield Farmer's Market and support local vendors.

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