Lifestyle, News

Enjoying a taste of summer in Medford

Rachael Holmes smelling fresh dill at the Freedom Food Farm stand. (Marianne Salza)

MEDFORD — It’s summer in Medford and the Farmers Market visitors are buying jugs of pure Vermont maple syrup from Ackermann Maple Farm, grabbing loaves of cranberry orange tea bread from Big Sky Bread Bakery, and sipping on Corbett’s honey sticks.

This is the first season that the Farmers Market has taken place at Condon Shell, on Mystic Valley Parkway, and residents have been flocking to the riverside venue that is handicapped accessible and has a parking lot.

“We’re lucky to have the city backing us,” said Mike Quinn, President of the Board of Directors. “This new location has increased foot traffic and sales. We love it here. It’s great. We’re very happy with our vendors.”

Sixteen local farmers and food producers provided baked goods, vibrant vegetables and fruits, herbs, and wine along the 150-foot path, where neighbors dropped by on bikes, and families wheeled strollers.

“If we had 10 produce vendors, I don’t think we’d have as many people interested in being here. They’d also take away from each other’s sales,” Quinn explained. “We have four produce vendors: one has more fruit than others, two are organic — and one of those sells organic meat – and another sells flowers.”

Beginning in mid July, the Farmers Market began hosting the Everything is Free swap table, where people can pick-up and drop off gently used items, such as a set of martini glasses and pair of ice skates.

Quinn takes pride in the Farmers Market receiving a Medford Arts Council grant to pay musicians for providing live entertainment, a treat that was not in the budget in previous years.

“We have musicians booked every hour of every week. The music is an advantage that we have. We’re lucky to have the music,” said Quinn, who joined the organization to set a good example for his children about eating healthy.

“We do not allow anyone who is sourcing their products from outside New England or New York,” said Quinn, who grew up in an agricultural town and loved visiting farm stands with his parents. “If Lanni Orchards hands you a pint of blueberries, or Good Roots hands you a head of lettuce, there’s a good chance they were on a plant this morning.”

Visit the Medford Farmers Market every Thursday from 3-7 p.m. from now until October 12. For more information on vendors and entertainment, visit www.MedfordFarmersMarket.org.

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