Farmers markets have sprung to life in Central Massachusetts.
For the Sturbridge Farmers Market, despite pandemic precautions, foot traffic has been steady and plentiful, and that has helped the market survive.
“During the pandemic we had fencing so that you had to go in one entrance and exit another entrance so we could control how many people were there at any given moment,” Sarah Goodwin, one of the managers, said. “We had a pretty good flow to it, and it worked. We still had quite a turnout.”
This year, while some markets will be able to return to their normal opening times, many locations, such as the Canal District Farmers Market in Worcester and the Charlton Farmers Market, have permanently closed since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following is a list of 16 area markets to check out:
Barre Farmers Market
Vendors set up bright and early here with homegrown vegetables and fruits, flowers, plants, dairy products including milk, cream and cheeses, fresh eggs, homemade jams and jellies, real maple syrup, and various baked goods including pies, cookies and breads. According to the market’s website, it also features craft stands with ceramics, clothing, handmade candles, soaps, lotions, quilts, jewelry, photography and furniture.
When: May 7 to Oct. 29, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Where: 30 Park St., Barre
Beaver Brook Park Farmers Market
Where: 306 Chandler St., Worcester
When: June 24 to Nov. 5, Fridays 9 a.m. to noon; Mondays 9 a.m. to noon
Blackstone/Daniels Farmstead Farmers Market
The market features its own organic garden with a variety of veggies and herbs. Vendors set up stands with produce, baking goods, soaps, scents and even alpaca products as fall nears. Don’t forget to try their homemade fudge.
When: July 3 to Oct. 2, Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: 286 Mendon St., Blackstone
Brimfield Farmers & Artisans Market
This market is one of the earlier ones to open every year, setting up stands as early as April. They take pride in their locally grown plants, seasonal produce and handmade goods. They feature farmers and artisans selling vegetables, produce, meat, baked goods, maple products, ice cream, crafts and soaps.
When: April 16 to Oct. 29, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., except for May 14, July 16 and Sept. 10 when Brimfield Flea Market is held in town.
Where: Hitchcock Academy Parking Lot, 2 Brookfield Road, Brimfield
Fitchburg Farmers Market
When: June 16 to October from 3 to 6 p.m.
Where: Location to be decided.
Grafton Farmers Market
This market is managed by volunteers and provides locally grown produce, baked goods, artisanal foods, and hand-crafted items. According to its website, its vendors always provide fresh, local food directly from farmers to consumers. It also aims to aid in the health of local farms and educate the community about healthy and sustainable living.
When: June 15 to October, Wednesdays from 2 to 6 p.m.
Where: Grafton Municipal Town Building, 30 Providence Road, Grafton
Hardwick Farmers Market
The market sells produce, flowers and honey from local farms not only in Hardwick but also from New Braintree, Barre, Ware, Petersham and Oakham. Nancy Lee, manager of the market, said that vendors will also sell homemade birdhouses, handmade crafts of local artists, and a wide variety of musicians.
When: June 19 to Oct. 30, Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Hardwick Common, Hardwick Road & Route 32A, Hardwick
Holden Farmers Market
Turning 25 this year, the market will feature 24 vendors with bakery products, vegetables, herbal products, CBD products, soaps, cut flowers, Indian cuisine, dairy, alpaca products, meats and eggs, according to manager Leslie Kelly.
When: May 17 to Oct. 18 (weather permitting), Tuesdays from 3 to 6 p.m.
Where: 1187 Main St., Holden
Leicester Farmers Market
Dianna Provencher has been running the market for 12 years. She said that she leaves it up to the vendors to decide what to sell and when to do so. Products at her market include vegetables, blueberries, rhubarb, soap, honey, hand cream, honey, lip balm and sunflowers.
When: Either from June 18 or from June 25 to Oct. 29, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: 1230 Main St., Leicester (Casa Cantina Restaurant parking lot)
Leominster Farmers Market
According to its Facebook page, the market offers farm-fresh eggs, locally grown produce, grass-fed beef, pork, chicken, local honey, freshly baked cookies, pies, cupcakes and breads. They also have artists with crafts such as jewelry, soaps, blown glass, knitting and crochet, pottery and paintings.
When: First Saturdays of the month on June 4, July 2, Aug. 6, Sept. 3 and Oct. 1
Where: 25 West St., Leominster
Shrewsbury Farmers Market
The market takes pride in featuring a variety of vendors who sell products produced within 60 miles of Shrewsbury. On its website, it says that this year's vendors will sell fresh produce, meat, eggs, baked goods, locally made handmade soaps and artisanal crafts.
When: June 15 to Sept. 21, Wednesdays from 2:30 to 6:30 pm
Where: Shrewsbury Senior Center parking lot at 98 Maple Ave., Shrewsbury
Sturbridge Farmers Market
The managers at this market celebrate their fifth anniversary this year, featuring about 25 vendors from within the town and some from surrounding towns. Sarah Goodwin, one of the managers, said that the market will feature fresh produce, a wine and cider stand, soap makers and lotions, sourdough and gluten-free products, dried flowers and fresh flowers, ice cream, maple syrups, meat products such as pork, chicken and beef, and most importantly, live music.
When: June 5 to Oct. 16, Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Town Common, Main Street, Sturbridge
University Park Farmers Market
Where: 965 Main St., Worcester; parking on Gates Street in the Clark University lot.
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon
West Brookfield Farmers Market
According to its Facebook page, this market annually sees 20 regular vendors set up with their locally grown fruits and veggies, cheese and meat products, bread, honey, maple, jams and sweets. Check out their perennials as well.
When: June 2 to Oct. 12, Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. rain or shine.
Where: West Brookfield Common, West Brookfield
Westminster Farmers Market
The market will see 25 vendors from within 50 miles of Westminster this year, according to the market’s website. Anything from meats and produce, to fertilizers and pesticides, are on the menu, as well as honey products, knitting, soaps, crafts, and even homemade pasta products.
When: May 13 to October, 3 to 6 p.m.
Where: Academy Hill, Westminster
Worcester/Out To Lunch Festival and Farmers Market
According to the city’s website, three dates in the summer will be a chance for farmers, crafters and food vendors to showcase their products for this year. While shopping for those local veggies, shoppers will also be accompanied by the music of live performances.
When: Aug. 4, Aug. 18 and Sept. 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Worcester Common, behind City Hall, Worcester
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Farmers markets start showing up in Central Massachusetts. List of 15.