(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Berkshire Grown will host its first Winter Farmers’ Markets on Saturdays, January 17 and February 14, 2015, from 10am to 2pm at Monument Valley Middle School (313 Monument Valley Road) in Great Barrington. These events are an extension of the organization’s Holiday Farmers’ Markets, which enjoyed record attendance this past November and December, with 2,300 shoppers at the markets in Great Barrington and 2,700 shoppers at the markets in Williamstown. These popular events feature locally grown and produced foods, plus live music, lunch fare, and activities for children, during months when most farmers’ markets are not open in the region. Admission is free.
“Imagine in the middle of January being able to buy carrots, watermelon radishes, a variety of potatoes grown here in the Berkshires, plus locally produced cheeses and meat,” said Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown. “That’s our vision for the winter farmers’ markets. We are experimenting — these are our first farmers markets in January and February, so we need everyone to join us for them to succeed. If each of us buys directly from a farmer, we build the local food economy.”
The January and February markets will showcase the Berkshire winter bounty of apples, pears, celery root, potatoes, carrots, beets, winter squash, leeks, kale, lettuce, onions, garlic, and chard, as well as eggs, grass fed pork and beef, over a dozen different kinds of locally produced cheeses, yogurt, jams, chutneys, pickles, dried herbs, fermented vegetables, cordials, vinegars, cider, maple syrup, honey, and delicious baked goods. Grilled sausages and wood fired pizza with locally grown toppings will be on sale to eat at the festive event.
The January market will feature musical entertainment by Sax O’Fun and Cosby Gibson. Children’s activities will include hands-on snackmaking with Food Adventures and origami with Alison Reisel.
Major sponsors of the Winter Farmers’ Markets include Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), and Williams College. Berkshire Grown received funding from MDAR to promote Massachusetts Grown … and Fresher! at the markets. The Williams College Sustainable Food and Agriculture Program and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives support the markets as a community partnership to further incorporate the principles of sustainability into the fabric of campus life.
Berkshire Grown is grateful for generous support from the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce, Berkshire Co-op Market, Berkshire Organics, Greater Berkshire Agriculture Fund of The Carrot Project, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, Kimball Farms, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, and Sweet Brook Farm.
Berkshire Grown supports and promotes local agriculture as a vital part of the Berkshire community, economy, and landscape; its mission is to “Keep farmers farming!” Through events, workshops, promotions, advocacy, and education highlighting locally grown and produced food, Berkshire Grown helps to create a thriving local food economy. For more information or to become a member of the nonprofit organization, see Berkshire Grown or call 413.528.0041.