(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Berkshire Grown will host Winter Farmers’ Markets during Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend and Valentine’s Day weekend on Saturdays, January 16 and February 13, from 10am to 2pm, at Monument Valley Middle School (313 Monument Valley Road). 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 fresh greens, carrots, watermelon radishes, and 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. If each of us buys directly from a farmer, we build the local food economy.”
“We’ll be selling lettuce heads, mesclun mix, mustard mix, braising mix, arugula, pac choi, and spinach, which we grow in an unheated greenhouse, along with vegetables grown in our field under low tunnels,” said Jan Johnson of Mill River Farm. “It’s not easy to grow greens in December and I’m pleased that we’re finally making it work. Now we just have to sell them. The retail opportunity presented by the Berkshire Grown markets is really important to us.”
The January and February markets will showcase the Berkshire winter bounty of potatoes, carrots, beets, winter squash, onions, garlic, mushrooms, kale, and a variety of other greens detailed above, as well as eggs, chicken, goat, grass fed pork and beef, over a dozen different kinds of locally produced cheeses, ice cream, jams, pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut and tempeh, 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. Food Adventures will lead children’s hands-on snack-making activities with seasonal ingredients.
These events are an extension of the organization’s Holiday Farmers’ Markets, which enjoyed record attendance this past November and December, with 5,700 shoppers showing their appreciation for local farmers at markets in Great Barrington and Williamstown.
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 non-profit organization, see Berkshire Grown or call 413.528.0041.