(GREAT BARRINGTON and WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Berkshire Grown will host six Holiday Farmers’ Markets on Saturdays November 19, December 17, January 14 and February 18 at Monument Valley Middle School in Great Barrington, and on Sundays, November 20 and December 18, at Williams College Towne Field House, from 10am to 2pm. These festive events feature the freshest locally grown and produced foods and gifts, including fruits and vegetables, cheeses, meats, breads, preserved foods and grilled sausages during months when farmers’ markets are rarely open in the region. Admission is free.
Both markets will feature food, music, and children’s activities. Last year, more than 5,000 people attended the six Holiday Farmers’ Markets, generating more than $181,000 in sales to the vendors.
“What’s wonderful is that every dollar we spend at a farmers’ market grows the local food economy — helps us put money directly into a farmers’ pocket and keeps the Berkshires the pastoral place we love,” said Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown.
Berkshire Grown’s Holiday Farmers’ Markets will showcase the Berkshire bounty of apples, potatoes, carrots, beets, winter squash, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and a variety of greens including kale, Brussels sprouts, braising greens and micro-greens. Markets feature eggs, meat from chickens, goats, grass-fed pigs and cattle, over a dozen different kinds of locally produced cheeses, ice cream, jams, pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, honey, and baked goods.
This year in Williamstown, Deanna Cook, who wrote Farmers Market Create and Play Activity Book, will give kids a chance to play shop with pretend fruits and veggies, and also to play with a simple sensory garden and plant marker craft that teaches them about where food comes from. Storey Publishing, based at MASS MoCA in North Adams, will also be at the market to sell books on cooking, gardening, food preservation, and other Do-It-Yourself activities.
Major sponsors of the Holiday Farmers’ Markets include Iredale Mineral Cosmetics and Williams College. As part of Williams College’s ongoing commitment to sustainable food and local agriculture, the college is again co-sponsoring the markets by donating the Williamstown venue, as well as providing funding toward the event. The Williams College Sustainable Food and Agriculture Program in the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives supports the markets as a community partnership to further incorporate the principles of sustainability into the fabric of campus life. For more information on the college’s ongoing commitment to sustainable food, visit sustainability.williams.edu.
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, visit Berkshire Grown or call 413.528.0041.