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Food issue

Stretching the season

Winter farmers' markets in Massachusetts are experiencing a groundswell of interest. Here's a guide.

Natick winter farmers' market. (Globe pohto / Essdras M Suarez) Natick winter farmers' market.
By Rachel Travers
November 7, 2010

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There is nothing more gratifying on a gray day than a visit to a farmers’ market selling fresh lettuce, oysters, apples, and jams. And thanks to New England’s greenhouses and hydroponic farms, its year-round supplies of seafoods and meats, and its old-fashioned preservation methods, you can have fresh flavors as the days grow short.

Amherst Winter Market

Look for everything from greenhouse produce to knitted mittens and hats made with wool from locally raised sheep. One vendor plans to sell flour from wheat, barley, buckwheat, and hops grown in nearby Northfield. > Saturdays from December 4 to April 30 (closed December 25, January 1, and February 26), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. > Amherst Middle School, 170 Chestnut Street, Amherst

Attleboro Farms Winter Market

Alongside root crops, greenhouse-grown baby vegetables, meats, and cheeses, this market has the “Rolling Stove,” a truck selling sandwiches made from market ingredients. > Sundays from November 7 to May 29 (closed December 26 and April 24), noon to 4 p.m. > Attleboro Farms, 491 Hickory Road, North Attleborough, 508-695-7200, attleborofarms.com

Chelmsford Agway Farmers’ Market

The greenhouse attached to this grocery store will provide a cozy space for a new market of about a dozen vendors, from farmers and fishmongers to bakers and a root-beer maker. > Saturdays from November 13 to February 5 (closed December 25 and January 1), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. > Chelmsford Agway, 24 Maple Road, Chelmsford, chelmsfordagwayfarmersmarket.blogspot.com

Natick Winter Farmers’ Market

Last year’s winter market in Natick was a test run; this year, there’s a lot more produce, plus organic meats, fish, pasta, granola, and honey. > Saturdays now to April 2 (closed December 5, December 25, and January 1), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. > Johnson Elementary School, 99 South Main Street (Route 27), Natick

Northampton Winter Farmers’ Market

There will be art and music along with the eggs, greens, root vegetables, squashes, goat, beef, and chicken at this downtown market, now in its second year. > Saturdays from November 20 to April 30 (closed December 25, January 1, and January 15), 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. > Thornes Marketplace, 150 Main Street, Northampton, facebook.com/nohomarket

Plymouth Local Foods Winter Market at Plimoth Plantation

Look for root vegetables, leafy greenhouse offerings, cheeses, meats, and eggs. And if you can’t get to the market during its regular hours, place an order on Monday or Tuesday at plymouthfarmersmarket.org and pick up on Thursday as late as 7 p.m. > Second Thursdays of the month from December 9 to April 14, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. > Plimoth Plantation, Visitors’ Center, 137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth, plymouthfarmersmarket.org

Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers’ Market

Based in a renovated mill, this market combines artisan-prepared and winter-harvested foods. Fresh oysters peeking out from beneath piles of ice? What a treat. > Wednesdays (new this year; 4 to 7 p.m.) and Saturdays (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) from now to May 30 (closed December 25) > Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, farmfreshri.org

Somerville Winter Farmers’ Market

Opening in 2011, this market will offer produce, meat, dairy, baked goods, and eggs. The Center for the Arts at the Armory will also program music and entertainment. > Saturdays from January 8 to March 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. > Center for the Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Avenue, Somerville

Springfield Winter Farmers’ Market

This two-year-old market is moving to Forest Park’s (empty) Monkey House. Look for produce, dairy, baked goods, grass-fed beef, goat, lamb, and beefalo (a bison-bovine hybrid). > Second and fourth Saturdays from December 11 to April 23, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. > Forest Park, 200 Trafton Road, Springfield, thefarmersmarketatthex.com

Wayland Winter Farmers’ Market

In its second year at Russell’s Garden Center, at least 35 vendors are expected, selling winter produce, fresh fish, jams, honey, tea, and dried herbs and spices. > Saturdays from January 8 to March 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. > Russell’s Garden Center, 397 Boston Post Road (Route 20), Wayland, russellsgardencenter.com

Rachel Travers is a writer in Lincoln. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.

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