With the week of August 21 being declared Massachusetts Farmers Market Week, the vendors of the Milton Farmers Market opened operation on the shady town park of Wharf Street on Thursday, August 25, to a steady flow of customers. And with the town market celebrating sixteen years in operation, it’s clear that the practice has become a permanent fixture in the area.
Market managers Carol Hahnfeld and Maritta Cronin have witnessed the community support for years and attribute it to quality goods and the serene, welcoming atmosphere. Hahnfeld and Cronin, along with Janet Christensen manage the market every Thursday from 1 to 6 p.m. from June 16 to October 27.
Hahnfeld commented about the distinction of Milton’s market from others, citing that “all the produce is grown in-state and all the seafood is caught in Eastern Mass."
“I think one of the most important benefits is the sense of community at the market," said Cronin "People bring their dogs, the children see their friends, folks seem to have the time to chat with their neighbors."
The market typically hosts 11 vendors selling everything from pies to peppers and lilies to lobsters. Many of the vendors have attended the market since it started in 1995. Milton businesses that take part in the weekly market include , and .
Brookwood Farm, for example, is located in the Blue Hills past and specializes in all organic produce. Aurora Kesseli, daughter of farm owner Judy Lieberman, worked the Brookwood Farm tent and said “it’s the freshest you can get” and “farmers markets make the fresh food more accessible to people."
The Milton Farmers Market offers a $2 coupon to every customer who bikes (and wears a helmet) to the market in association with the Milton Bike Advisory Committee and Milton non-profits such as the are invited to set up booths and talk about their causes.
The market also hosts a Harvest Festival twice a year which is open to all crafters to sell their products. The next Harvest Festival will be September 15. Including all these aspects of the community has paid off for the vendors, who have unanimously seen traffic increase in recent years.
As Governor Deval Patrick said in his July 11 proclamation, the goals of a farmers market is to “create a festive open air setting which enhances community spirit and civic pride by offering a natural place for community gathering” and “help heighten public awareness of the agricultural diversity in Massachusetts”.
According to vendors and customers alike, Milton Farmers Market has proven to have reached these goals and has become a staple in in the community.
For more information on the Milton Farmers Market, visit their website.