The East Boston Farmers’ Market, sponsored by the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) will return for its seventh season with more fresh, locally grown produce than ever before. Farmers’ will be at Maverick MBTA station (Lewis Mall side) selling fruits and vegetables every Thursday from 3:00 to 6:30 p.m. now through October.
Community Initiatives Coordinator at EBNHC Katie Tong will lead the effort to establish the market’s success in Eastie this year.
“Please join the Let’s Get Movin’ program from the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center on Thursday, July 10 at the East Boston Farmers Market,” said Tong. “We offer a wide variety of locally-grown vegetables, herbs and fruit, baked bread, and ocean-fresh fish. We also host family-friendly activities and events throughout the season—stop by to see what’s happening this week.”
Tong has said the market has truly become a community hub.
Eastie’s Farmers’ Market began when organizers at the health center’s Let’s Get Movin’ program asked how could they help families in the community increase the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables in their diets.
The market brings produce picked that day at Massachusetts’s farms to Eastie. The selection changes throughout the season, from lettuce and greens in early summer to apples and squashes in the fall.
At the Market, vendors feature produce important to the many cultures represented by the community.
Dave Dumanesq, also known as Farmer Dave and one of the original vendors at the market, tailors his offerings to the requests of his customers.
“We bring chiplin to East Boston because it is an important flavoring in many Salvadorian and other South American dishes,“ he explained. “We also sell a lot of yierba mora, cranberry beans, and papalo. Whenever I have jilo, a kind of eggplant, my Brazilian customers often say they haven’t seen it since they left Brazil.”
With the arrival of new Farmers’ to the market, including Nagog Hills and Asian Farms as well as fresh fish from red’s Best vegetables and herbs of Southeast Asia and Africa will be offered, including amaranth and collard greens. As the harvest continues, customers will also find tomatoes, corn, peppers, peaches, apples, cilantro, and basil, among other familiar crops.
Shopping at the Farmers’ Market is affordable. Families that qualify can use a range of vouchers and coupons to make fresh fruits and vegetables even easier to purchase.
SNAP/EBT participants can use their cards at the market and receive 50 percent off purchases up to $20, thanks to the Boston Bounty Bucks program sponsored by the Food Project and the City of Boston.
WIC participants can save in two ways with the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and with WIC Fruit & Vegetable vouchers.
Eastie’s Farmers’ Market is the only market in the city of Boston participating in this new nutrition voucher program.
The Market is also more than a source for healthy food. It is also a gathering place for the East Boston community. Many residents come to shop but also to see neighbors and friends. Musical and educational events planned for the market this summer will attract more people from a wider area, and will be listed on the East Boston Farmers’ Market web page (www.ebnhc.org/Farmers’Market.php), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/EBNHC) and on Twitter (www.twitter.com/EBNHC).