Beginning Thursday, June 7th, the traditional cowbell will open the 2012 Market at Plimoth Plantation. The living history museum has graciously hosted the Winter Market for three successful seasons, so the transition seems natural. Every Thursday, 2:30-6:30, June thru October, rain or shine, the Market vendors will gather on the grassy field adjacent to the River Street museum entrance; as always the festive local food gathering will feature local music, storytellers, community partners and food literacy demonstrations.
Market founder Barbara Anglin is looking forward to “a fresh season with a welcoming host – a museum that itself teaches a greater awareness of farming.” She says it takes skilled and consistent farmers and cooks, not to mention a steadfast community following, to create such a vibrant farmers’ market. This community support helps the farmers to keep planning, planting and harvesting each year. The farmers who leave their fields to sell in Plymouth this year will feel at home in the new location. Sheep, goats, chickens and cows are pastured on the museum property and visitors can enjoy the sights and smells of the farm animals while getting to know more about what has been freshly harvested by their favorite farmers.
One of the original Plymouth Farmers’ Market member farmers, Dave Purpura of Plato’s Harvest Organic Farm of Middleboro, brings certified organic produce to the market each week and is particularly known for his garlic, tomatoes, and eggs. Farmer Dave said, “Without direct access to the consumer through a viable farmers’ market, I would not be able to maintain an economically sustainable operation on this scale. Aside from that, this market in particular has been the most supportive, encouraging, devoted and community-based of any that I have attended. After seven years of participation, most customers know me and the farm by name. Contributing to and enjoying the Plymouth Farmers’ Market community is a large part of why I farm.”
Both the Market and Museum have a demonstrated commitment to educating their guests about foodways and farming, and will build mutually on each other’s strengths to broaden awareness of farm-fresh foods with an experiential twist. This season patrons will have opportunity to explore and learn more about a host of topics, like rare breeds, heirloom seeds, and the latest in locally-sourced prepared foods.
In 2011, the Plymouth Farmers’ Market was the recipient of a Massachusetts Department of Agriculture and Department of Transitional Assistance grant to fund EBT/SNAP redemption and that program will also continue this season along with the WIC and Senior Coupon program.
We at edible South Shore say congratulations, and may the Original Plymouth Farmers’ Market have the best year ever in its new home!