Minutes after the Harvard Allston Farmers’ Market opened for the season on Friday, Allston resident Mike Price had already picked up some fresh produce for dinner — beets and scallions.
“I’ve been coming here for three or four years,” Price said as his dog, Sissy, ducked out of the sun for a quick rest. “It’s a great market. I like to support the farmers and the community.”
Now in its seventh year, the market runs from 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m. on Fridays in the parking lot of Swissbakers, adjacent to the Harvard Allston Education Portal. Each year the market sees more familiar faces of return customers, as well as new shoppers who have heard about the market through word of mouth. Shortly after opening, with a line of customers waiting to buy fresh vegetables, Pete Plaskon of E.L. Silvia Farms reflected on the farm’s six years participation in the market.
“A lot of customers come back every year,” Plaskon said. “It’s a really nice community.”
Rachel Borgatti from Somerville said she was taking advantage of the market’s later operating hours. “I work nearby, and it’s really nice that the market’s so close and that it’s open after work,” she said. “It’s great that it’s right here. It’s a nice spot and really convenient.”
This year, the market features vendors such as Flats Mentor Farm, Vermont Creamery, and Soluna Garden Farm, and live music performances throughout the season. The market also hosts special events, such as bike safety and maintenance workshops by CommonWheels Bicycle Co-op; the Bibliocycle, a traveling book cart visiting the market in partnership with the Honan-Allston Branch Library and Boston Bikes; and children’s activities hosted by Harvard’s Teaching and Learning Partnerships team.
“People in Allston are very dedicated. They’re very loyal,” said Vinay Devadanam, manager of the Harvard Allston Education Portal and the Harvard Allston Farmers’ Market. “It’s a great way for Harvard to work with the community, establish relationships with vendors and community organizations, and enjoy the beautiful weather with our neighbors.”
In addition to the Allston market, the Farmers’ Market at Harvard, held in the Science Center Plaza on Tuesdays from noon to 6 p.m., has fresh produce, sweets, and children’s entertainment. At that market’s Tuesday opening, Bonnie Cherner of Stow Greenhouses was back for her second year.
“It’s always a very busy market, and the people are so nice,” she said.
For more information about the farmers’ markets, or for a closer look at Harvard’s involvement in the local community, visit www.community.harvard.edu. You can check it out at #beapartofit!