The sights, smells, and tastes of summer were again on full display outside Harvard’s Science Center.
Baskets full of bright red strawberries and raspberries and overflowing with sugar snap peas, baby carrots, radishes, jars of amber honey, flavored chocolate, fresh-baked goods, and homemade ice cream were all part of the tantalizing mix that marked the beginning of the four-month farmers’ market season at Harvard on Tuesday (June 15).
Each year Harvard hosts the Farmers’ Market at Harvard and the Harvard Allston Farmer’s Market.
“Harvard’s farmers’ markets are two fresh examples of a wide variety of Harvard programs that serve our University community and our neighbors and enliven and enrich the communities around us,” said Christine Heenan, vice president for public affairs and communications.
The popular weekly events, managed by Harvard University Hospitality & Dining Services, serve Harvard and its neighbors with a range of products from nearby farms, bakeries and specialty vendors. The setups include music, cooking demonstrations with chefs from Cambridge and Boston restaurants, and special activities for children.
Thanks to some early help from Mother Nature, this year the farmers’ stalls are bursting with produce. A dry late spring and absence of frost has meant an abundance of crops.
“We’ve had delightful [growing] weather,” said Alex Pollock, owner of Silverbrook Farms in Dartmouth, Mass., whose stall was filled with produce such as lettuce, tomato plants and sugar snap peas. Pollock was one of the first farmers to sign up for the Harvard-run market five years ago and said that of the 12 farmers’ markets he now takes part in, Harvard’s ranks at the top.
“The Harvard community really supports the market, and they really enjoy it.”
For Cambridge resident Alex Loud, the chance to have a local farmers’ market in his backyard means summer is just a walk down the street.
“I feel emotionally the world very much through my mouth,” said Loud, who loves summer corn and tomatoes and heads Slow Food Boston, a group that supports locally grown and sustainable food. “The fresh produce available here just makes me feel attached to season. The market is a great for the community.”
The Harvard market is located outside the Science Center near the corner of Oxford and Kirkland streets. Recently voted one of the top five farmers’ markets in Boston in the current issue of the Improper Bostonian magazine, the market runs every Tuesday from 12:30 to 6 p.m. through October.
Special events at the Allston market include live music on the first Friday of every month, cooking demonstrations and free tastings, and screenings of food films at the Harvard Allston Education Portal at 175 North Harvard St.
This year, visitors to the Harvard market also can enjoy handmade cheeses from Narragansett Creamery of Providence, R.I. Stow Greenhouses of Stow, Mass., is another new addition in Cambridge and will sell its special variety of hybrid lilies biweekly.
Homemade pastas and fresh cheeses are now part of the weekly offerings at the Allston market, provided by its new pasta vendor Fior d’Italia Pasta & Cheese from Manchester Center, Vt.
The Allston market begins this Friday, June 18, and will run every Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. until Oct. 29. Located at the intersection of North Harvard Street and Western Avenue, the market is co-managed by the Allston Development Group. Parking is available at 219 Western Ave.
“I hear people talk about how much they appreciate that we bring local produce to their area,” said Katie Newton, who works for Lanni Orchards of Lunenburg, Mass., and likes to share produce information and cooking tips with her customers at the Cambridge market.
“I love telling people about a certain product, how to cook it, what it tastes like, what it’s called, and giving them recipes. … It’s awesome.”
For more information visit: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Cambridge-Allston-MA/Harvard-Farmers-Markets/94345893921?ajaxpipe=1&__a=10