As we come up on National Farmers Market Week (August 7-13, 2022), it’s a good time to celebrate and support our local farmers markets! After all, 8,000+ farmers markets across the country (as per a 2019 study) can’t be wrong, right? Farmers markets make up a crucial part of our local and regional food system, and provide fresh produce to consumers, more direct profits to small-business farmers and artisans, and a place of community and partnership. During the pandemic, farmers markets were a safe and much-needed space to combat the rising food insecurity of many people as well as provide social interaction that is so important for mental health. The Natick Farmers Market, which operates on Saturdays year-round (housed in the Common Street Spiritual Center in the winter, and on the town commons in the summer), is one great example of a fabulous local farmers market!
We checked out the Natick Farmers Market on a beautiful Saturday morning. The first thing we did was join the longest line, which stretched from the Birch Tree Bread stall all the way to the gazebo in the center of the commons! Once we joined the line, we asked our fellow queuers why we were there. (Lol.) They helpfully explained that this popular bakery had the best cinnamon rolls and were known to sell out. We were happy to wait in the sunshine for the chance to enjoy said cinnamon roll, as well as a pain au chocolat and a loaf of fresh challah bread, which we turned into an amazing Malibu French toast the next morning for Sunday brunch!
I also loved the citizen activism on display. We were approached by a concerned citizen who talked to us about the current issue surrounding the Charles River Dam in Natick. It was interesting to hear her make the case for repairing the dam, rather than removing it, and to be able to show our children a real-life example of freedom of expression and association in a democracy!
We then perused the other wares, including soft alpaca wool products, beautiful pottery by Basha, chickpea granola, freshly cut flowers, and handmade jewelry. One big find was Beeline Kitchen, with owners Gavin and Rachel letting us know why their tagline is “Frozen food done right.” One of our children (we won’t name names, because both of them melted down at various points in the space of one hour) happened to be throwing a fit just as we passed this stall, and Gavin swooped in with an offer of free Beeline Kitchen stickers, which soothed the wild beast and allowed us to focus on his delicious offerings instead. We walked away with a package of their Beeline (Meat) Balls after Gavin talked them up, including telling us that his recipe was inspired by his friend’s restaurant Hearth in NYC. The Beeline website claims these meatballs are “the Tom Brady of meatballs. GBOAT— greatest balls of all time.” Well, we can attest to that claim! They were super easy to cook—just boil a pot of water and dump the whole plastic bag into the pot. The meatballs and sauce warmed up perfectly and were exactly enough for a four-person family to enjoy a delicious dinner of spaghetti and Beeline Balls! And if you can’t stop by the Natick Farmers Market, how cool is it that you can order online?
Thank you, Natick Farmers Market and all of its vendors, for making the world a better place!