The summertime farmers’ market season is in full swing in New England, and one local market in Springfield is operating out of a new location.
After setting up their tables and tents in Court Square and Tower Square in previous years, the downtown Springfield farmers’ market can now be found in the Duryea Way and Stearns Square section of town.
Since mid-May they’ve been setting up shop every Friday from 11 am to 4 pm and Connecting Point’s Brian Sullivan stopped by to bring us the story.
Read the full transcript:
Zydalis Bauer, Connecting Point: The summertime farmers’ market season is in full swing in New England, and one local market in Springfield is operating out of a new location.
After setting up their tables and tents in Court Square and Tower Square in previous years, the Downtown Springfield Farmers’ Market can now be found in the Duryea Way and Stearns Square section of town.
Since mid-May, they’ve been setting up shop every Friday from 11 a.m. to four p.m. and Connecting Point’s Brian Sullivan stopped by to bring us the story.
Brian Sullivan, Connecting Point: The thankless task of unfolding vending tables and setting up booths under a gray morning sky still tinged with drizzle from an even earlier morning rain is just part of the process baked into being part of a farmers’ market.
But it’s not too long before things start to take shape. Music starts playing and the first customers begin to stroll through, taking a gander at items they likely wouldn’t have come across in any other setting, at least all under one roof, metaphorically speaking,
India Russell, Everythang Sauce: A lot of people here have a lot of homemade stuff that they have that you’re not going to be able to find in the grocery store or like boutiques or anything. It brings the people together. We’re back outside and a lot of times we have to go outward to experience stuff like that.
So, I think it’s imperative to have more things where we can be in our hometown, in our area code, and be able to access healthy homemade stuff and be able to network with people that live in our community.
Brian Sullivan: The community is that of Greater Springfield and the locale for this market is in the Sterns Square and Duryea Way section of downtown in the block of Dwight Worthington, Main, and Taylor Streets.
It’s funny, I’ve walked down Taylor Street countless times on my way to work and never realized that this was where they were hosting one of the local farmers’ markets. That’s because 2021 is the first year in their six year run that they’re holding them here at Duryea Way. And even on an overcast day like today, still a pretty good turnout.
And it’s more than just a neat location with urban forestry, brick pavers underfoot,and even older brick buildings in the backdrop. A city like Springfield falls under the heading of a “food desert,” meaning this city and others like it have a more limited access to healthier foods.
So, yes, they are fun and eclectic experience, but they also serve a greater purpose.
Ezra Bleau, NA Brews: The aspect of having good quality from local farms bringing good food…being able to purchase it in your neighborhood and get that good nutrition, that good benefits from that rather than just having stocked shelves of convenience stores. You’re actually able to get that good produce, now.
So, just being able to have these things near food deserts is the best thing possible.
Brian Sullivan: “Fresh” is one of those words that gets thrown around quite a bit without the full understanding that it literally applies to nearly everything at a farmers’ market from tasty treats, baked goods, succulent plants, and special produce.
Samantha Sitzer, Bardwell Farm: I think it’s like a shock to people to understand, like this stuff was harvested like, this morning from a few miles away.
are a few people, you know, that are educated on their produce and they know what’s what and they really specifically come for certain things. But it’s only stuff that they know is in season, like strawberries. Everybody knows it’s strawberry season.
For the most part, people are amazed, you know, that this stuff is actually harvested on the daily, you know, not far from where they live.
Brian Sullivan: And while giving customers access to so many things in such a small space is one part of the experience, there’s a major social component involved as well. For many, it’s the most important part.
Samantha Sitzer: My boss is like, “oh,do you want me to have somebody else do it so you can have more?” I was like,”no, I want to do it.” I really love it.
It’s cool seeing, you know, people I’ve never met before that just are so excited to have, like, fresh produce or, you know, all these cool vendors, like, right in their backyard, outside their apartment. Farmer’s markets are my new favorite thing to do, actually. My favorite part of my job now.