An array of fruit and veggies from Spiczka Farm of Groton at the Pepperell Farmers Market in 2018.
An array of fruit and veggies from Spiczka Farm of Groton at the Pepperell Farmers Market in 2018. (DAVID H. BROW / Nashoba Valley Voice)

Local farmers markets

Groton: Fridays 3-7 p.m., Williams Barn, 160 Chicopee Row; July 5 to Sept. 13.

Pepperell: Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 59 Main St., Pepperell Town Field; June to October.

Shirley: Thursdays 3:30-7:30 p.m., 7 Keady Way; July 11 to Oct. 24.

Local farmers markets

Groton: Fridays 3-7 p.m., Williams Barn, 160 Chicopee Row; July 5 to Sept. 13.

Pepperell: Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 59 Main St., Pepperell Town Field; June to October.

Shirley: Thursdays 3:30-7:30 p.m., 7 Keady Way; July 11 to Oct. 24.

It's time to check out your local farmers' market.

If you haven't visited one, there are a lot of reasons to start (see nutrition.gov or cuesa.org [Center for Urban Education on Sustainable Agriculture] for more information):

When you purchase food from your local farms, you are directly supporting local farmers and the local economy and you are helping to preserve agricultural land and open spaces. Local farmers are our neighbors!

Help the environment. Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles and takes seven to 10 days to get to your plate. This shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Food at the farmers market is transported short distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.


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Freshly picked, in season produce is at its peak of flavor and nutrition and loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients—plus it lasts 2-3 times longer than supermarket produce.

You can meet your local farmers, learn about their crops, and get their tips and recipes for preparing their produce.

Farmers markets are a great place to catch up with friends and neighbors; some have live music, food demonstrations, and other products that go with their produce, like wine, locally raised meat, knife sharpening, bakery items, fresh pasta, and flowers for the table.

You can get your kids involved. Let them pick out something new to try; they can help prepare a meal using tips and recipes (see https://www.nutrition.gov/audience/children/kids-corner for ideas).

You can find new kinds of produce to try like heirloom tomatoes and squash and garlic scapes along with seasonal favorites including assortments of greens, fresh herbs, corn, potatoes and fresh fruits.

You can also support the continued growth of local foods in Massachusetts by registering your car with a specialty plate—"Choose Fresh and Local." The money from these plates benefits New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, the Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts (BFN) and Mass Farmers Markets. Find out more at mafoodplate.org or call 978-654-6745.

Many farmers markets accept WIC and sSenior coupons.

You can locate Massachusetts Farmers Markets by contacting hello@massfarmersmarkets.org.