Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanks to the Braintree Farmers Market Volunteers

Morgan Stidham and her father Jonathan help C.N. Smith Farm setup before the market opens.
    Now that the Braintree Farmers Market is but a fond memory we'd like to acknowledge some of the folks who have given their time to make the market a success.  Every single Saturday the market operates there is a crew of volunteers that come together to lend a hand to make sure the event goes smoothly.  The diversity of the team, which ranges in age from 10 to a wee bit shy of 90, has a common goal to bring fresh local foods and create a community atmosphere in Braintree.  Our vendors and farmers constantly tell us they look forward to our market every week because of how warmly they are greeted by volunteers and patrons which makes the Braintree Market like no other.  
   On the evening of October 22nd the market held a Volunteer Appreciation Soiree inside the Braintree Historical Society's barn and museum.  It was a perfect fall evening with a festive farm atmosphere.  The museum's current exhibit of antique farming equipment tied in perfectly.  All of the victuals and potables were graciously donated by the market farmers and vendors.  Their generosity was overwhelming with an abundance of tasty delights including sausages from Joe Beaulieu's Butcher Shop, clam chowder from Fresh Catch Seafood, cider from C.N. Smith Farm, crudite made from The Farmers Garden veggies, fresh picked salad fixings from The Second Nature Farm, delicious hummus, spinach pies and baklava from Homestyle Caterers, cheeses from Lawton Farms, fresh baked breads from Hearth Fired Baked Breads and The Great Cape Baking Company with spices from Ric's Pantry added to olive oil for dipping and spreads from Deborah's Kitchen, freshly roasted nuts from Fastachi and a variety of cranberries from Fairland Farms.  For dessert there were multiple pies from Ever So Humble Pie Company, delicious cookies from Jack's Cookie Jar and mouth watering mini cupcakes in several different flavors from The Cupcakerie.  We drew names for donated items such as an array of lavender items from Rhode Island Spa Products, a gift certificate from Nella Pasta, a variety of handmade crafts from Project Have Hope and sauce from Joslin Foods.  Thanks to Coastal Vineyards and Turtle Creek Winery for their contributions as well.  Even Mayor Joe Sullivan joined in with thank yous and acknowledgements for all the hard working volunteers

Angela Cavanaugh is our face behind facebook.
   All through the winter months the Farmers Market Committee is planning for the next season and how it can be even better than the last.  Thanks to Angela Cavanaugh for managing the Community Tent as well as our facebook page, Diana Althouse is our controller and keeps track of our budgets, Marie Vega and Susan Ryan coordinated the volunteer schedule which is constantly evolving and changing, Cathy Sloan-Gallagher has been working on the Visiting Vendors, Jim Curran helps with our website and Jonathan Stidham assists in many different aspects including setup assistance on market days along with his kids Morgan, Madison and Matt.

Bob James and Jim Smith from BEMA Braintree Emergency Management.
   During the market season the first team on the job are our friends at BEMA (Braintree Emergency Management Agency).  They're the ones that put out the traffic barrels and cones the night before and take them in as soon as the market closes.  This helps to keep the market safe from folks trying to drive through the market while it is operating.  Bob James is at the helm at BEMA and Jim Smith makes sure he gets the barrels taken care of before any of his other duties.  Jim and Bob are two of the our most dedicated volunteers.  We're thankful for all the BEMA volunteers that have lent a hand in making safety our number one priority.

Jim Regan is a loyal and hard-working volunteer.
   Jim Regan is our rock throughout the season.  He shows up before every market to set up the tents and assist the vendors and makes sure there is order in the chaos when everything comes together.  Once the market closes Jim makes sure everything returns to our storage area and makes sure everything neat and organized.  He juggles all this with his real work and family.  Jim is the man and we're grateful to have him on our team.

Eric Sugrue grew up in Braintree and now volunteers at the market.
   There are several volunteers that rotate by sharing tasks such as setups, tear downs, cleanup, putting out and taking in signs, managing the market, selling tee shirts etc.  Thanks to Eric Sugrue, Robert Fricke, Lauren Crook, Bob Casey, Pat Morey, Christine Sullivan, Stacie O'Callaghan, Ellen Fox, Linda Chapman, Eileen Campbell, Cheryl Edgar, Samantha Noone, Rick Gallagher, Mary Mitchell, Susan and Habib Karim, Bob Casey, Sandra Peterson and everyone that has lent a hand.  These are just a few of the folks that pitch in when help is needed.
   If you're interested in joining our volunteer team we'd love to hear from you.  Perhaps you have a particular talent that you'd like to share with us.  If so, please contact Marie at mariev@sustainablebraintree.org.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Braintree Thanksgiving Farmers Market

Ann Schunior joins the market on November 19th with her handmade pottery.
   The Braintree Thanksgiving Farmers Market, hosted by Sustainable Braintree, is being held on November 19th, from 9 to 1, inside the Braintree Town Hall, One JFK Memorial Drive, Braintree, MA.  Celebrate the end of the 2011 farmers market season with a full harvest for your holiday table.  The buzz on this market has grown substantially since our first holiday market back in 2009 and it's the one we've been waiting for all season.  We're setting the stage for our 2011 season finale and it's sure to memorable.  The market will offer products that you can always depend on such as locally grown fruits and vegetables, wine, fresh seafood, hormone & antibiotic free meats, local cheeses, honey, handmade pasta, eggs, many varieties of artisan sauces, fresh pressed apple cider, preserves made from local fruits, award winning pies made from local produce, scones, fresh baked breads, delicious prepared foods, all-natural spa products, phenomenally creative cookies, gourmet cupcakes, the Best Damn Granola, fair trade coffee, teas & chocolates. All of our regular vendors, with a few more more sprinkled in, will be on hand to spice things up.  Gift baskets & local and fair trade crafts will also be available. Enjoy Celtic fiddle music by Tiffany Rozenas & Family. The market will be located inside the Braintree Town Hall.
   This holiday market is extra special as we'll have some new vendors added to the mix to give your holiday shopping a kick start.  Look for a few local and fair trade craft artisans that are sure to peak your interest.  Ann Schunior will have her handcrafted pottery that express her interest in world cultures and travel.  Ann is a full-time potter and you'll see her expertise and creativity in every one-of-a-kind piece.  Tuccelli Confections will be on hand for the first time with fine handmade chocolates and confections that will be perfect as gifts or treat yourself to a new local flavor.  Sippican Farm will have mittens, gloves, scarves and hats made from the fleece from their Alpacas that should keep you warm until the market opens again next year.  The Dreaming Earth is new to the market and they will have an assortment of gorgeous fair trade crafts from the independent Mayan Indian Communities of Chiapa, Mexico.  Each purchase contributes a percentage towards clinics in their communities.  Project Have Hope will also be on hand with their reasonably priced jewelry made from recycled materials.  Project Have Hope works with a group of 100 women in the Acholi Quarter of Uganda and helps them transform their lives.
   Join us in this warm and toasty atmosphere as we say a fond farewell to the Braintree Farmers Market for the 2011 season.  Supporting small local businesses is on the rise. This is an opportunity for consumers to be connected with the business owners and begin to understand the passion they have for their products and support the local economy.  These are items that go beyond the bottom line which we've all become accustomed to.  These products are grown and made with heart and integrity.  We've thoughtfully curated our vendors with a focus on quality and diversity and we're proud of each and every vendor that participates in the market.  This is a hoe-down not to be missed!  Special thanks to all our Braintree Farmers Market supporters.  For more information visit us at www.sustainablebraintree.org/food.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Community Meeting & Thanksgiving Market


Sustainable Braintree is holding it's annual community meeting on November 17, 2011 at 7:00 P.M. in Johnson's Chamber on the 2nd floor in the Braintree Town Hall.  This meeting is open to the general public.  The featured speaker will be Bonnie Kavanaugh, a second generation nurse and herbalist. Her presentation is entitled 'Herbs for Winter Health and Wellness'. She will share some of her favorite recipes and remedies for the cold and flu season. Learn how foods and herbs can help prevent winter illnesses and when they strike, can help relieve some of the uncomfortable symptoms that accompany them. Herbal teas, cordials, vinegars, soups and many other "remedies" are discussed and recipes shared. Bonnie has over 30 years of health care experience as an herbalist and a registered nurse and is a graduate of the Rosemary Gladstar Art and Science of Herbal Medicine Program. Bonnie has been a past Council Member of the Northeast Herbalist Association and is a founding member of the Ocean State Herbalists Association. Bonnie is the co-author of "Rubies in the Sand; Recipes from the Cape Cod Cranberry Bogs" and currently works as an independent marketing representative for Fairland Farm/Cape Cod Organic Cranberry, LlC.

Braintree Thanksgiving Farmers Market, hosted by Sustainable Braintree, is being held on November 19th, from 9 to 1, inside the Braintree Town Hall, One JFK Memorial Drive, Braintree, MA.  Celebrate the end of the 2011 farmers market season with a full harvest for your holiday table.  Locally grown fruits and vegetables, wine, fresh seafood, hormone & antibiotic free meats, local cheeses, honey, handmade pasta, eggs, many varieties of artisan sauces, fresh pressed apple cider, preserves made from local fruits, award winning pies made from local produce, scones, fresh baked breads, delicious prepared foods, all-natural spa products, plants & flowers, phenomenally creative cookies, gourmet cupcakes, the Best Damn Granola, fair trade coffee, teas & chocolates. All of our regular vendors, with a few more more sprinkled in, will be on hand to spice things up.  Gift baskets & local and fair trade crafts will also be available. The market will be located inside the Braintree Town Hall.  Celtic fiddle music by Tiffany Rozenas & Family.  This is a hoe-down not to be missed!  For more information visit us at  www.sustainablebraintree.org/food.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Final Outdoor Market for 2011 Season

Joe Beaulieu's pet ducks visit the market.

   This Saturday, October 29th, is the Braintree Farmers Market's final outside market scheduled for the 2011 season.  The next market will be on November 19th when we move inside and in front of the Braintree Town Hall for the celebrated Thanksgiving Farmers Market.  This will be the very last market for the year and it's looking like it will be a winner.  The vendors, farmers, volunteers, sponsors and patrons have all contributed to the success of the market and we've enjoyed every single minute.  Each week has been a little different as some vendors rotate their time with us which has enabled a constant influx of new products that are continually evolving with the changes in harvest seasons.  Wine is now being offered by two local vineyards that rotate their schedule as well.

Peppers grown by Second Nature Farm.

   Our goal has been to bring fresh local produce and artisan foods to Braintree and inspire a sense of community in our neighborhood.  There's something to be said about purchasing directly from the farmers and food makers that help us understand where our food comes from and how it's made and the thoughtfulness and care that goes into it.  The dialogue between folks that live in a more urban or suburban setting and farmers that have a significantly different lifestyle is engaging, enlightening and inspiring.  It's reassuring to know your food was cooked by a human with ingredients that are pronounceable and not loaded with preservatives.  Purchasing local foods not only tastes better and is at the peek of it's heathy benefits, it also helps the local economy, small businesses and farms, creates less pollution because it travels less and promotes open spaces as farmers are stewards of the land.

Veggie Cookies from Jack's Cookie Jar.

   The market is grateful for the support we've received from Sustainable Braintree.  Thanks to Rockland Trust who sponsored the pumpkins that were given away on Make a Difference Day.  We were thrilled to receive the Harvard Pilgrim Community Spirit 9/11 Mini-Grant which helped with the operational costs of the market.  Braintree Electric Light Dept. (BELD) is always working to help promote the market. Thanks to Richmond Hardware for their support.  Many thanks to the Braintree Forum for helping us get the news about the market to the community.  A special thanks to Mayor Joseph Sullivan for always being on our side.
   Be sure to stop by the market this Saturday from 9 to 1, rain or shine, at the Braintree Town Hall Mall for the final outdoor market.  Savor the best in fresh local foods at our open air market and support the efforts of folks in your neighborhood who have worked to create this special event.  If you enjoy real food then you'll really enjoy the Braintree Farmers Market.  See you on Saturday.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Make a Difference Day/Pumpkin Festival is this Saturday October 22nd

Katie Weitbrecht volunteers at Make a Difference Day.
   Please join us for Make a Difference Day at this Saturday's October 22nd Braintree Farmers Market. This event, hosted by Sustainable Braintree and the Town of Braintree, is part of a national day of giving, where neighbors help neighbors. We’ll be collecting new and gently used goods for a variety of local nonprofit organizations from  9 a.m. to 1 a.m. at the Braintree Town Hall at One JFK Memorial Drive, Braintree  MA.   For a list of participating organizations and items you can donate visit http://www.sustainablebraintree.org/makeadiff

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's Apple Season at the Farmers Market

Apples from C.N. Smith Farm.
   It's Apple Season at the Braintree Farmers Market hosted by Sustainable Braintree and we're delivering the goods every Saturday from 9 to 1, rain or shine, at the Braintree Town Hall Mall.  C.N. Smith Farm is bringing in a wide selection of apples direct from their orchards in East Bridgewater.  Mid-October is the peak of the season so you need to look no further than the market to find bins with apples such as McIntosh, Macoun, Honey Crisp, Cortland, Empire, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Spencer, Northern Spy, Breaburn, Fuji, Mutsu, Golden Russet, Granny Smith, Red Rome, Wine Sap and Baldwin.  If you can't find an apple that you like then you must not like apples.  Apples are great for making applesauce, apple pies, baked apples and apples straight out of the bin.  C.N. Smith Farm also offers their own cider that is pressed at the farm. Their on-site cider mill is federally inspected and certified.  If you're not in the mood or don't have the time to bake Ever So Humble Pie Co. has fresh baked apple pies and Homestyle Caterers are making baked apples this week. Come on down and join the Apple Madness at the market.  Steve Jobs worked at a small farm before he started his computer company and realized the apple had great appeal and so will you.  
   Autumn is the time for comfort foods and and they've taken them to a high art form at Homestyle Caterers.  You can always depend on Chef Hassan's Magic Oven to bring forth the favorite items that their customers demand.  Every week you can be assured that you'll find Falafel Roll Ups, Spinach Turnovers, Chicken Pot Pies, Flaky Baklava, delicious scones and Creamy Rice Pudding.  There's always a rotation of Mac n' Cheese, stuffed peppers and a variety of date and nut cookies along with other surprises along the way. This week the Chef is making Moussaka which is a layering of eggplant and ground beef in a tomato sauce and topped off with a creamy Bechamel.  Homestyle Caterers has a huge fan base and it's no wonder since Chef Hassan is passionate about his cooking and loves to have folks enjoy his creations.

Joe Beaulieu
   Joe Beaulieu Butcher Shop is another farmer that customers appreciate with his hormone and antibiotic-free meats.  When Joe first arrived at the market in 2009 folks were curious about a livestock farmer at the market.  Now Joe has a devout following with a solid customer base as people have come to realize he puts out quality products.  This coming Saturday Joe will be fully stocked with all meat products.  One of his pet ducks just hatched a batch of little ducklings that will have their debut this week for all to see.  
   This Saturday the Energy Task Force group from Sustainable Braintree is hosting the Light Bulb Exchange at the Sustainable Braintree tent.  The days have become shorter and we're turning on the lights for longer periods of time so now's the perfect time to exchange your incandescent bulbs for new CFL bulbs to reduce your electric bill and conserve energy.   Bring up to five working incandescent bulbs in exchange for brand new CFLs.  This effort is funded by Sustainable Braintree.  Bring proof of Braintree residency.
   You don't need to travel great distances to find delicious, fresh picked, local apples and many other fruits, vegetables and so much more.  Take advantage of the market while we're still around.  The efforts of our farmers, vendors, volunteers, town officials and folks like yourself are the reason why the market is thriving.  For more information visit us at  www.sustainablebraintree.org/food.  See you on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Turtle Creek Winery at the Farmers Market

Cheryl Edgar, Sustainable Braintree's president, explores wine choices with Kip Kumler from Turtle Creek Winery.
   For the past two Saturdays at the Braintree Farmers Market hosted by Sustainable Braintree we've been dealing with damp and rainy weather which throws a curve ball into our outdoor plans for the market.  Due to the generosity and support of our community-based venue Mayor Joseph Sullivan has granted the market permission to operate inside the Braintree Town Hall Cahill Auditorium during inclement weather days. No other farmers market, to our knowledge, has this type of backup plan in place.  This ensures that our supporters will continue to experience a pleasurable market day regardless of the weather.  Bringing the market inside also guarantees vendors with perishable products will deliver their items to their customers in the best possible condition.  Growers and vendors with refrigeration will remain in outside in front the town hall as there is no danger of product destruction or deterioration.  So although the weather may be unpredictable you can always predict the market will be operating on Saturdays from 9 to 1, rain or shine, throughout the month of October in our usual location.  Don't forget to mark your calendar for the Special Thanksgiving Market on November 19th.
  Our Featured Vendor for this coming Saturday is a brand new vendor to our market and we're proud to introduce Turtle Creek Winery to the fold.  Kip Kumler is the owner and winemaker for this small scale winery hailing from Lincoln, MA.  Kip has been diligently working at becoming a member of the market and will be joining us on alternating Saturdays while sharing the space with Coastal Vineyards.  The goal is to provide a wide variety of locally produced wine choices each time you visit the market.  Both Coastal Vineyards and Turtle Creek Winery will be present at the Thanksgiving Market to provide a broad spectrum of wine choices for your holiday table and for gift giving as well.
   Turtle Creek Winery has not only survived in our harsh New England climate, but has thrived in it.  Surprisingly, Rome, Italy which is south of some of Italy's most notable vineyards, is just about the same latitude as Lincoln, MA.  In fact, the annual heat accumulation in this location is higher than the Burgundy region of France and similar some areas of Napa Valley and Carneros, CA.
   This winery has won several gold and silver medals from competitive national wine competitions in California and beyond.  The reason for their success is because they approach winemaking as a fine craft and pay close attention to detail making the outcome of their finished products unique with depth and sophistication.  They produce about 500 cases of wine annually.  This means that each bottle of Turtle Creek wine is one of only 75 cases from that vintage.
  Although this is a small scale winery they have made substantial investments in technology to respect the integrity of the grape and how it is handled as it goes through the process of becoming bottled wine.  This allows them to take full advantage of different yeasts, computer controlled temperatures and peristaltic pumps to ensure the gentlest handling of must and wine.  In larger wineries everything moves faster sacrificing the integrity of the wine for the sake of economic efficiency and flavors tend to be blended away.  Turtle Creek has the opportunity to experiment and respect each wine individually.  They grow their own premium grapes in Lincoln and have contracts to purchase only the finest grapes available for some of their wines such as the Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Riesling wines.   If you'd like to taste Kip's baby you're in for a treat if you purchase a bottle of the Syrah-it's the bomb!
  This is a great time of year to drop by the market to purchase high quality local wines brought to you direct from the vineyards.  The growing season will soon become a memory so make a point of joining us at the famers market while we're still working diligently to bring this venue to the community.  The market is located at the Braintree Town Hall Mall at One JFK Memorial Drive, Braintree, MA.  For more information visit us at http://www.sustainablebraintree.org/food.  See you on Saturday.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

BELD Celebrates at the Farmers Market

Andrea Taber from Ever So Humble Pie Co. gets help from volunteer Jim Regan.
  The calendar is rounding the bend into October this Saturday at the Braintree Farmers Market hosted by Sustainable Braintree.  This is one of the best months of the entire year with intensely blue skies, crisp air and vibrant yellow and red leaves.  Autumn is the season to stock up on winter squashes, onions, garlic and apples for the long haul.  It's also a good time to make hearty soups and stews made with fresh local ingredients from the market along with a loaf of freshly-baked, crusty bread and a good bottle of local wine.  The diversity and depth of locally grown and made products at the Braintree Farmers Market makes this all possible.  The market will continue every Saturday through October at the Braintree Town Hall Mall from 9 to 1, rain or shine.  Come on down and support this locally cherished venue.
   This Saturday our friends at the Braintree Electric Light Department (BELD) will be under the events tent as they celebrate National Public Power Week and have the opportunity to say "thank you" to their customers.  Over 2,000 electric utilities that collectively provide electricity on a not-for-profit basis to 43 million Americans unite for this annual celebration.  During Public Power Week BELD honors the democratic tradition of community decision-making and participation that led to it's founding in 1892.  Remember Hurricane Irene back in August when many surrounding towns that depend on huge corporate electrical companies went without power for several days?  Chances are if you are Braintree resident and you lost power during this storm it was out for only a short period of time.  This is due to the quick response and efficiency from the folks at BELD.
   This week BELD employees will be on hand to answer questions.  Visit demonstration tables and find out about programs that are offered through BELD such as their broadband services.  Smart Strips, an energy saving device that turns off peripherals when they are not in use, will be available to purchase through a representative from Sustainable Life Solutions.  Kids can pick up a hard hat and explore the bucket truck.  Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras.  There will be giveaways and drawings too.  They will be serving refreshments from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.  
   Got books to recycle?  This year BELD is partnering with the Friends of Thayer Public Library and will be collecting books that need a new home.  Bring your books on Saturday and BELD will take care of the rest.   They will also be providing a safe and secure recycling truck that will shred your personal papers while you watch from a special camera.  Bring your papers with you-the first box is free.  After that a $5 donation per box or bag is suggested with all of the proceeds going towards Sustainable Braintree.  Now that's a great deal.
   BELD's Municipal Light Board Vice Chairman, Jim Regan, is one on the most dedicated volunteers at the Braintree Farmers Market and has been with us since we opened in 2009.  Jim arrives at the market location every Saturday to help us out by putting up tents and banners for Sustainable Braintree and our Community Tent along with assisting many of the market vendors with their setups.  When the market is getting ready to close Jim is the first one to arrive and assist with our tear downs.  Last week he stayed late after the market closed and completely organized and neatly arranged all of our tents and supplies in the storage area.  We can't thank Jim enough for the service that he has done to make the market a success.  We'd like to dedicate this Saturday's market to Jim and declare that October 1st, 2011 is Jim Regan Day at the Braintree Farmers Market. Thank you Jim.
   So stop by and check out all the goodies at the market and see what BELD is up to these days.  The season seems to be flying by so don't miss out on this fleeting opportunity.  See you on Saturday.







Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fall Flavors Arrive at the Farmers Market

Apples from C.N. Smith Farm.

   It's apple season already and there's plenty of them at the Braintree Farmers Market hosted by Sustainable Braintree.  If you're short on time or have other priorities and can't get out of town for picking apples come on down to the market and visit the C.N. Smith Farm tents for a wide selection of fresh picked apples, peaches and plums direct from their farm.  The air is crisp and so are the apples so there's no excuse not to enjoy these favorite local fruits while they're in season.  This farm also features their own fresh pressed apple cider so be sure to look in their coolers.  The market will continue at the Braintree Town Hall Mall every Saturday from 9 to 1 through October and we'll finish up with the Special Indoor Thanksgiving Market on Nov. 19th.

JoAnn Marsh is in love with Burnin' Love Sauces.
   Tailgating is a great reason to stock up on Burnin' Love Sauces who joined us for the first time last year.  JoAnn Marsh loves to tell folks about the many varieties of sauces she and her husband Gregory create.  This year they have a couple of new items in their lineup.  They are the Sassy Mo'Lassy Spicy BBQ and the My Honey L.O.V.eS. Me Vinaigrette (local apple cider vinegar, local honey, lavender and sage).  They have also reformulated their Sweet Onion Blues (caramelized onion, balsamic and blueberry chutney).  Try this recipe that includes the Sassy Mo'Lassy Spicy BBQ Sauce:

New England Chili
Soak 1/2 lb. dried Navy beans overnight in the refrigerator.
Drain and rinse beans. (Canned beans can be used instead if you prefer.)
In a large pot, saute a quarter of an onion, diced, in 1tsp oil. 
When onions are clear add 2 cups water, 12oz. Sassy Mo'Lassy BBQ. 
Add beans and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook on low for 4 hours. 
Add 1 lb. cooked drained ground beef, chicken or diced extra firm tofu.
For easy crock pot chili: brown the ground beef, add the onions for the last 3-4 minutes of cook time, drain off the fat, put in crock pot, add remaining ingredients and cook on low setting for up to 16 hours.

Donna Dunn is the owner and Chief Soap Maker at R.I. Spa Products.
   Another vendor that joined us in 2010 who has a devout following is Rhode Island Spa Products with Donna Dunn at the Helm.  Soaps, lotions and exfoliants that are made with all natural ingredients and are luscious and dreamy.  Donna is currently working on a collection of spicy holiday soaps and the Papaya Exfoliating Mask is brand new.  The Arnica Muscle Stick, made with Arnica infusion combined with an essential oil blend, is twice the size this season but not twice the price.  Use it on your tired and sore muscles for instant relief or apply it on bruises to reduce swelling and discoloration.  Try this vendor's products once and you'll be hooked and you can be assured they aren't filled preservatives and ingredients with chemical names that you can't pronounce.
  It's hard to believe that summer's really over and the fall flavors have begun to permeate the market.  Apples, pumpkins, cider, hearty soups, breads, cranberries, spicy soaps and fruit preserves are all currently available at the market.  Thanks to the gracious support of our community the market has continued to thrive. Drop by and taste the flavors of Fall.  See you on Saturday.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What's Old is Now New at the Farmers Market

Fall deliveries from C.N. Smith Farm.   
We're getting into a groove at the Braintree Farmers Market hosted by Sustainable Braintree.  The vendors that joined us for the first time this season have now learned the ropes and already have regular customers that show up to support them every week.  The weather is now transitioning towards warm days and cooler evenings and things couldn't be any more perfect for enjoying the peak of harvest season.  Join us every Saturday at the Town Hall Mall from 9 to 1, rain or shine, and start your weekend with a refreshing trip to an open air market with some of the best local products that you'll find anywhere.   
   Although we've spiced up the market with some great new vendors our farmers and vendors that have been with us since we opened in 2009 are always adding to their product lineups to keep things fresh and interesting.  The Farmer's Garden will start bringing many different varieties of squashes along with more leafy lettuce as the temperatures begin to cool.  C.N. Smith Farm has begun to bring a wide color assortment of fall mums just in time to spruce up your front porch.  Rob is always on hand to help you with your choices and even bring your purchases to your vehicle if you like.  This grower has a neighbor that's a beekeeper who brings her hives onto the farm to help with pollination of the crops.  All of the honey you'll find at their stand is made from the bees that are kept on their property.  Look for flavorful cider pressed from their own apples in their coolers at the market now.

Flip Flop Cookies from Jack's Cookie Jar.

   If you have a sweet tooth look no further than Jack's Cookie Jar.  Jack and his team of creative cookie bakers are constantly coming up with new cookie ideas.  Whether it's the brand new and totally delicious Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie or the recent, melt in your mouth Pecan Shortbread, you know Jack serves up only the best.  Whatever the holiday or season look for the most beautiful decorative cookies that taste as great as they look.  At Jack's Cookie Jar they love Halloween and can't wait to unlock their artistic cookie ideas for all to enjoy in the very near future. 

Find a wide selection of baked goods at Ever So Humble Pie Company.
   Have you noticed that our very own, award winning, Ever So Humble Pie Company has become more popular than ever?  If you want the best selection it's a good idea to get to the market early.  Chief pie maker, Andrea Taber, is always coming up with new products that continue to entice us and have us coming back for more.  This season she's experimenting with a new line of savory tarts.  The recently unveiled Zucchini Frittata is a perfect balance of fresh eggs, cheese and locally grown zucchini with a creamy texture and buttery crust.  It's goes perfectly with greens from the market and makes a quick meal that's healthy and delicious.  New pie flavors for this year are White Peach and Raspberry along with Summer Medley which is a blend of strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb and oranges.  Andrea has also been surprising us with new pie flavors as she continues to create the Ultimate Pie Sensation.  Remember the BlueBarb Pie?  Try her recent addition of tea breads with fall flavors like zucchini, banana, pumpkin and apple.  There's also an incredibly delightful Gluten-free Angel Food Cake that has a heavenly texture and taste.
   These are just a small sampling of newer items available from some of our original market vendors.  Please check in next week for the continuation of recently introduced products from our seasoned vendors.  For more information or to volunteer please visit us at www.sustainablebraintree.org.  See you on Saturday.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sustainable Braintree Earth Celebration at the Farmers Market

Eileen Campbell, SB Recycling Leader, and Pat Morey, SB Community Garden Leader, will have displays at the market this week.

   We love to throw a party at the Braintree Farmers Market, hosted by Sustainable Braintree, and this Saturday, Sept. 10th, is no exception. Come and join us for our First Annual Earth Celebration in conjunction with the market.  We've set aside this day to honor our natural world and our place in it.  Bring your lawn chairs and blankets so you can hang out and enjoy Candy Stout as she sings selections from the Great American Songbook accompanied by Jon Wheatley on guitar and Jim Repa on reeds.  Each individually has devoted many decades to the joy of melodic swinging and beautiful music.  Stroll the market while you check out a variety of activities and useful information that will inspire you to help keep our planet happy and squeaky clean. 
    Join the Recycling Task Force in an exciting game of Recycling Bingo for children.  Kids will learn more about what they can recycle in Braintree while playing a nontraditional form of the old school game. We can all learn more about Single Stream with exhibits and information about items residents can toss in their recycling bins – it’s amazing how many items we used to throw in the trash are actually recyclable now. Some things that can’t go into Single Stream can be recycled or reused elsewhere.  Check out our info on the many other options for recycling, such as old cell phones, corks, sneakers, keys, eyeglasses, crayons, tools and bubble wrap. Be sure to enjoy the display of inspiring sculptures made from recyclable materials that have been created by Braintree High School art students.
   Our friends from Project Have Hope will have beautiful jewelry and craft items from recycled paper from artisans in the Acholi Quarter of Uganda.  These pieces are colorful and creative and get that warm and fuzzy feeling when you support and empower the women and children in this region of Africa.
    Find out how easy it is to compost with Sustainable Braintree’s Community Garden Task Force.  They will give you some ideas of how to start a compost pile and what ingredients to feed it to make a nutrient-rich additive to your garden.  They will also display some produce from the Community Garden at Perkins Park. 
    Check in with Sustainable Braintree’s Energy Task Force for fresh ideas about how to save energy, save money, and save the planet.  Find out first-hand how much we can make a difference collectively when we all do our part. 
    You will have a chance to meet a giant tortoise, along with some smaller reptiles, courtesy of the New England Wildlife Center.  Learn about this local non-profit group that rehabs injured wildlife and returns them to the wild.  If you've ever come across injured or orphaned wildlife these are the folks you need to contact.  
    The Braintree Conservation Commission is providing trail maps of Cranberry Pond and other information about finding nature in Braintree.    Additional information will be on hand about a variety of educational organizations and resources that help us learn about and enjoy our natural world. 

A wide variety of locally-grown tomatoes are now available at the market.
    It's also the peak of harvest season at the farmers market and the best time of year to purchase fresh picked produce from you local farmers.  All of the produce items available are brought here direct from the growers that are located right here on the South Shore.  When you purchase from small local farms it helps them remain sustainable and viable.  Look for the Braintree Farmers Market every Saturday from 9 to 1, rain or shine, at the Braintree Town Hall Mall, One JFK Memorial Dr. Braintree until the end of Oct. with a special Indoor Thanksgiving Market on Nov. 19th.  See you on Saturday.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Clam & Lobster Feast featured Sept 3rd

Julie Vanick and her mother Regina Alexander enjoying their meal at the Clam & Lobster Feast.
   The end of summer is approaching and what better way to celebrate than with a traditional New England Clambake and all the fixings.  The Braintree Farmers Market hosted by Sustainable Braintree is presenting the 3rd Annual Clam & Lobster Feast this Saturday, Sept. 3rd, from 9 to 1, rain or shine, at our location at the Braintree Town Hall Mall, One JFK Memorial Dr., Braintree.  Enjoy the final weekend of the summer in true local style with a seafood banquet that just can't be beat.  
   Many folks have been waiting all year for this event and each year it has gotten bigger and better.  Fresh Catch Seafood will cooking right on site at the market.  The menu includes 2 lbs. of fresh steamers, 1 1/4 lbs. steamed lobsters, clam chowder, lobster bisque, lobster salad rolls, corn on the cob, homemade stuffed quahogs and fresh little necks and oysters on the 1/2 shell which is new this year.  The New England Clambake dinner comes with a lobster, steamers, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, onions and seasonings.  All of these will be served starting at 9:30 a.m. until the market closes at 1 p.m.  
   For dessert drop by Jack's Cookie Jar tent for the Clambake Cookie Ensemble.  Each package includes a beautifully decorated and delicious set of cookies that include a lobster, clam, an ear of corn and a slice of watermelon.  Pick up a package to bring home for your friends.  They'll also have their ever popular fair which includes at least three types of shortbread, three biscotti flavors and three different types of chocolate chip cookies which includes this year's newest favorite-chocolate chip mint cookie.  Stop by and  treat yourself.   
   Other vendors will have products that tie in with our clambake theme along with your favorite items that you've come to expect.  This time of year there's a bounty of produce to choose from.  Supermarkets may boast that they offer local produce but you'll never find it as freshly picked and delivered to you full of flavor and good nutrition.  The Braintree Farmers Market farmers grow the all produce they sell.  Right now you'll find a variety of heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, early apples and sweet peaches.  Local honey is available from C.N. Smith Farm along with fresh eggs if you get there early enough before the sell out. 

Clam & Lobster Feast posters just $5.
   This year we're offering a limited print run of Clam & Lobster Feast commemorative posters (10" x 15.5") that compliment the Strawberry Festival and Urban Farm Day posters.  Posters are only $5 and contribute to the operating costs of the market.
   Join us on Sept 10th for our Sustainable Braintree Earth Celebration.  We'll have interactive displays for Recycling, Energy and the Community Garden in conjunction with the farmers' market.  Music by Candis Jan Stout will add to the festivities so bring you blankets and lawn chairs and hang out for awhile.  Project Have Hope is scheduled to bring their beautiful jewelry and craft items that are made from recycled paper and help the women and children of the Acholi Quarter of Uganda.  For more information please visit us at www.sustainablebraintree.org.  See on Saturday.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Del's Lemonade Featured this Saturday

Susan Franklin from Del's Lemonade
   The end of the summer is quickly approaching at the the Braintree Farmers Market hosted by Sustainable Braintree and we're very grateful for all the folks who have joined us during their staycations and vacations here in Braintree.  Our popularity seems to be growing each season as we strive to present the highest quality farmers and vendors with the perfect mix of products that make the market a one-stop shopping experience.  Sprinkled into the mix are special events that we hope our customers enjoy and maybe even enlighten them a little bit about sustainable living.  The market will continue every Saturday from 9 to 1, rain or shine, through the end of October at the Braintree Town Hall Mall.  The Indoor Thanksgiving Market on Nov. 19th is our final market for the 2011 season and plans are shaping up nicely with our tried and true vendors along with visiting vendors that will be new to the market and chosen specifically to enhance this special event.




   This week's Featured Vendor at the market is Susan Franklin and her Del's Lemonade stand.  Nothing tastes better on a hot steamy market day than an ice cold Del's Lemonade.  Del's has been an institution in Rhode Island and a favorite summertime drink for generations.  Brought to the United States from Italy at the turn of the 20th century Del's Lemonade began operating under its current name in 1948.  Susan is a native Rhode Islander who brought this soft-frozen treat to Massachusetts in 2008.
   Featured on the Food Network, Del's has been recognized with several awards including Best of Rhode Island, Best Product Made in Rhode Island, Best Local Food, Rhode Island Monthly All-Star and Best of New England Editor's Choice Award by Yankee Magazine.
   Del's Lemonade is an all-natural, soft frozen beverage that is refreshingly different. Made daily in their Cohasset store, these icy drinks come in eight flavors including Lemon, Watermelon, Peach Mango, Cherry, Grapefruit, Blueberry, Pomegranate and Guava Pineapple. The signature flavor, lemon, contains real lemon and lemon rinds and the other flavors contain either skins or pulp.  Their products, except bottled drinks, are made with cane sugar and are gluten free.  Recently they released a zero calorie frozen lemonade that will be available to patrons in the coming weeks. These beverages come in many sizes including party sizes for groups.
   Susan's mobile units are becoming a staple at local farmers markets and events throughout the South Shore and Boston area.  Her carts can also be hired for private functions including weddings, family reunions, graduations and birthday parties.  So drop by and enjoy this special, refreshing treat while you're visiting the market.
   Mark your calendars for Saturday, Sept. 3rd, as we celebrate Labor Day weekend in true New England style with our Clam & Lobster Feast.  Fresh Catch Seafood will be on hand to present their ever popular banquet of lobsters, steamers, chowders, bisques, veggies from the market and more.  Many of our other vendors will be featuring products that tie in with our clam bake theme as well.  The BELD sponsored events tent will be raised for the occasion so bring your whole family and neighbors too.  A limited print-run of Clam & Lobster Feast posters (10"x15.5") will be available, starting this coming Saturday, for only $5 at the market managers table with proceeds going toward the operational costs of the market.  For more information go to www.sustainablebraintree.org/food.  See you on Saturday.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Featured Vendor for this week is Coastal Vineyards

David Neilson from Coastal Vineyards.   
We've been waiting all year for the arrival of locally grown peaches, blueberries, corn, heirloom tomatoes and even early apples at the Braintree Farmers Market hosted by Sustainable Braintree.  The season goes by so fast here in Massachusetts so please come on down and support your local farmer and enjoy the fruits of their labor before it's too late.  In the days before the market was established folks needed to make special trips out of town to find these local treasures but now you can purchase them direct from the growers each Saturday from 9 to 1, rain or shine, at the Braintree Town Hall Mall at One JFK Memorial Drive.  Come on down and see what the buzz around town is all about.

   This coming Saturday, August 20th, we are offering a yoga workshop before the market opens.  Join Jill at 8 a.m. on the front steps of the Braintree Town Hall.  Please bring your mat. A special thanks goes out to our Yoga Coordinator, Erin Monroe, whose been putting these inspiring workshops together for the market.  Thanks Erin.
   Our Featured Vendor for this coming Saturday is David Neilson from Coastal Vineyards.  David has been working in conjunction with the market since this past spring in an effort to introduce local wines to our customers.  The criteria for selling local wines at Massachusetts farmers' market has very strict regulations that include permission from the MA Dept. of Agriculture as well a special licensing from the towns where they are sold.  Based on feedback from market patrons we were confident that offering wines would be well supported.  Thanks to David's determination to make it happen we are finally able to offer local wines at the Braintree Farmers Market.  
Coastal Vineyards is a small vineyard and winery located on the southeastern shore of Massachusetts in South Dartmouth.  It was started in 2004 by David & Linda Neilson. They planted 4200 grape plants in 2005 and 4800 grape plants in 2006 and meticulously cared for, their eight acres of vinifera grape vines to produce the highest quality grapes. Their grape varieties include Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
Coastal Vineyards produces small batches of fine creative wines produced from their estate grown grapes. Their approach to winemaking is to bring out the wonderful fruit flavors of each varietal while also blending different varieties to create unique bouquets and mouth feels that cannot be found with individual varieties.
They will be introducing many of their selections of their 2010 Vintage this weekend.  Their 2010 Estate Riesling, 2010 Estate Gewurztraminer, 2010 Seyval Blanc, 2010 White Wave, 2010 Beach Rose, 2010 Vidal Blanc.   They will also be introducing their 2009 Reds.  Their 2009 Merlot, 2009 Cabernet Franc, 2009 Seaside Red. Enjoy your market foods with a wonderful artisan crafted local wine to complete your meal. It doesn't get any better than this.
The second half of the market season is quickly approaching and we're making a plea for volunteers to help us out at the market. We're currently looking to fill the setup position before the market opens, working at the market manager tent during the operation of the market and the cleanup slot to assist with putting away items used during the market. Try it once or whenever you have time and help us keep the market a valued treasure in Braintree. To sign up fill out our Volunteer Sign Up at www.sustainablebraintree.org/food or email our Volunteer Coordinator, Marie Vega, at mariev@sustainablebraintree.org for more information. Every little bit helps. See you on Saturday.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Urban Farm Day this Saturday

Urban Farm Day posters only $5.

This Saturday, August 13th, we're celebrating Urban Farm Day with a few new folks that have been invited to help us learn more about urban homesteading. Drop by the Braintree Farmers Market hosted by Sustainable Braintree at the Braintree Town Hall Mall from 9 to 1, rain or shine. Simple measures can make your life more interesting and sustainable.  Along with demonstrations on simple food preparations, beekeeping, gardening, backyard chickens, the community garden and the French House Farmyard, we'll also have live acoustic music to celebrate the day.
Learn how to Make Easy and Delicious Sauerkraut and Cauliflower Pickles with Linda Larson-Schwartz.  Long before foods were preserved with commercial methods, the summer bounty was put up for long winters using a simple process called lacto-fermentation. This method produces lots of vitamins and is loaded with friendly enzymes that help with digestion.  Learn to make delicious sauerkraut the old-fashioned way, and savory cauliflower pickles made with green beans and basil. Both are considered “living foods” because no heat has been used in the preparation. And best of all, they only take minutes to make!
  Massachusetts Master Gardeners Assoc. (MMGA) are passionate gardeners and dedicated volunteers charged with the mission of improving the practice of horticulture and developing the public's understanding and enjoyment of plants and the environment.  MMGA provides outreach informational booths at community events through most of the state.  Master Gardeners provide invaluable horticultural informations and resources to the gardening public.  At this year's Braintree event the MMGA organization will be participating to help all residents with their horticultural questions.  They will be providing free resources on a variety of topics along with information on their Master Gardeners' Program.
Allen Hiltz from Black Brook Apiary will be on hand to answer all your beekeeping questions. Check out his observational hive with live bees and try to find the Queen Bee. He'll also have a full actual hive, without the bees, beekeeping equipment and protective clothing. Look for his display on the lifecycle of bees and bee social order. Allen will focus on the need for beekeeping whether it be in an agricultural setting or urban environment.
     The Braintree Historical Society is delighted to be returning as a guest to the Braintree Farmers Market on Urban Farm Day. This year, the BHS, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to making the past accessible to the future, will be launching a new, interactive exhibit: The French House Farmyard. The new exhibit is the showpiece of our new urban agriculture program, which brings Braintree's agrarian past to life with rare-breed farm animals on display during regular museum hours. Stop by the BHS booth on Urban Farm Day to learn about how the common practices of the past can provide inspiration for modern sustainability efforts, find out more about our educational programs, and to meet Sandy, our San Clemente Island kid goat!
     A limited print run of Urban Farm Day posters will be available for $5 at the market managers tent.  Add this new addition to your Strawberry Festival poster to create a set for your kitchen or dining room.  This design also appears on this year's organic cotton tee shirts that are disappearing quickly and are only $12.  Toddler sizes are plentiful so pick them up for the little ones to show their support for the farmers' market.  100% of profits go towards the operational costs of the market.
     Enjoy a melange of acoustic American Folk and Blue Grass performed by local musicians led by John Sullivan whose expertise in musicology is inspirational and enjoyable.  Bring your chairs and blankets and hang out for the entire market.  Dancing jigs is always acceptable at the farmers market.  Our Braintree Electric Light sponsored events tent will be raised for the occasion.  So please come down to poke around and see what we're up to.  For more information about the market and Sustainable Braintree or to volunteer visit us at http://www.sustainablebraintree.org/food.  See you on Saturday.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Nella Pasta is this week's Featured Vendor

Leigh Foster from Nella Pasta
The secret to a good life is to enjoy family and friends with fresh local foods along with a great bottle of wine made right here in Massachusetts.  The Braintree Farmers Market is pleased to announce that we will be providing wine every Saturday from 9 to 1, rain or shine, at the Braintree Town Hall Mall throughout the rest of our season.  Meet David Neilson from Coastal Vineyards as he brings us his wine that has been created from a variety of grapes he grows at his vineyard in South Dartmouth, MA.  David can help you choose a wine the will pair well with any meal.  Local wines also make a great gift or try them with a cheese and bread board with other fresh ingredients from the market. skol. 

This week's Featured Vendor is Nella Pasta which is a joint venture by two ambitious women, Leigh Foster and Rachel Marshall, with a vision to create the finest pasta and share it with the world.  We've been trying to lure this vendor to Braintree since before the the market began as they seemed like such a perfect fit with the rest of our product offerings.  Now that they've joined us folks are discovering just how flavorful and divine each unique pasta they make can compliment and elevate any meal.  Try them once and you'll return each week to try a new ravioli or linguine.  Next week look for a customer favorite-fresh corn, caramelized onion and thyme ravioli made with corn grown in Rehoboth, MA by The Farmer's Garden, their neighbors at the market.

Leigh and Rachel worked at unfulfilling desk jobs together and would meet at lunchtime to talk about how to use their creative energies to do something they loved.  As life-long foodies, Leigh grew up on a farm and Rachel's a culinary grad, they found that they were both passionate about fresh pasta.  They both fell for it while they studied in Florence before they even met.  So pasta it is...  They started with an oh-so-simple idea to make pasta using only ingredients from local farms.  Their name in Italian means "in the" because what goes in the pasta means everything to Leigh and Rachel.  They only use what's in season, picked fresh and grown with organic practices.  So what exactly is in their pasta?  A trip to the farmers' market, sometimes three, to create a unique handcrafted blend of produce, locally grown wheat, artisanal cheese, and a profound respect for the freshness you find in Italy.  Then there's their secret ingredient:  a sustainable food movement, a notion worth chewing over indeed.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, August 13th, as we enlighten and celebrate Urban Farm Day in conjunction with the farmers' market.   Simple and enjoyable tasks can make your lifestyle more rewarding, healthy and have less negative impact on the environment for future generations.  Join us for demonstrations on beekeeping, simple food preparations, backyard chickens, the community gardens, the new urban agriculture program being developed by the Braintree Historical Society and more.  The market will also be hosting local musicians that are currently exploring the roots of urban agricultural music in contemporary society.  Sustainable Braintree's special events tent, sponsored by the Braintree Electric Light Dept., will be raised for this special day so please drop by and see what we're up to. For more information about the market and Sustainable Braintree or to volunteer visit us at http://www.sustainablebraintree.org/food.  See you on Saturday.