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

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  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  See you on Saturday.