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Posts Tagged ‘fruits’

When I worked in central Boston, you could find me at the Copley Square farmers’ market during my lunch break on any given Tuesday during the summer, and many Fridays. I’d browse the stalls, fill a tote bag with produce, then buy a tomato-mozzarella sandwich and perch on a bench with my book to eat it and people-watch.

book sandwich raspberries farmers market

I miss those sandwiches now that I work in Harvard Square. But the Harvard farmers’ market, under a big white tent at the Science Plaza (just north of Harvard Yard), has its own delights.

berries red farmers market

There are stands overflowing with fresh produce, which at the moment includes all my favorites – berries, peaches, peppers and tomatoes:

tomatoes corn farmer's market

Some stands also sell chocolate, pastries, pretzels and fresh fish (though I’ve never bought the latter, as I’d have to lug it home on the subway).

I’m still exploring all the options (and figuring out how much produce I can reasonably carry home). But I’m so glad to have this bounty of fresh, colorful, local offerings so close to my office.

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Confession: I harbor a deep ambivalence about farmer’s markets.

In theory, I’m all for them – a chance for farmers to sell their lovely, fresh produce at a fair price; a chance for customers to rub shoulders with the folks who grow their fruit, vegetables and other products; a fun place to browse on your lunch break or on a summer afternoon. And I firmly believe fresh tomatoes (and other produce) that haven’t traveled hundreds of miles do taste better.

Farmers' tents in Copley Square

But when it comes down to spending my money there, I’m often overwhelmed by the choices – should I buy from this farmer’s stand or that one? Buy heirloom tomatoes or regular ones? Splurge on local honey or spend my money on fruits and veggies, where it will go farther? How much of this produce is organic? Does it matter, as long as it’s all local? Will I end up buying more than I can use? The questions buzz around like the bees flitting around the bunches of sunflowers, and the crowds jostle me, till I’m worn out and frazzled and feeling vaguely guilty. (Not least because the answer to the last question is usually “Yes.”)

However, when I can put all that aside for a few minutes, and just pick up a bit of fruit, a couple pounds of tomatoes and maybe fresh flowers, I do enjoy shopping at the farmer’s market in Copley Square (on Tuesdays and Fridays, and easy to get to on my lunch break). There’s always people-watching to be done (even if the kids do love to scream and chase the pigeons), and some of the stands offer sandwiches in case I didn’t bring my lunch. And the stately buildings nearby – the Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, the Old South Church – provide a lovely backdrop for the crisp white tents and colorful produce.

Do you shop at farmer’s markets? What’s your take on the whole “eat local” thing?

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