A new neighborhood farmers’ market will open this summer at the Union Square Plaza in Allston, a short distance from the neighboring Brighton community the market hopes to also serve.
The outdoor market, a collaboration of Allston Village Main Streets and the Allston-Brighton Community Development Corporation, is scheduled to open July 9 and continue every other Saturday through Sept. 17, said ABCDC sustainability manager Gustavo Quiroga.
“Union Square is really the gateway between Allston and Brighton,” he said. “It’s a space that’s underutilized, accessible to all residents of both communities, and we hope to take advantage of that.”
The two neighborhood organizations hope between nine and 15 vendors will sign on for the Saturday markets selling a mix of produce and arts and crafts. The vendors are still being finalized. They will set up tables from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. around the plaza – including along the not-used-on-weekends bus lane in front of the Jackson-Mann Community Center.
One-third of the vendors are expected to be Massachusetts farmers, another one-third will be local food vendors, and the remaining spots will be for local arts and crafts vendors, Quiroga said.
“We’re really trying to create an experience that’s more than just about getting your groceries and buying something to eat,” he said of the market’s arts and craft sale component.
At the intersection where Cambridge Street runs between Route 20 – North Beacon Street on one side and Brighton Avenue on the other – the market will be set in a busy area for pedestrian, vehicle, bike and bus transit alike, and a short distance from the Green Line’s B branch along Commonwealth Avenue.
The goals of the market include: expanding the communities’ access to local, fresh, affordable food; enlivening the square; and driving traffic to surrounding small businesses.
To aid with affordability, the market will accept both SNAP food stamps and participate in the Boston Bounty Bucks program, Quiroga said.
St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center is the market’s core founding sponsor and made a substantial financial contribution, he said, adding that the hospital plans to set up its own table that will include educational information about health and nutrition.
Discussions and planning for the Union Square Farmers’ Market first began in January and February and developed quickly from there.
Quiroga said the vision for the market is that it will become “a long-term community asset.”
E-mail Matt Rocheleau at firstname.lastname@example.org.