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Hyde Park Main Streets gears up for farmers’ market

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  March 18, 2011 03:29 PM

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(Courtesy Hyde Park Main Streets)


Townsends Restaurant owner Michael Tallon and Scott Batey, president of the board of Hyde Park Main Streets, visited last year’s farmers’ market.

As a long, harsh winter finally comes to an end, Hyde Park Main Streets already has its eye on summer and its second annual farmers’ market.

To prepare for this year’s market, the organization is working to assemble a team of volunteers to oversee various aspects of the market, including vendors, musical performances, children’s activities, assembling a newsletter and getting the word out to the community.

“It’s a big project, and we need a lot of volunteers,” said Patrice Gattozzi, the organization’s executive director.

Gattozzi considered last year’s market a success, with many loyal regulars coming out each week.

“It was a community-building time [last year], and that’s what we really wanted, to build the community and people to come and gather around food,” she said. “We have a very diverse population, and yet everybody can come together with food. That’s a real main goal.”

For this year, she hopes to expand the market and to get the word out so that more residents know it’s there.

With the market open each Saturday afternoon, the planners were able to attract some of the same vendors who spend Saturday morning at the Roslindale Farmers’ Market, and Gattozzi said all of last year’s vendors have expressed their intention to return this summer.

The planners were surprised to learn last year that there was competition to attract local producers, Gattozzi said.

“Over the years, the number of markets has grown, but not the farmers, so it’s a really competitive issue right now to get the farmers to come and sell their wares,” she said. “It’s hard because they need to know that it’s a good market, it’s worth their time to come here and set up, and they’re going to sell. So sometimes people will watch a market for a couple of years and they’ll say, ‘OK, they’re doing OK. Now I’ll join in.’”

To complement the fresh local produce and other food items, the Hyde Park market includes local artists, live entertainment and activities for children.

Gattozzi stressed that the market is accessible to low-income residents, because it can accept payment by SNAP/EBT and WIC and participates in the Boston Bounty Bucks Program that doubles every dollar spent by EBT, up to $10.

The market will be open each Saturday from 2:30 to 5 p.m. from July 16 through Oct. 15 in the parking lot of the Hyde Park Savings Bank at 1196 River Street.

The organization will hold its first planning meeting on Wednesday, March 23, from 6 – 7 p.m. at the Hyde Park Main Streets office at 11 Fairmount Ave., Suite 107. Contact Hyde Park Main Streets at 617-361-6964 for more information or to volunteer.

Email Jeremy C. Fox at jeremycfox@gmail.com.

hp flowers.jpg

(Courtesy Hyde Park Main Streets)


The market includes fresh-cut flowers as well as food, work by local artists and activities for families.

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