Keep it Fresh: The Vision for a Boston Public Market

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Posted March 19, 2014 by Luke Olsen in Downtown Boston
Boston Public Market's doors will open next year.

While Boston is home to many seasonal markets, for many years, our city has been a rare example of a major center that has lacked a permanent public market focused on locally grown foods.

Enter the proposed Boston Public Market (BPM), which is slated to be located downtown at 136 Blackstone St. (above the Haymarket station) on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. Modeled after successful public markets in other American cities, BPM’s mission is “to develop and operate a permanent year-round market in Boston that provides fresh, healthy food to consumers of all income levels and nourishes our community,” according to its website.

The idea is not a new one here in Boston…the project has been delayed for more than a decade. It took a $4 million commitment from the Governor’s office to the non-profit Boston Public Market group to secure the construction plan and schedule announced in January. The group is confident they can obtain the millions in donations still needed to complete the project for a proposed 2015 opening.

The Boston Public Marke

The Boston Public Market is undergoing construction. Photo Credit: Luke Olsen

BPM is part of a growing trend to localize food sources in order to improve nutrition and reduce spoilage and transportation costs. The market also intends to educate the public about various food sources, nutrition, and preparation. After BPM opens, farmer’s market options will be available to Bostonians all year, instead of seasonally. By buying food at the market, you will noticeably support local agriculture, since you are buying the produce directly from the hands of area farmers. The plan is to open an outdoor portion of the market on the Greenway next to the future site for two days a week this spring, so downtown residents can begin experiencing the market’s benefits as soon as possible.

If you do a lot of cooking, the market is a welcome establishment, for it allows you to experiment with new ingredients and discuss their possible uses with the people who grew them. This is invaluable information that will expand your techniques and knowledge as well as your palette.

Organizers have posted a video schematic of what the market is going to look like, and it is truly impressive. The 28,000 square foot BPM will host more than 40 vendors selling everything from meat and produce to candles and dry goods. The modern, welcoming design scheme houses areas dedicated to each major food type; seating areas where you can enjoy items you’ve purchased; a demonstration area where a chef can prepare a recipe in front of a live audience; and a book shop that will presumably carry books by local authors and chefs.

The new Boston Public Market is expected to open to the public in early 2015. So, if you’re looking to add some more local produce to your diet, it will be here sooner than you think!

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