So Fresh and So Green

Posted July 2, 2015 by Tony McMillen in Downtown Boston
Greenway Farmer's Market

Summer in Boston is officially here (finally) so forget what Game of Thrones says, because winter is dead forever and never coming back, so why not take advantage of the sunshine and find something good to eat at the reopened outdoor Greenway Farmers Market?

Every Wednesday from 11am to 6pm and every Sunday from 10am to 4pm this fresh farmers market located on the plaza at 136 Blackstone Street is bustling with some of Boston’s best local vendors offering the freshest local produce, meats and seafood. Unreasonably good and good-for-you food direct from the source. There’s Stillman’s Farm and their swath of Technicolor vegetables replete with bright red radishes the size of your fist. Or Red’s Best Seafood with their impressive array of ocean fresh Atlantic cods and Cape Cod sea scallops. A personal favorite of mine is Q’s Nuts, a Somerville institution that’s become a hiking necessity for me. Pro tip: get a bag of Mexican chocolate pecans and never crave Planters nuts again. Another Boston mainstay on hand at the market is When Pigs Fly Bakery, offering artisan, old-world breads baked to organic and natural perfection.

Q's Nuts

Q’s Nuts, a Somerville institution. Photo Credit: Tony McMillen

What connects these and the other vendors you’ll find at the market, besides their obvious geographical proximity, is that each possesses a commitment to providing quality natural food. That isn’t just some abstract notion to make you feel better about what you’re putting on your table. Nor is it another pushy gimmick pressuring you to get into shape for the summer; when it comes down to it, natural food is simply about taste. That’s it. Get some fresh green beans straight from the farm and cook them up at home, compare the laser light show of flavors carouseling through your mouth to the timid overture you get from their canned counterparts. A little dramatic? Sure, but once you have fresh you’ll be hard-pressed to go back to otherwise.

Another part about shopping at farmers markets that I’ve always loved is the casualness. I went down to the Greenway Farmers Market on a Wednesday afternoon and when I turned the corner I was treated to some gentle acoustic guitar provided by a local musician. The music was a pleasant relief from the usual supermarket soundtrack of adult contemporary Top 40 drivel. The people working the market were equally refreshing and laid back. They struck that perfect balance between not bombarding me with attention while I’m perusing while also not making me feel invisible when I had a question.

Remember how I started this off by saying that winter was dead and never coming back? Well… as much as I love shopping outdoors there’s an outside chance that it might get a tad less summerish as the year stretches on. Which in turn might make it a bit less enjoyable to stroll around in the weather looking for rainbow swiss chard, but luckily the Greenway has got that covered.

The Boston Public Market will be opening its doors on July 30th to its new indoor location at Rose Kennedy Greenway. Not only does this mean the new indoor market will be at the same location as the current outdoor one but this new spot will be positively massive in comparison. The 28,000-square-foot area will provide space for over 40 vendors from all over New England. Even more impressive is that this will make it the only locally-sourced indoor market in the United States.

This means that even if winter does show its face, you’ll have plenty of good green beans to wait it out with.