Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Brookline Farmers Market

When Arlene Flowers became manager of the Brookline Farmers Market in 1994, she wanted families to be able to find everything they need for dinner there, including flowers on the table.  Today that vision is fulfilled every Thursday from 1:30-dusk as vendors of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, cheese and flowers fill the parking lot on Centre Street in Coolidge Corner.  Between 2000 and 3000 people shop there each week.

Arlene Flowers overlooks the Farmers Market
Early in the season before most produce has ripened, arts and crafts booths take over some spaces, but by midsummer, the market is overflowing with heirloom and field tomatoes, peaches, corn, berries, eggplants and other fruits of the harvest. Many of the same vendors come back year after year, including one woman in her 80s who sells at seven markets each week. The Brookline Farmers Market is the only one in Massachusetts operated by a non-profit corporation.

Paul Harris, who with his wife Mary helps to manage the market, appreciates the "continuity of history."  As he pointed out, people have been gathering on market days for thousands of years. It's a way to stay connected, a time to see friends and neighbors. Another connection is integral to the Farmers Market as well - the connection between rural and urban communities that helps to support a local economy.

Bountiful Brookline is at the Farmers Market too, with information about what we do and how to become involved.  Stop by and say hello. If you can spend a couple of hours a week volunteering at the BB table, please contact [email protected] or put your name on the schedule at