Farmers market provides exposure to local businesses

The+Brookline+Farmers+Market+provides+a+local+and+convenient+opportunity+for+Brookline+residents+to+purchase+healthy%2C+sustainable+and+affordable+groceries.

Mira Donahue

The Brookline Farmers Market provides a local and convenient opportunity for Brookline residents to purchase healthy, sustainable and affordable groceries.

“Pull up a chair, get some kombucha and have fun!” Abe Faber, the President of the Board of the Brookline Farmers Market, said.
The Brookline Farmers Market, which is open every Thursday from 1:30-6:30 p.m. in Coolidge Corner, is a welcoming community in the heart of Brookline. It supplies residents with a place where they can talk directly to their food source, shop healthily and belong to a community invested in the quality of food.
Faber said the market exists a bit like a town square. The people come out and make a direct connection and can ask the farmer any questions they have. He also said he feels a happy and relaxed atmosphere at the market because it is a place where community members can take a break from their busy lives.
“They run into all of their friends, the kids meet up with each other and race around and play and have fun. And they’re standing in lines for various foods where they might run across five, 10, 15 people who they’ve been meaning to call or meaning to see,” Faber said.
After carefully counting out the vendors across the parking lot, Nate Harlan, the marketing manager, estimated the market has about 23 vendors on a given day. Harlan said that there is a list of about 40 vendors that come in and out, including regulars whom the community is excited to see every Thursday.
The ice cream vendor of 27 years, Charlie Trombetta, owns Trombetta’s Farm and is a member of the Board of Directors. He operates an ice cream store in Marlborough and is a regular at the Brookline Farmers Market. He said his 40 minute commute is well worth it for this market.
Trombetta said the market gets many elementary school kids after school at 3 p.m. He usually sets up a seating area of chairs and umbrellas next to his ice cream truck. People will sit there for two or three hours and just people watch.
“With this market, I just look around and see that today is not a great day but people still come out. People love the market, they look forward to it,” Trombetta said.
Trombetta said that he sees young adults, now in their 20s who grew up coming to the market with their families. He has made friends from this community that even come out to visit his shop.
Another longtime vendor at the market is Alan Nicewicz of Nicewicz Family Farm. Nicewicz said he participates in 10 markets a week for his farm located in Bolton, Mass. They also have a pick-your-own operation in the fall for apples and pumpkins with hayrides. The Nicewicz Family Farm is dedicated to providing organic and sustainable sources of food.
Nicewicz said the term “organic” is more desired now, even though consumers often do not understand what the word really means. There are a lot of organic sprays that are used in order to eliminate dangerous pesticides said Nicewicz.
“I think that community sponsored farmers markets are very good because a lot of people in the towns want to know exactly where their fruits and vegetables come from as opposed to grocery stores,” Nicewicz said.
The Brookline Farmers Market is dedicated to the quality of their food. According to Nate Harlan, the marketing manager of the Farmers Market, the Brookline Farmers Market accepts the SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps. This helps many people in the Brookline community afford healthy groceries from the market as opposed to supermarket chains.
“You can’t go to the supermarket and get a chicken that was killed and prepared or fished yesterday or that morning because the whole supply chain works in such a way that it’s two weeks old by then,” Faber said.
Faber hopes that BHS students can take an open campus free period or go after school to the farmers market on Thursday and experience it. Faber also hopes that students will encourage their parents to shop at farmers’ markets.
“You’re supporting local,” Faber said. “And local means more money in the community and more money in Massachusetts and keeping struggling family farmers alive.”