GLOCESTER â€” While most outdoor farmers markets have closed down for the winter, you can still get seasonal vegetables and produce as well as preserves, fresh eggs and baked goods at Glocester's Northwest Farmers Market, an indoor farmers market held Sundays in Chepachet during the winter months.
The market is held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sticks Tavern, 417 Putnam Pike (Route 44 ) in Chepachet.
The farmers market includes live acoustic music starting at 10 a.m.
The market features a wide assortment of the freshest local home-made goods, including roasted coffee and coffee beans, pastries, cookies and desserts, breads and baked goods, high-quality granola, seasonal vegetables and produce, hydroponic lettuce and herbs, probiotic foods and snacks, homemade grass-fed beef jerky, pickles, dressings, and preserves, sugar-free preserves, fresh local eggs, natural homemade dog foods and treats, handmade goat milk soaps, local maple syrup; Poblano Farms salsas and sauces, and 15-minute massage treatments.
Glocester's first community farmer's market has been a huge success since opening last year. During the warmer months, the market is held weekly at the Glocester Town Hall.
Town officials in both Glocester and North Smithfield are hoping to mimic the success of Burrillville's farmers market, which is a Grade A market that began four years ago. A Grade A market means all vendors produce everything they sell. In most cases, produce at the market is picked fresh that morning and brought directly to the market. All of the vendors at the Burrillville Farmersâ€™ Market are local non-commercial growers.
Since 2007, Burrillville's market has been a major attraction for people looking for everything from vegetable plants to eggs to honey to cut flowers to wool.
Farmers markets are nothing new, but they are gaining popularity all over the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farmers markets around the U.S. increased to 6,132 markets in 2010, a 16 percent increase over 2009, and a hefty increase from the 1,755 that existed back in 1994 when the USDA first started tracking them.
Many Americans are seeking an alternative to produce and other foods that are available in grocery stores, much of which loses freshness during the time it takes to package and ship it long distances.