MARKET FAQs

Are you new to shopping at the Somerville Winter Farmers Market? Here’s some answers to frequently asked questions to help get you started and understand how your support helps our community.

 

What are the benefits of shopping at the market?

Shopping at the Somerville Winter Farmers Market is a great way to take care of yourself, the environment, and give back. The list is endless, but to name a few benefits:

  • Knowing where your food comes from

  • It provides a variety of healthier options for you and your family

  • It’s better for the environment

  • Supporting your local community

  • Celebrating the diversity of food traditions and cuisines

  • It’s fun!

 

What kinds of vendors can I find at the market?

The Somerville Winter Farmers Market has everything from produce, to meat and fish, specialty products, and so much more. We have a total of 55 vendors throughout the entire season. On a weekly basis, the SWFM has 21 downstairs vendors and 13 upstairs vendors every week. Twenty of our vendors will be at the market on an alternating-week basis. Thirteen of our vendors are guest vendors and will be at the market between 1-3 times throughout the season. We choose our vendors based on the following criteria:

  • Local to New England, with a priority for farmers and food producers closest to Somerville

  • Vendors who provide ingredients that people can make a meal with

  • Affordability of products

  • Healthy foods with sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients; food producers that purchase ingredients that support local farmers and food producers

  • Farmers practicing responsible and organic-growing methods

  • Vendors that represent the diversity of our community and celebrate various food traditions and cultures

  • New entrepreneurs 

 

How is the market healthy for me and my family? 

Most of the food you find at your local grocery store is processed or grown using pesticides, chemicals, or other unnatural processes. At the Somerville Winter Farmers Market, all the produce comes straight from the vendor’s farm, without all the added bad stuff. With fruits and vegetables, breads, juices, pasta, meat, fish, premade meals, and so much more, our vendors can help you bring healthy, delicious meal options home.

 

What if I don’t know how to cook the food I find there?

That’s ok—part of the fun is learning how to cook something new. Our knowledgeable vendors and volunteers can help recommend recipes or techniques, or you can try one of the premade options. You might discover a new food or start a new hobby. 

 

Why should I pay more for food I can get at the grocery store?

The food you buy at your grocery store has likely been picked prematurely and ripened during its long journey from farm to store—sometimes 1,500 miles or more! By shopping at your local market, you’re assured to get the freshest produce that’s in season, which means better tasting food and more variety. In addition, through supporting local farmers and food producers, we can create a new, local food system in which we support people in our community rather than large agricultural corporations. This helps foster a more resilient and diverse food system. 

 

How is shopping at the market better for the environment?

Food from the store has a larger carbon footprint than what is sold at your local market—shipping vehicles contribute to air pollution, while common agricultural practices pollute the waters and lands with harmful by-products, and the extra packaging needed for shipping ends up in landfills all over the world. By shopping at the Somerville Winter Farmers Market, you’re helping protect the environment by thoughtfully purchasing food that travels shorter distances and uses sustainable practices to protect our environment. 

 

How does shopping at the market support my community?

Our vendors come from the New England area, with a priority to those closest to Somerville. By shopping at the Somerville Winter Farmers Market, your purchases support these essential businesses across the region and your presence helps build the vibrant community Somerville is known for. 

What is the Buy 2 & Give 1 initiative and how can I participate?

As you shop at the market, you can purchase extra food from vendors for the Buy 2 & Give 1 initiative.

How it works:

  • Shop as you normally would through the market. Purchase additional items from any vendors (i.e. two bags of carrots)

  • Bring extra food items up to the market manager booth to a donation basket

  • At the end of the day, a volunteer will collect donated food and deliver these items to one of three community fridge sites in Somerville

  • Any individual who needs food can take what they need from one of these community fridges!

Thank you for partnering with us in addressing food insecurity in our community.

Market Details:

  • Where is the market? The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville, 02143

  • When is the market open? Saturdays, 9:30am-1:30pm, December 4 - April 16 *No market Dec 25th or Jan 1st 

  • What COVID precautions are in place? The health and safety of our community is our first priority. We will not require proof of vaccine for this market. However, masks are required at all times. We will have volunteers monitoring the number of guests indoors to adhere to set capacity limits. Guests will follow a one entrance/one exit policy. There will be no eating or drinking inside the market.

  • What types of vendors can I find at the market? Farmers with fresh veggies; Livestock farmers with pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb; Sustainably caught fish; Bakeries with pastries, bagels, bread; homemade jams and jellies; Sweets, including ethically-sourced chocolate and local ice cream; African cuisine dishes including Chicken Yassa and Zanzibar; and much much more!

  • Parking: There is street parking in front of the Armory on Highland Ave, along with a parking lot behind the Armory and at our overflow lot at 75 Belmont St.

  • Dogs - please plan to leave your dogs at home.