February 19, 2017 MEWA Winter Market Day: Fresh fare from local farm, fishermen, and specialty food vendors, lovely artisan products, fun for kids, and What’s Cooking? is back!

Here are a few updates:

  • Deano’s Pasta will be cooking up some pasta to sample during the market day!
  • The cooking demo will be on the stage and will feature a quick and easy entree of spaghetti squash, kale, and cannellini beans.
  • Shopping Tip: Can’t decide which type of bread to buy? Get one of each because bread freezes really well. You can freeze loaves whole, or slice first and freeze so you can then take quick to defrost slices out as needed.

And here is all the news! With good weather expected, this Sunday will be a great day to get out and shop for freshest of locally raised produce, meats, cheese, and eggs, as well as delicious specialty foods, including all sorts of baked goods, syrups, and spice and tea blends, and beautiful handcrafted artisan products at the Melrose-Wakefield Winter Farmers Market. Our next market day is February 19, followed by market days on March 19 and April 23. The market is open from 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. at Memorial Hall at 590 Main Street, Melrose. There is plenty of parking out back and we are conveniently located on the 136/137 bus line.

FUN FOR KIDS! The Magic of Yarrow will create whatever animal, hat, or other balloon entity as requested, and Jessica Buster of Baby Songs will also be with us presenting her Baby Songs program, which features delightful entertainment for the youngsters as well as a great place for one parent to go shopping while the other enjoys the songs and stories with the kids. You will find Yarrow in the main hall and Jessica in the bright and cheerful upper area, accessible via stairs or elevator.

WHAT’S COOKING? is back! We’ll once again be cooking up a quick and easy recipe or two each market day. As always, all the main ingredients will be sourced that day from our farmers and specialty food vendors This month we will create a recipe or two using dried legumes from Baer’s Beans, vegetables from Oakdale Farm (Farmer Dave will be returning in March!) and at least one of Bondat Food’s fabulous seasoning mixes. Recipes will be available at the market and will also be posted on the Wakefield and winter market websites. Also: If you see something at one of our farmers’ tables that you want to try, let us know and we’ll will get it, wash it off, and chop or slice it up for you to try! NOTE: the cooking demo will take place on the stage by the café area this month.

Want to Win Some Market Bucks?

Each market day we are going to offer a free “raffle” for $20 in Market Bucks that you can use with any vendor! All you have to do is get a raffle ticket when you come in the door, put your name and phone number on it, and come up to the second level to drop it off next to the elevator door.
You do not have to be at the end of day drawing to win. We will call the winner.

We featured Baer’s Beans in our vendor spotlight last week, but in case you missed it, do check out their website at baersbest.com to learn about one of the few farmers growing “dry beans” in New England.

Baer’s Beans offers a wide variety dried legumes, mostly heirloom, that have grown here in the Northeast since colonial days, including Jacob’s Cattle, Soldier, and Yellow Eye. FYI: In the WFM market manager’s opinion, Yellow Eye beans, a traditional favorite in parts of Maine, make the best baked beans! Along with recipes from the current and past cooking demos, we will also have a really easy, tasty, and foolproof slow cooker recipe for baked beans available at the Market Kitchen table.

NEWFLASH: Deano’s Pasta will be cooking and giving out samples of our raviolis and sauce this Sunday at the market!

Come Help Make It All Happen!
With Co-Manager Cindy out of town this week, and newly open SNAP Coordinator position yet to be filled, we really hope all the volunteer spots will be filled this month! Please consider signing up. It’s fun!

– One Set up Assistant from 9:30-11:00 a.m.
– Two Breakdown Assistants from 3:00-4:00 p.m. 

These positions can entail some lifting, but, for those used to summer set up and
breakdown, this is a breeze!
Two Shopper Counters, one from 11:00 – 12:00 p.m., and one from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Counters use a clicker to count shoppers as they enter the building and encourage
folks to enter the free drawing for market bucks.
Two Market Money Machine Volunteers, one from 11:00 1:00 p.m. and once from 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Greet folks who come to the Market Manager Table and process credit card and EBT transactions.

To sign up for a volunteer spot, just CLICK HERE!

Now, here’s what you’ve been waiting for – this month’s vendors!

Produce: Oakdale Farm (Oakdale will have extra and Farmer Dave’s will be back in March.)

Dried Legumes: Freshly dried heirloom beans from Baer’s Beans. They are the best!

Pasture-raised Meats, Poultry, and Eggs: Lilac Hedge Farm and Shady Pine Farm. Lilac Hedge also has honey and really tasty dried meat treats.

Cheese: West River Creamery. Jane will also have her delectable pickled products and maple syrup and more. And, have I ever mentioned that her cheese is the very best around?

Seafood: Roberto’s Seafood – fresh fish at great prices!

SHOPPING TIP: Stock up on seafood and put some in the freezer. If wrapped tightly and put in the freezer right when you get home, and used as soon as it defrosts, it will still have a great taste and texture.

Specialty Syrups: Shagbark Farm, featuring a syrup from locally sourced hickory bark and sweetened with organic sugar.

NEWFLASH: Sandy Hunt of Vermont Gourmet Candy Dish will not be able to attend for the rest of the season due to injuries from an accident. She is okay, but the recovery will be lengthy. Please send healing thoughts and look for ways to help, if so moved, at the market and in future newsletters.

Specialty Foods: Coutt’s Specialty Foods, Deano’s Pasta, Habibi (formerly Samira’s Homemade), In Good Taste, Jaju Pieroji, and The Soup Guy.

Note: The Soup Guy, pictured to the left, offers soup for take home or to enjoy right at the market at our cafe area on the stage. The Soup Guy also has excellent taste in headgear.

Baked Goods: Bagel Land of Winchester, Goodies Homemade, Mamadou’s Artisan Bakery, Nanette Pastries, Swiss Bakers, The Popover Lady, and The Roasted Granola, the latter also offering yummy locally produced yogurt.

LAST CHANCE for French pastries, chouquette, financiers, cannelés, brioches, croissants, from Nanette Pastries! While she certainly plans to resume baking by next season if not sooner, Nanette will be focusing on her “soon to appear” new baby for the next several months.

Spices and Seasonings: Bondat Foods and Soluna Garden Farm, which also offers teas and local honey.

Beverages: Aaronap Cellars, and Pony Shack Cider. (Tower Craft Beverages will be back next month.)

Pet Treats: Emmett’s Edibles – a favorite of Boogaloo, the WFM market manager’s new pup.

Artisans: Hiller’s Silver Studio, Kittredge Candles, Sarah’s Originals, Sheepshed, and Simplicity Apothecary. Remember, EVERY time of year is a great gift shopping time, including for yourself!

For a list of all the vendors throughout the season and last minute updates, be sure to visit our website. Here is the direct link to our list of vendors and the vendor schedule:

As always, thanks to the USDA, the market accepts SNAP benefits and will match up to $10 per market day, and “market money” accepted by all the vendors can be purchased via your credit or debit card.

NOTE: you can exchange any Wakefield Market Bucks that you may still have for Melrose market money at the Market Manager Table.

For more information about our winter market, see mewawinterfarmersmarket.org, and sign up for our MeWa newsletter to get the latest updates. You will also find a sign-up link for volunteering on the MeWa website or, just  CLICK HERE.
Please consider volunteering to help create a great market day! It’s fun and you will meet really nice people.

See you at the market!

Cindy Chabot
Wendy Dennis
Co-Market Managers

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