The South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation (SBNDC) announces that the South Boston Farmers Market is open for the 2020 season.
This season brings significant changes to the market. Shoppers will find the following modifications to this year’s market experience to comply with social distancing and public health guidelines:
- The number of shoppers allowed to access the market at one time will be limited, and the flow of traffic through the market will be controlled by market staff.
- Shoppers are asked to visit the market alone, unless another person is required to assist the shopper.
- Face coverings are required for shoppers, vendors, and market staff at all times.
- Reusable bags are not permitted.
- Shoppers will not be allowed to touch products. Instead, vendors will handle all products for customers until the transaction is complete.
- Shoppers will be expected to use hand sanitizer (provided by the market) upon arriving at the market and to maintain basic hygiene and sanitation practices, such as not touching their face, throughout their visit.
- Shoppers are also asked to minimize cash transactions to the extent possible.
Additionally, the market welcomes a new vendor, Riverdale Farm, a 200-acre farm with 15,000 square feet of hothouse vegetable production based in Groton. The farm’s hothouse operations allow market shoppers to enjoy locally-grown, ripe tomatoes and bell peppers as early as June – much earlier than is typically possible in New England. Longtime market shoppers take note: Riverdale does not provide eggs or baked goods, only produce.
Gary Wilkins, who owns and operates Riverdale Farm, said several of the markets his farm supplies were not planning to open this season due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both farms that have supplied South Boston Farmers Market in the past, Wenger’s Farm in Bellingham and Freitas Farm in Middleborough, had opted not to return to South Boston earlier this year, creating an opening for a new farmer.
“While we were sad that our long-time farmers would not be returning this year, we are thrilled to welcome Riverdale Farm to South Boston,” said South Boston NDC Executive Director Donna Brown. “We are especially excited that shoppers will have access to a robust variety of vegetables even earlier in the season thanks to Riverdale’s hothouse growing. We are proud to partner with Riverdale to continue providing critical access to fresh, local produce, especially for low-income families, even in the midst of the pandemic.”
Longtime market vendor Wenger’s Farm, based in Bellingham, closed last year when the family departed on a mission trip to Africa.
South Boston NDC is grateful to the Mayor’s Office of Food Access, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, and the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative for their assistance in identifying Riverdale Farm as a new vendor.
The South Boston Farmers Market is located at 446 West Broadway (at the municipal parking lot) and runs Mondays from 12 to 6 p.m. through October. Farmers accept EBT/SNAP, WIC, and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Coupons, and the Healthy Incentive SNAP match program (HIP) is available for EBT/SNAP users.
For more information about vendors, programming or sponsorship, or to learn about joining the farmers market committee, visit our website (www.sbndc.org/south-boston-farmers-market/), or find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SouthieFarmersMkt/), Instagram (@sbfarmersmarket) and Twitter (@SBFarmersMrkt).
SBNDC is South Boston’s nonprofit affordable housing and community development organization. SBNDC has developed more than 300 units of affordable housing in South Boston since the organization’s founding in 1983. SBNDC also currently owns and manages more than 120 affordable homes, provides housing counseling to neighborhood residents, operates the South Boston Farmers Market and the local Chamber of Commerce, and organizes the South Boston Street Festival, Taste of South Boston, and the Christmas and Spring Strolls. Visit www.sbndc.org to learn more.