We’re so lucky to have so many farmers’ markets in the area, each with something special to offer. Within twenty or thirty minutes you could find your new favorite vendor or create a summer tradition of an outing to a farmer’s market outside your hometown and stay awhile.
I had fun on all my mini adventures to the area markets. Every market had friendly vendors who made you feel welcome and gave you ideas on how to use their products.
As I sat to a meal of shish kababs with local corn, roasted potatoes, and steamed vegetables, it felt good knowing that I knew where each item on my plate came from: even the elk meat, which was from my dad’s hunting trip out west.
It gave the meal more meaning because it wasn’t just from some farm I’d never heard of thousands of miles away, it was from someone I knew. I knew how it was produced and I was supporting a local business who would then invest the money back into the community too. When you’re so close to the source of something’s production, you appreciate it that much more.
Visiting the farmer’s market made me feel connected to the community too and I encourage you to find a farmer’s market that fits your needs.
Become a regular and enjoy all the bounty of our beautiful Upper Valley.
Find your favorite or experience a new market. I’ve written a summary for each which includes highlights, location, time, parking, entertainment and my overall experience.
Summer Farmer’s Markets run early June to mid October.
Woodstock,VT and Hanover, NH
Newport, NH and Hartland, VT
Norwich, VT; Springfield, VT; and Claremont, NH
Highlights: Variety of Produce
Location: Town Common
Time: Wed. 3-6 pm
Parking: Around the green or in the public parking lots. Bring change.
The Woodstock farmer’s market had beautifully crafted artisan work like pottery and cutting boards.
The selection of produce was more than I had seen at any market. I bought fingerling potatoes and a bunch of delicious looking carrots. You could also find cabbage, mixed greens, and garlic. It also was the only farmer’s market I noticed an organic farm if that’s important to you.
I stopped in my tracks when I smelled the baked goods from Naga Bakery. The flavors of her breads were so delicious sounding it was hard to choose: blueberry ricotta, apricot cheddar, tomato cheddar, apple cinnamon. I chose apricot cheddar and tomato cheddar. They were good and I especially liked the seasoning on the crust.
I enjoyed talking with the vendors and their recipe recommendations too. It makes the buying experience that much more personal and enjoyable.
Highlights: Atmosphere: sit and stay awhile.
Location: The Green.
Time: Wed. 3-6 pm
Parking: Free around the green, courtesy of the local chamber of commerce. Free parking on Wheelock and College St.
The Hanover Farmer’s Market beckons you to sit and stay awhile. The music was beautiful: a duo where one sang and played the guitar while the other played the harmonica. I liked the music at all the farmer’s markets, but this one in particular stood out to me. A small group of Dartmouth students sat and listened to them perform. As I walked around I saw a sandwich vendor and a special treat: a cupcake vendor, both I hadn’t seen at any other market. This farmer’s market had a nice mix of different vendors: flowers, artisan goods, prepared foods, and produce. There were a lot of people meandering in and out of the market and quite a few people relaxing on the green. It was my favorite market for atmosphere.
Highlights: Dinner and Produce
Location: Colburn Park at the Green across from the fire station and Opera House.
Time: Thurs. 4-7 pm
Parking: Free. You can park around the green though it can be difficult to get out of with the traffic. There’s a large public parking lot by Three Tomatoes if you turn right by the restaurant.
This is a super popular farmer’s market with a lot of vendors! It’s the kind of market you want to make a tradition to go to each week to grab something to eat, pick up a little indulgant treat, or buy some fresh produce and fruit. This is a great farmer’s market to have an evening picnic on the green with the local fare and listen to the music or grab dinner for your family. There was a good balance of produce and artisanal vendors too. It was a really relaxing farmer’s market to go to and made me want to stay longer, which a lot of people tended to do, enjoying the park and its activity.
Highlights: Kids activities
Location: Town Common across from Sugar River Bank.
Time: Fri. 3-6 pm
Parking: Free. You can park around the common or across the street.
Entertainment: Music, along with train rides and story time for the kids.
Did you know this is one of the longest running farmer’s markets in the state? There are over 30 vendors here, covering the massive common, definitely worth a nice drive. I enjoyed the music and browsing the nice selection of produce. I got delicious corn and some green beans too. There were a lot of kids at the story time too, which is a great addition to the farmer’s market.
Highlights: Kids’ Market, small town friendly feel to get to know growers
Location: At Hartland Public Library Field
Time: Fri. 4-7 pm
Parking: Free. Parking is easy and plentiful in the field.
Entertainment: Music, weekly quizzes to win prizes.
I arrived at 4 for the market and there were cars parked and already heading to the market. It was kids’ market day so there were tables set up along the side right as you entered and kids were displaying their wares to sell, which I thought was a wonderful idea. As I walked along I listened to the music and really enjoyed the fresh sound; often the entertainment consists of a singer with a guitar so I thought it was a fun change to hear a band with trumpets.
There were multiple produce vendors with a variety of vegetables beyond the traditional tomatoes zucchini and cucumbers. One vendor even sold beef. I bought some corn, squash, zucchini, and potatoes. All the farmers were so friendly and I especially liked how they welcomed you back by saying, “If you come back next week tell me what you think.” This really made me feel like I would be part of a community and create relationships with the growers, which I thought was especially apparent at this market.
Another benefit of this market is that their website and facebook are active and helps you prepare for your weekly market trip by telling you which vendors to expect. I like how they also tell you who will be performing because I was able to check out a cool video by the band that performed when I went, which I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. They also do activities like weekly quizzes to win prizes and when I was there I saw children admiring some ducks on display who were quacking away.
I think I’ll go check it out again.
Highlights: Largest area market, most product variety
Location: Route 5 past King Arthur Flour on the left
Time: Sat. 9-1pm
Parking: Free follow the dirt road to the parking area
I arrived at 9:15 and it was already busy; the parking lot was filled with cars. As I entered the farmer’s market I saw wooden vendor stalls that looked like pergolas; this was the only farmer’s market that had permanent stalls. I was impressed by its size, the biggest farmer’s market in the area. The variety of vendors and goods sold was equally impressive. I saw products I hadn’t seen anywhere else: beeswax sculptures, wild mushrooms, toffee, cheese, lamb meat, and whole chickens. There were lots of produce vendors as well and organic produce was easy to find. Some stalls even had a large number of people waiting to purchase products which I wasn’t used to seeing. If you want a one stop shop farmer’s market or have an event or meal planned and need that special item, the Norwich farmer’s market is the place to go.
Highlights: Has Market Madness in Aug.
Location: Center of town by the movie theatre
Time: Sat. 10-1pm
Parking: Free on the street and public parking towards the town offices
The day I went to this farmer’s market also happened to be the day of Market Madness. The center of town was closed to traffic so vendors were set up on the street. There was a dunking booth, kiss the puppy to support the local Humane Society, advocacy causes, clothing and artisanal goods, prepared food and produce vendors, and activities for kids. It was definitely fun to wander around. There were lots of people enjoying the festivities as well.
Highlights: Gifts and Meats
Location: Broad St. Park next to the fire station, Opera House and Fiske Free Library
Time: Sat. 10 am – 1 pm
Parking: Free. You can park around the green (fire station side easiest to get out of) or there’s public parking across the street where American Legion is.
Entertainment: Music and train rides for kids
This year there were fewer produce vendors in late July and early August and mostly artisanal goods. There were some prepared foods like bread and jelly too. A couple vendors sold meats. So if you need a gift for someone or want to buy some local meat Claremont is a good farmer’s market to go to. There were plenty of cars parked around the park and people meandered in and out of the market with their purchases.
Tell us your favorite farmer’s market story or memory.