This summer welcomes the opening of a permanent year-round public market in Boston. On July 30, Beantown opened its doors to the United State’s first market to source all of its goods locally. The BPM is backed by the the Boston Public Market Association and has thus far gathered over 37 vendors who will sell fish, honey, meat, vegetables and fruit from all around New England.
Consumers can expect only the freshest products available during all seasons, even those with limited produce. For affordability, the market is to open to all residents regardless of income. This includes residents limited to food stamps, also known as the Massachusetts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Their mission is to “Educate the public about food sources, nutrition and preparation.”
If the affordable, locally sourced, fresh products aren’t enough, the occasional stall will also offer educational classes and demonstrations. These may include live honeybee displays or chocolate grinding stones from a local chocolate company. Mimi Hall from the Trustee’s of Reservations told Civil Eats in an interview, “This is definitely a radical concept, so the education becomes all the more important.”
The Boston Public Market is located at 100 Hanover Street close to the Haymarket Station subway stop, Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. The space is said to measure 28,000 ft with about 325 parking spaces. Project funds were provided by the state of Massachusetts, the Conservation Fund and other donators.
Markets have defined Boston as a culturally diverse and community friendly city. For hundreds of years farmer’s markets have generated income security for fishermen, food producers and farmers of the area. In fact, two and a half centuries ago, Boston’s Faneuil Hall was a marketplace and public meetinghouse that brought together the small community (with Quincy Market following shortly after).
In a fury of fast distribution chain stores, farmer’s markets have dwindled. But recently, communities like Boston have shown interest in high-quality, fresh, local food calling for a resurgence of neighborhood markets. The Boston Public Market Association began in 2001 as a group of food lovers, officials and food producers. They were determined to reconnect Bostonians through local markets. Their efforts have positively produced over 20 seasonal markets; the most popular being located at Dewey Square and Copley Square. But so far, locals are predicting that the Boston Public Market will be their biggest accomplishment.
Annemarie Tompsen currently studies Publishing and Writing at Emerson College, where she also works part time at the Lacerte Family Writing & Academic Resource Center. A New Englander at heart, she’s recently moved to the Boston area from the small coastal town of Milford, CT. In her spare time she frequents local Boston coffee shops and has taken an interest in finding the diviest diners around. With the summer approaching she looks forward to exploring Boston and traveling along the coast any chance she can. Annemarie hopes to use her love for the written word to pursue a profession in the publishing industry and to further develop her writing career. Follow her on twitter.
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