Chelsea Farmers' Market
Fridays 3 pm – 6:30 pm
Located on the North Common in downtown Chelsea
At the intersection of Route 110 and 113
The Chelsea Farmers' Market has really progressed since its establishment by a Chelsea school teacher, about 20 years ago. Initially taking place on Wednesdays, the market struggled for several years to draw in customers and vendors. Recently, a group of community members and vendors formed with the hopes of revitalizing this market, for the 2010 season. With the help of a mini-grant from NOFA and a time change to Fridays, as well as the hiring of market manager, Heidi Allen Goodrich, there has been a dramatic increase in attendance by members of the local community. As the 2011 market season has just commenced, it only continues to grow, confirming that this new and improved market really is here to stay.
The 27 vendors at the Chelsea Market help to provide an array of products, from home made granola to home made picnic tables. With such variety, there are items to attract all members of the local community. According to Heidi Allen Goodrich, up to 200 people attend the market regularly, helping to create a vibrant gathering place for the local community.
In addition to locally grown produce, vendors offer other organic items, such as berries, eggs, flowers, herbs, honey, maple syrup, and meat. There are also a variety of baked goods sold at the market, including breads, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, quiches, fudge, muffins, pastries, pies, and scones.
Other great finds at the market include kombucha, hotsauce, hummus, jams, jellies, pickles, and freshly made lemonade.
Many vendors also sell woven or braided materials, such as baskets, pillows, rugs, belts, bookmarks, bags, and even hemp jewelry. Local artists also frequent the market, selling personalized letter art, nature photography, and more.
Prepared meals tend to be a popular sell at the market, which include authentic Mexican quesadillas and tacos, served with delicious homemade salsas.
In addition to the range of market products, there are also various activities offered, great for both children and adults. Story hour with the public library is weekly, and a free art tent is sponsored by SafeArt (a local non-profit). There is also a Free Treat Day, where each vendor supplies free treats worth 50 cents to visitors. Each Visitor of the market receives a coupon they can redeem for 1 free treat and vendors are then reimbursed for their coupons. There is also a Harvest Festival in the fall, Fire Department Day, Blacksmith Demo Day, and various cooking demonstrations by vendors.
Most Unusual Find
When asked what the most unusual find at the market was, it was difficult for Heidi to name just one. She instead listed a few which she finds to really stand out among all of the items. She mentioned a weekly vendor who sells bags and baskets made out of bailing twine and another vendor who sells nearly life sized wooden moose ornaments. Other hot items include hand made tie-dyed t shirts and home-made hot sauce.
The Chelsea Farmers' Market is held every Friday from 3 to 6:30 pm on the North Common in downtown Chelsea, at the intersection of Routes 110 and 113. This is a great market for all ages, with so much to do, and such a variety of products. Please come visit and support your local community!