Annual Holiday Farmers' Market November 24 and December 15 at Williams College

Williamstown, Mass.—Berkshire Grown will host its 5th annual Holiday Farmers’ Markets from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, November 23 and December 14 at Monument Valley Middle School, 313 Monument Valley Road in Great Barrington and Sundays, November 24 and December 15 at Williams College Towne Field House, 82 Latham Street in Williamstown. These popular events feature locally grown and produced foods, including fruits and vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat, poultry, bread, pies, pickles, jams, and more, during months when farmers’ markets are not open in the region. Admission is free.

“The fifth annual Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Markets will be more festive than ever,” said Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown. “This year, we’ll have more than 65 vendors, including many new ones, and we’ve invited the farmers and food producers to share their favorite seasonal recipes with shoppers. We’ve also expanded the kids’ activities to make the markets even more fun, and there will be live music and lunch food vendors. The markets are wonderful community events. We’re so lucky to be able to celebrate the holidays with the delicious food of the Berkshires.”

Food Adventures, a collaboration between The Nutrition Center and The Berkshire Co-op Market, will be on hand at the Great Barrington markets giving free, five-minute cooking classes to children, where they’ll make intriguing fare like “Squapple Crisp.” Jisela Vasquez, an artist who works at Wild Oats Co-op Market, will lead face painting, seasonal arts and crafts, and a farmers’ market treasure hunt for kids at the Williamstown markets.

The Holiday Farmers’ Markets began in 2009 with two market locations and were held the weekend before Thanksgiving. Given the success of its first markets, Berkshire Grown increased the number of markets to four in 2010, adding the weekend before Christmas as a second economic opportunity for the food and farming community. Last year, the four markets were attended by 5,300 people and generated more than $133,000 in revenue for local vendors, a 33 percent increase over the previous year’s figures.

Major sponsors of the Holiday Farmers’ Markets include the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and Williams College. Berkshire Grown received funding from MDAR to promote Massachusetts Grown…and Fresher! at the markets. As part of Williams College’s ongoing commitment to sustainable food and local agriculture, the college is again co-sponsoring the markets by donating the Williamstown venue, as well as providing funding toward the event. The Williams College Sustainable Food and Agriculture Program and The Zilka Center for Environmental Initiatives are supporting the markets as a community partnership to further incorporate the principles of sustainability into the fabric of campus life. For more information on the college’s ongoing commitment to sustainable food, visithttp://sustainability.williams.edu.

In addition, Berkshire Grown is grateful for generous support from the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce, Green Pastures Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Berkshire Co-op Market, Berkshire Organics, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, Inn at Sweet Water Farm, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Sweet Brook Farm, and Wild Oats Market.

Berkshire Grown supports and promotes local agriculture as a vital part of the Berkshire community, economy, and landscape. The non-profit organization’s mission is to “Keep farmers farming!” and is the “go-to” network linking farmers and the Berkshire community. Through events, workshops, promotions, advocacy, and education highlighting locally grown and produced food, Berkshire Grown helps to create a thriving local food economy. For more information or to become a member, see berkshiregrown.org or call 413.528.0041.

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Calendar Listings:

Saturday, November 23: Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Market featuring locally grown and produced foods, including fruits and vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat, poultry, bread, pies, pickles, jams, and more, plus live music and children’s activities from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monument Valley Middle School, 313 Monument Valley Road in Great Barrington. Admission is free. berkshiregrown.org

Sunday, November 24: Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Market featuring locally grown and produced foods, including fruits and vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat, poultry, bread, pies, pickles, jams, and more, plus live music and children’s activities from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Williams College Towne Field House, 82 Latham Street, Williamstown. Admission is free. berkshiregrown.org

Saturday, December 14: Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Market featuring locally grown and produced foods, including fruits and vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat, poultry, bread, pies, pickles, jams, and more, plus live music and children’s activities from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monument Valley Middle School, 313 Monument Valley Road in Great Barrington. Admission is free. berkshiregrown.org

Sunday, December 15: Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Market featuring locally grown and produced foods, including fruits and vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat, poultry, bread, pies, pickles, jams, and more, plus live music and children’s activities from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Williams College Towne Field House, 82 Latham Street, Williamstown. Admission is free. berkshiregrown.org

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