The Copley Square farmers market in Boston, Massachusetts is the essence of Boston. Located right on the steps of the historic Boston Library in the middle of a bustling square where locals bump elbows in a hurry on their way to work. In the chaos and commotion of the Boston streets, this small but vibrant pop-up market stands still, selling fall’s newest finds. I arrived in Boston just in time to catch a peek of autumn’s first offerings.
For me, the fingerprints of fall start to appear, first in the weather and landscape, then in the farmers markets. There is no better announcement that fall is here than seeing the first freshly picked pumpkins and autumn vegetables make their way from the back of a farmers truck to the market vendor’s bountiful baskets. And the Copley Square farmers market was sporting their best of the season!
The produce at the Copley Square farmers market were all dolled up into fabulous displays. The heaping piles of fresh produce were layered, some like towers, almost too pretty to touch!
So, what’s in season for a Massachusetts October harvest? Apples, cabbage, tomatoes, pumpkins, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, beans, and eggplants. I spotted all of these seasonal varieties on full display, looking extra colorful and fresh.
One mushroom basket caught my eye. The sign 'chicken of the woods' was so funny I had to ask, "Are you saying mushrooms are the chicken of the woods, or is that the name of a mushroom variety?" To my surprise, the orange/yellow mushroom in the basket under the sign actually is called 'chicken of the woods'! I wonder what it would taste like when paired with chicken? Yum.
The thing about the northeastern states that makes me swoon is their pride in local food, produce, and products. I found this to be especially true when I spent a summer in Vermont; each northern state seemingly self sustained with anything and everything grown, harvested, or manufactured within a 100 mile radius. It’s a locavore's paradise. I adored the handwritten ‘local’ signs proudly displayed on all their products pulled from or created on Massachusetts land.
Some of the local Massachusetts goodies included fruit spreads, dried herbs and spices, beverages, and snacks.
A regional and seasonal favorite is the cider doughnut, usually sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, and enjoyed with a cup of apple cider. The cider doughnut is usually only available while the apples are in harvest, which is right around October (lucky me). If you see these at a local market in the New England area, snag a box! They might not be available for long.
If you are in the Boston or Massachusetts area, would you promise me you will go to a market? Any market, not just the Copley Square farmers market. If you are lucky enough to go during the autumn harvest, grab some apples, pumpkins, and purple cauliflower - and most importantly, don't forget the apple cider doughnuts! You will have a Bostonian fall feast.