Last Day to PreOrder Your Lobster Rolls!

Preorder Lobster Rolls Here

Our Customer Appreciation LobsterFest Day is coming up on 9/5. Click on the above to Pre-Order your lobster roll today. Ordering ends at 7:30 pm. If you don’t pre-order they will still be available for purchase at the market first come, first served.

We had a huge surprise turnout for our Lobster Fest last season, but not nearly enough lobster rolls, and many of you were disappointed. Thanks to our new neighbor and sponsor, Needham Bank, we should have enough lobster rolls for everyone this year.

Thank you Sunshine Farm for your fresh corn and Jordan Brother’s Seafood for amazing lobster!

Ashland Farmers Market to host Lobster Fest

From the Metrowest Daily News: The Ashland Farmers Market will host its Lobster Fest from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 5 at 125 Front St., on the green across from Ashland Public Library.Children can check out live lobster and create a lobster craft at the Kid’s Corner from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. The Friends of the Council on Aging will be at the community tent and guests are invited to eat at the picnic area while listening to folk singer and songwriter Jesse Hanson and Friends from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Arts Ashland Alliance Music Stage.The farmers market takes place every Saturday through Oct. 10, rain or shine. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program customers can take advantage of a dollar-for-dollar match up to $20 per person each week. Additional parking is available at the Town Hall lot. Attendees are encouraged to bring reusable shopping bags or borrow the market’s bags to help eliminate single-use plastic bags.Those who purchase tickets before Sept. 3 will receive a customer appreciation discount at $13 per person. For more information, visit AshlandFarmersMarket.org.

The Outlast Blocks Have Arrived

The wait is finally over…

OutlastBlockSet

The blocks have arrived! After a couple trips to the hardware store, we have found a box big enough to store them in.  Be sure to visit the market this weekend and play with us.

We would like to thank the following supporters for helping to make this possible:

Trunk Level Supporters

  • The Ashland Mom’s Club
  • The Carve Cafe
  • Kelly Erickson
  • Meigs Family
  • mvgolik
  • The Chase Family
  • Moolenbeek
  • Steve Mitchell
  • The Marshquist Family

Branch Level Supporters

  • Catherine Crow
  • catguido
  • Sarah Schmidt
  • Barbara Hescock
  • mvgolik
  • Robert Seater
  • Michelle Chase

Leaf Level Supporters

  • dchunglo625
  • clairegoss
  • Lauren Lapaglia
  • Frederic Vigneault
  • erst12
  • Peggy Grimes
  • meskee9
  • c2douce

In addition to these donations, there were dozens of other people who pledged at other levels or anonymously online and a few folks who gave us cash directly at the market. THANK YOU!

And special thanks to Rob Moolenbeek, who assembled not just one box, but two boxes to get the best fit for the blocks…

8/8/15 ReCap

food demo the carveThis Saturday’s weather was absolutely gorgeous! We have been blessed with sunny and warm Saturdays all season. We hope you had a chance to come out and see the Leah’s Food Demos at The Carve.

Did you see the great dancers from Backstage Dance Company or the beautiful melodies of Taylor Carson?

Did you try your hand at putting on the green from from Putts and More?

We hope you’ll join us again on Saturday- it’s Farm Day.

Here are some photos from this past market day. 

Putts and More

puttsandmore_weblogo_80On Saturday 8/8, the Kids’ Corner welcomes Jim of Putts and More miniature golf course on the border between Ashland and Holliston on Route 126. Jim says, “Each one who tries will receive a card which gives everyone in their group a discounted rate for a round of mini golf at Putts & More this year. There are also prizes for the free ice cream and free golf for putting into targets.”
What strikes us about this family-friendly miniature golf course is how it got started.

“Putts and More was founded by three families on a mission to deliver first-class miniature golf, while providing meaningful employment to teenagers and young adults with disabilities. They bought the former Water Hazard and have been working to restore it to its original condition. The putt-putt course includes 18 challenging holes in a well-maintained entertainment park. There is a small snack bar, that offers hot dogs, ice cream and slushies. Discounts are available for larger groups, leagues, and fund-raising activities.”

A Boston Globe article from June 25, 2014 reported that “Four area nonprofits will assign people to work at the course: Price Center in Newton, which works with disabled children, Accept Educational Collaborative in Natick, which helps people ages 18-22 who need extra schooling; Milford Community Use Program, which offers extra-curricular activities for all ages; and Crossroads School in Natick, which works with autistic children.”

 

Putts & More
750 Concord St. Rte. 126
Holliston, MA
508.561.2902
jim@puttsandmore.com
www.puttsandmore.com

Dog Day ReCap

How well behaved all our four-footed guests were today! Nearly 70 dogs and their handlers paraded down the AFM fairway, then at least 37 contestants waited to hear the judges results.

Fifteen lucky dogs received ribbons donated by N.E.C. Trophies of Ashland. Our eight guest dog-related vendors were happy to chat with our many dog-loving customers.
IMG_1841Teen face painters designed everything from butterflies to dog faces.
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Ashland’s own photographer Patrick Rogers took more than a thousand pictures, we are told. But he was not the only one. This day was a photographer’s delight. MetroWest Daily News photographer Ken McGagh captured great shots of dogs and people. Check out the photos here. IMG_1836
Volunteers young and old made this event work smoothly. And the weather cooperated wonderfully!

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Dog Day is this Saturday – 8/1/15

IMG_2219It’s Dog Day at the Ashland Farmers Market on Saturday, August 1. Bring your four-legged friend to the market and check out the special services, events and treats for them. A reminder that all dogs must be crowd friendly, on leash, and well behaved to participate in the Dog Parade. Ribbons will be awarded by the judges. Free registration for the dog parade starts at 10:00 AM near the Kid’s Corner. The parade starts at 11:00 near the skate park. The parade will proceed down the whole length of the market and then return to the music tent where ribbons will be awarded in specific categories.

For non-canine-loving customers, come early to shop.

IMG_2220There will be several dog services and vendors in attendance, including:

  • Dr. Schwarz of Ashland Animal Hospital
  • Best Friends Pet Care
  • Baypath Humane Society
  • Ashland Pet Concierge
  • Gizzy Goodies Dog Treats
  • Greyhound Friends
  • Little Paws Dachshund Rescue
  • Full Circle Arts with dog-themed gifts
  • Patrick Rogers – photographer

 

We did it!

With one day left, and just in time for “dog day” we surpassed our crowdfunding goal to purchase and Outlast block set for the Farmers Market.

We have already ordered the blocks and are currently working on finding a suitable box for storing them on site. We will send another update when the blocks have arrived and are ready to play with.

38 generous online contributors and several offline contributors helped us to do this. We will post the public donor list to our site in the coming weeks. Today we would like to extend a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped us reach this goal.

ReCap Health & Nutrition Day

Needle little relief? At Health and Nutrition Day, customers took advantage of 10 minutes of free acupuncture, chiropractic spine screenings, a yoga demonstration, Pilates and muscle conditioning demos, measurements of their cell phone radiation, hearing and eye screenings, dental hygiene tips, samples of homeopathic remedies, and learned about dangers of GMOs and need for food labeling. What a lively day it was with 46 tents on the grass at 125 Front Street!11701183_1018642261503104_7125645847298772631_n

The winner of the day’s raffle is Todd Carter who was thrilled to receive an AFM T-shirt and $25 AFM gift certificate in addition to the yoga mat and bag.

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For a day of gastronomic variety, Krua Khun Yah, Ashland’s Thai restaurant, brought delicious curry puffs, vegetable dumplings, chicken satay, the popular Asian bubble tea, and more.

Farmers once again donated several bins and containers of fresh, local produce to the Ashland Food Pantry.

Seventeen high school volunteers chipped in to make everything run smoothly.

Here are a few more photos. 

Needham Bank Challenge Grant

Challenge-Grant-Header-AB90Here’s how it works: for every supporter of the Ashland Farmers Market who chooses to open a new checking account with Needham Bank, the bank will donate $100 to the market! Simply mention the Challenge Grant and Ashland Farmers Market when you open your account at the Ashland branch. This generous Challenge Grant expires 1 year from now.

Check it out!

Outlast Blocks Crowdfunding Update

Outlast Bock Set Photo

Thank you to everyone who has donated to our Outlast Block set crowdfunding campaign!

We just crossed the halfway mark on our 40 day fund raising campaign. We are 21 days into the campaign and we are now a little more than halfway to our fundraising goal of $1620.

If we can continue the same momentum, we should reach our goal by our August 1st deadline. If you haven’t heard about the campaign, please visit our IndieGoGo page to learn more about it.

July 11th ReCap

IMG_1404Our market continues to exceed our expectations. Even though we had no special event today, we had a very steady flow of customers. The market is averaging over 40% more visitors than last year.

We had our first tomatoes today.  Exciting  colorful vegetables are being brought to the market. The bounty of farmers greens were shared with the Ashland Food Pantry – 5 large containers of them.
IMG_1403
Four on the Floor band is now a favorite. The picnic area was overflowing.

Huge toothbrushes and shaving cream brought by our local orthodontist Dr. Pardo entertained and educated kids at the Kid’s Corner.

Another greIMG_1416at day at the AFM! Take a look at more photos. 

Help us fund an Outlast block set for the Ashland Farmers Market!

Help us add an “Outlast” block set to the Ashland Farmers Market.

If you have ever visited the farmers market with young children you know that one of their favorite stops is the skatepark next door to the market. The skate park, intended for use by our local skateboard enthusiasts, lures our kids’ in with its undulating ramps and slippery, hard surfaces. While it serves as entertainment to our kids, it is a source of anxiety for parents and AFM volunteers. We need to provide another opportunity for children to play at the market. Please consider donating to this campaign!

As parents and volunteers at the Ashland Farmers Market, we saw a need to provide another opportunity for children to play at the market. We wanted something that would be affordable and portable, a little closer to the music and vendors, on soft grass instead of pavement. After researching the options, we found the best play equipment for our needs was an “Outlast” block set, created by Community Play Things. This series of interlocking blocks and planks has many loose parts, designed for open ended, imaginative play. It is made for outdoor use from non-toxic acetylated wood.

outlastThe theory of loose parts:

“In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it.”

-Simon Nicholson, Architect

The “Outlast” blocks provide a range of loose parts for building and dramatic play. They will support the STEAM initiatives in our schools, encouraging child-directed cooperative play, building social skills, and motor coordination.

blocksbuilding 2We need your help:

We need to raise $1,620 to purchase one Toddler Outlast block set and a storage bin. Your pledge will go directly towards this purchase. We thought it was appropriate to ask the community to chip in for this project. In this way, all of us can own a piece, (or block), of the play set. The Ashland Farmers Market’s parent organization, Ashland Healthy Harvest, recently acquired 501c3 status. That means your donation will also be tax deductible.

http://igg.me/at/blocks4afm/x/4096301

 

 

Strawberry Fest ReCap

20150627_090146_resizedThanks to everyone who came out for our 1st Strawberry Fest!

Did you know that The Galley’s strawberry ice cream was made from Sunshine Farm’s strawberries? They  marinated and roasted 8 quarts of berries to add to their vanilla base and boy was the result delicious.

Jim G. from Sunshine Farm reports that they went through all of their strawberries by 11:30. He comments “Great job to the Ashland Market team for expediting the events to promote the theme of the season EVERY WEEK!  You dot the i”s cross the t”s. This is absolutely the best run farmers market I have attended in many years of doing markets!  Thank you! Sorry we ran out of berries.” Not to worry, Jim will be back next week with blueberries!

Wasn’t it awesome that no fewer than eleven of our food vendors participated in the strawberry concoctions. Everyone got in on the fun!

Did you enjoy the The Carve’s strawberry shortcake. We heard many patrons swooning that it was the “Best ever.”

Julie Gross’ new strawberry zucchini bread was absolutely delicious! Hope she brings it back next week.

Amir’s strawberry hummus was a big surprise — really tasty and good.

And what a surprise to find chocolate covered strawberries at The Kabob House.

So what do you think? Should we repeat this event next year?

Check out these great photos. 

Parking Map

AFMMap_RevisedWe know that Saturday’s downtown parking can be limited. Here’s a map that illustrates all of the locations to park. Also, note the new Electric Vehicle charging stations in the municipal lot and town hall. This map is located in our site’s About>Location section.

 


Here’s a  map created by one of our younger patrons, Miles, age 5.
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“Got Baggage?”

Our 4th season is just around the corner. Opening Day is Saturday! We cannot wait to see Front St abuzz with you, our vendors, and many excited market-goers. You have all been such ardent supporters of the market. This year we would like to partner with you to tackle what we believe is a major environmental problem: Plastic Bags.

Got Baggage Ad_3 col x 7 in Local Town Pages

 

Join us 6/9 for a viewing of “Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?”

Bag It

Please let us know what you think about “Got Baggage.”

Ashland Farmers Market Readies for Opening Day, June 13

From Ashland Town Pages, written by Cynthia Whitty

The Ashland Farmers Market (AFM) Opening Day is set for Saturday, June 13, with the Friends of the Ashland Library at the Community Table; hula hoops by A Simple Twist and face painting by Metrowest Face Painting. Railroad House Band is at the new Arts!Ashland Alliance Music Stage.

Six Reasons to Shop AFM
1. Fun, new food vendors. This season, there are nine new food vendors (35 total), bringing gourmet ice cream, artisan breads and scones, bagels, hand-cut pasta and homemade tomato sauce, freshly picked shiitake and oyster mushrooms, handcrafted wines and honey mead, hummus, tabouli and baba ganoush, and sweet and spicy sauce.
2. Exciting event days. Enjoy 11 exciting event days, including Strawberry Fest, 4th of July BBQ, Farm Day, Wine and Cheese Fest and a “Customer Appreciation” Lobster Fest, with enough lobster rolls for everyone, underwritten by the market’s new neighbor, Needham Bank.
3. New artisans and old favorites. Shop handmade jewelry, pottery, note cards, succulents, wall hangings, prints, handbags, tote bags, yarn, hoops, soaps, soy candles, scarves, mosaics, and more. There will be three to four artisans each week—25 in all this season.
4. A place to relax. Pause from your shopping to relax, meet neighbors, eat and listen to live music, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in an expanded shaded picnic area.
5. Match your SNAP. You can get $80 worth of free food every four weeks thanks to AFM’s $20 SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) match each week.
6. Ample parking. There is ample parking on Front Street, in the adjacent municipal lot, and nearby at town hall on Main St. and Mindess School on Concord St.

June Highlights
In June, visitors will be able to shop 27 food vendors and 4 different artisan vendors.
June 20, Green Your Scene: Sustainability Day will feature bike-to-market; free bike helmets; Solar Flair Energy, Inc.; Natick Organic Farm, with chickens; Transition Ashland; and the town’s Sustainability Committee and Department of Public Works. Visitors will learn ways to reduce their energy and water footprint.
June 27, Strawberry Fest: Visitors will be treated to the amazing flavor of ripe, locally grown strawberries: strawberry shortcake, strawberry ice cream, or just plain freshly picked strawberries! Patti of On the Edge Knife Sharpening will be here, and on each 4th Saturday of the month.

Got Baggage?
The AFM “Got Baggage” initiative eliminates plastic bags at the market. Striving to be part of a solution for plastic pollution, AFM is encouraging visitors to bring reusable shopping bags or borrow reusable bags from the Market Manager’s tent. Vendors will use BioBags® when needed.

Invitation to Bag It!, the Film, June 9
AFM and the Friends of the Ashland Library are partnering to show Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic? on Tuesday, June 9, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Ashland Library, Community Room, 66 Front St. The program is free and open to the public.
The film is a fascinating, sometimes humorous, sometimes shocking documentary that follows “everyman” Jeb Berrier as he navigates our plastic world.
According to the film, Americans use 60,000 plastic bags every five minutes, single-use disposable bags that are mindlessly thrown away. But where is ‘away?’ The film explores these questions: Where do the bags and other plastics end up, and at what cost to our environment, marine life and human health?
To sign up for eNewsletters of weekly events, food demos, specials and more, visit www.ashlandfarmersmarket.org.

Ashland pantry promotes healthy eating

From Metrowest Daily News (Jun. 1, 2015): ASHLAND – Families that come to the Ashland Food Pantry soon will get access to healthier food thanks to a new refrigerator that will expand options beyond the usual non-perishables and other canned goods.

With help from the Greater Boston Food Bank grant, the pantry just got a 18-cubic-foot electric cooler that will hold fresh meat and produce. It will also carry leftovers from the Ashland Farmers Market, which opens June 13.

“This will really increase options for people,” said Youth and Family Services Director Cara Tirrell.

The Greater Boston Food Bank gave Ashland an $825 grant, half the cost of the cooler, which was purchased from Belcher’s Appliance in Framingham. The Board of Selectmen covered the other half from its gift account.

According to Greater Boston Food Bank spokeswoman Catherine Drennan, those grants, called Agency Capacity grants, are designed to help member pantries improve their services. The food bank gave out grants of varying amounts to 35 agencies this year.

“The cooler the Ashland Food Pantry is receiving will help the organization have greater capacity for and to increase the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables to be made accessible to their clients,” said Drennan in an email.

The food bank’s goal is to distribute 25 percent more produce this year over last year.

Tirrell will put in the summer’s first food bank order on June 3 which will include fresh fruits and vegetables, protein-rich foods, hummus, yogurt and meat. The cooler will also let the pantry carry produce year-round. The pantry currently doesn’t carry produce in the winter.

The Ashland pantry will keep the cooler at the front, giving people a chance to pick their own produce and give the pantry a “farmers market feel,” said Tirrell.

“We can really showcase it and continue to educate people about good choices,“ she said.

Anamika Roy can be reached at 508-626-3957 or aroy@wickedlocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @anamikaroy.

Nutrition Discovery Kit @ The Ashland Public Library

DiscoverhyThe Ashland Public Library Children’s Room has just added a new Nutrition Discovery Kit, thanks to a generous donation from the Ashland Farmer’s Market Education Fund. The kit includes books, DVDs, and games to encourage healthy eating. The materials in the kit are appropriate for elementary school-age kids. The kit may be borrowed by Ashland residents and Ashland teachers for a period of one calendar month. Be sure to check it out next time you’re at the library!

AFM Mini-Grant

It is with much excitement and anticipation that we present to you, our loyal AFM patrons and supporters, our 2015 Mini- Grant.

Intent: This grant supports our mission of contributing to a vibrant town center; creating access to local food choices; improving public health through information and education about nutrition, diet, exercise, local and sustainable farming, and related topics; and contributing to community building.

Who Can Apply:  Public entities, non-profit corporations, and community groups.

Grant Amount:  Up to $1,000.

Application Deadline:  May 30, 2015

Guidelines:
Project must serve the Ashland MA community.
Project may improve access to local food choices or improve public health through information, education, or training.
A wide influence or reach, whether directly or indirectly, is preferred.

Click here for the Details and Application. 

ACT: Parent’s Day

Check out what’s happening at Ashland Community Theater! They are putting on a show entitled, “Parents Day.” The theme is about Parents and their relationships with their kids.

Location: Ashland Middle School Theater, 87 West Union St Ashland, MA
Performances: Friday, 5/8 7:30pm & Saturday, 5/9 2pm and 7:30pm.
Tickets can be purchased in advance for $8 at: www.ashlandcommunitytheater.com/#!shop/c1k7w
or $10 at the door.