Take a Stroll Through the Vermont Farmers Market
By Amy Allen
Shopping locally and supporting farmers is quintessential Vermont, and there’s no better way to do that, than to shop at Vermont’s largest farmers’ market, located in downtown Rutland. Even better, the market runs year-round, allowing vendors a place to sell their goods as well as giving locals and tourists an opportunity to purchase a wide variety of items all year long.
The market is held at Depot Park in Downtown Rutland, adjacent to the Wal-Mart shopping plaza. It runs on Saturdays from mid-May through the end of October from 9 am – 2 pm. Visitors can easily find parking in the adjacent lots, and take a stroll through the vendor stalls while listening to live music and chatting with the farmers and artisans. Many enjoy the opportunity to get to know the farmers producing their food, and the chance to glean some growing techniques for their own backyard gardens. The produce available changes from week to week, depending on what’s in season. Visitors can enjoy fresh berries in the opening weeks of the market and things like root vegetables and apples as the weather turns crisp and fall approaches.
Additionally, a somewhat smaller version of the weekend market runs on Wednesday afternoons in the same location from 1pm – 5pm. In early November, once the weather turns cold, the market moves indoors to the Vermont Farmers Food Center, located just up the road from the summer location. The vendors stay there every Saturday, from 10 am – 2 pm until the month of May, when it warms up enough to be back outside.
The market has something for everyone; from fresh produce, to garden starts in the spring, to homemade jams and sauces, to fresh eggs, breads, artisan cheeses, pies, maple syrup, and a wide variety of prepared ethnic foods that can be eaten there or brought home for lunch or dinner. Additionally, a wide-variety of Vermont crafts are available, such as beautifully crafted cutting boards, unique handmade jewelry, beautiful pottery, as well as hand knit items, just to name a few. The market is a perfect place to shop for yourself, and for unique gifts for family and friends. You can feel good about spending your dollars locally, and directly benefiting the person who planted the seeds for the lettuce in your salad or knitted the yarn together to create the winter hat atop your head!
Of note, while the market used to allow pets, it currently has a no pet policy in place, so leave the dogs at home. Also, unless purchasing a pricey craft item with a credit card, you’ll want to bring cash with you to make your purchases, as well as a reusable grocery bag in which to store your items while you walk. There’s an ATM located right in the market parking lot should you need cash.
Click here to learn more about the market: https://vtfarmersmarket.org/