The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 4, 2008


Farmers Market is a go at Kimball’s

The big yellow banner on Old Home Day (OHD) has alerted us – Carlisle’s Farmers Market is back in town. Fresh produce, baked treats and a variety of wares will be available once again

Annette Lee (right) helps Timm Brandhorst and daughter Claire, as sellers Peter Constable and Michael Holland look on. (Photo by Ellen Huber)

starting this weekend at Kimball’s. This is the fourth year of the market and market managers Gayle Constable and Annette Lee say they have an excellent line-up of vendors. Unlike Boston’s market, which is set in the heart of highway interchanges with traffic, dirt and noise, Carlisle’s market is serene and cheerful, located at the extreme right parking lot at Kimball’s Ice Cream on Bedford Road. What will be available at the market? What won’t? A long laundry list of items will be available, and all must be grown or created in Carlisle, although after September 1 non-Carlisle-created items may be offered.

Fresh produce

The heart of the market will be the fresh vegetables (many grown at Foss Farm), and the selection will follow the season: greens and early summer squashes, then peas, beans, tomatoes, and all the summer crops, finally ending up with corn, winter squashes, melons and root vegetables such as potatoes. Don’t forget all the blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

Art and Janet Veves, who were selling cilantro and greens at OHD, said their plot at Foss Farm is off to an excellent start and they expect a productive season. They’ve discovered a great source of soil nutrients – alpaca and llama manure. “We got llama manure, two trucks full,” Art explained. Though Carlisle is far from Peru, it is home to an alpaca farm: representatives from the farm, two alpacas and one llama, were in the OHD parade. They are owned by Jane Quinn, of East Meadow Acres Farm in Carlisle, who wants everyone to know the manure is free for the taking to anyone who bags it or loads it in a truck themselves. Quinn said the manure is full of earthworms and is like black gold. The Veveses think the manure and the wet weather together will make it a good year for vegetables – if the rabbits, deer, bear, woodchucks and young moose don’t visit Foss too often (the moose came a few years ago, and stepped on as much as they sampled).

Treats and tables offered this year

Constable and Lee expect edible delights to tempt early morning risers, such as blueberry sticky buns, tea cakes, breads and muffins. They encourage cooks to focus on one item that they know will sell and make enough of that item. Last year the sticky buns were a hot seller, as were the tea cakes and small loaves of bread. Sets of tables and chairs are new this year, so shoppers can sample what they buy right at the market.

Plants, flowers, arts and crafts

Local artisans will be offering stained glass and jewelry, Constable said. Most years there are other crafts items such as scarves and hats. As in past years there may be daylilies, cut flowers, Carlisle honey, Carlisle-grown beef, teas, eggs, jams and cheese.

Don’t come late and be disappointed, though; on some Saturdays the bulk of the items were cleaned out by 11 a.m. Early-morning bikers can fly in like a flock of spring robins, feasting on carrot cake muffins or raspberry tarts before 9 a.m. Fresh shelling peas, the kind you pop open and eat while still at the garden, are just as popular. And when the corn comes in during the hot days of August, it disappears faster than the ears stolen by raccoons at Great Brook Farm. Bring your own baskets or bags and get some small change (the ATM is far and gives only $20 bills). For more information on the Farmers Market, call Gayle Constable at 1-978-371-1925. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito