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Buying Local Keeps Quincy Healthy

By Allison Wilson

Eating local food is not just about being healthy. It's about supporting regional economic development, preserving agricultural lands, building community, sustaining the environment, and building urban-rural connections. When you buy local, your money has a multiplying effect within the region in which you live rather than going outside of the state and or country.

These are just some of the many reasons to shop at the Quincy Farmers Market. Market Manager Janet Little became involved with the market seven years ago when she purchased a Community Supported Agriculture share. (Community Supported Agriculture is the a cost-efficient way of purchasing food from the local farmers, but it requires that purchasers give the money to the farmer upfront in the spring - and share the risks that the farmer must face.) Little purchased her share from asked for volunteers to help pass out the shares as they were picked up, and Little was thrilled to participate.

"I loved meeting people and talking good food, sharing recipes and being in touch with the earth," Little says. "My father was a dairy farmer from North Carolina, and I felt like farming was in my roots. The market was a symbolic and accessible way of connecting me to my past without the endless hours and hard work of farming itself."

Goods for sale at the Quincy Farmers Market include fruits, vegetables, meat, wine, eggs, seafood, baked goods, maple syrup, honey, preserves, gardening supplies, and personal care products. Market shoppers can also grab fresh lemonade or lunch to go from vendors like the Kabob House, O'Brien's Bakery, and Rock Island Food Co. Massage therapists from the Secret Garden Day Spa and The Spa at Boncaldo's are also onsite to provide massages.

Additionally, the market hosts artists and entertainment, including a story time hour by the Children's Room at the Thomas Crane Public Library. Other activities for kids include arts and crafts, seed planting, face painting, and even math exercises - in which they can test basic math skills through weighing and measuring produce and calculating prices and unit weights.

For the adults, two free live music performances take place every Friday from noon to 1 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Past performers have included The Atlantic Youth Orchestra and singer-songwriter Mike Delaney, a popular local musician who has played at the Boston Folk Festival, with New England Weather, and with the Roslindale Open Mike. His music is inspired by local politics, environment, and community resilience.

The Quincy Farmers Market is open Fridays from June 26-Nov. 20 at the John Hancock Municipal Parking Lot across from the Quincy District Courthouse.

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Allison Wilson is an award-winning writer and communications professional whose...

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