A table at the front holds hand-turned bowls, and the man who made them is talking over the patterns of grains. He touches a curve and says that his favorite is spalted maple, but the fungi that cause it often leave it too brittle to work, and so the dark rippling on creamy wood is rare.
The air is sweet and warm with the smell of cut grass and coffee and the bunches of lavender on the next stall. An outdoor market lets the season in.
What the farmers bring keeps pace with the season too, says Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown. Each growing season can change in unpredictable ways, and people who come to the market can get a sense of what the farmers experience — rain or sun, heat or cold — the years when an early frost takes the peach crop, and the years when the vines are heavy with tomatoes.
Farmers and interns have been up early washing the oak leaf lettuce and wrapping up the soft cheeses.
The creamery has new flavors of local ice cream, and the orchard that grows stone fruits has three colors of plums — deep red, purple and golden. Here are bottles of strawberry vinegar and switchell, duck eggs, eggplant, sweet sausage.
A beekeeper draws in the air, mimicking the motion of uncapping, the way she scrapes the outer wax from honeycombs before she slots them into the extractor and spins them.
And over on the grass a fiddler plucks a string and turns a peg and then catches the mandolin player’s eye and launches into quick, high, held notes. The guy with the standing bass laughs as he recognizes the tune and calls Reel de St. Antoine at the guitars, and they pick up the chords. The fiddler is grinning as the notes race in her hands, and a small girl in overalls bounces to the rhythm, kicking her feet out sideways. Two college students grab hands and swing each other in circles …
In the photo at the top, plums come in many colors at the Pittsfield Farmers Market. (Photo by Susan Geller)
In the Berkshires
Dalton Farmers Market — Fridays 4 to 7 p.m. June 16 to Oct. 13, Dalton Community Recreation Association, 400 Main St., Dalton
Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market — Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., producer-only market with local and seasonal fruits and vegetables, pasture-raised meats, eggs, cheese, bread, wine, coffee, artisan goods. Live music, chef demos, workshops and children’s activities. A program of Alchemy Initiative, accepts SNAP / EBT, WIC and Senior benefits. Outdoors through Oct. 15 on the Common Park on First Street, Route 7. farmersmarketpittsfield.org
Great Barrington Farmers Market — Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Oct. 28. Local vendors with fruit and flowers, meets, eggs and cheeses, baked goods, organic snow cones, locally roasted coffees, bakery, herbs and specialties and more, and Live performers. Accepts SNAP / EBT. 18 Church St., 413-854-3599, greatbarringtonfarmersmarket.org
Hancock Farmers Market — Sundays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., May 22 to Oct. 12. Roadside farmstand, organic and local fruit and produce, Appletree Hill Antiques. 3210 Hancock Road, Route 43, Hancock, 413-458-3933
Lanesborough Farmers Market — Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Ahrough Thanksgiving, with Blossoming Acres, Jaeschke’s Fruit and Flowers, Berry Knoll Farm, Berkshire Mountain Bakery, Powell Ranch and Windy Ridge Farm. Berkshire Mall parking lot, Lanesborough. 413-569-3663 or 413-374-5646
Lee Farmers Market — Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Oct. 7. Harvest market Oct. 10. First Congregational Church of Lee, 25 Park Place, Lee. 413-854-1561, leefarmersmarket.com
Lenox Farmers Market — Fridays 1 to 5 p.m. through Sept. 30. Vendors from soup to cider, Lucia’s Latin Kitchen, Dutch desserts, Cricket Creek Farm cheeses, Mary’s Kitchen cakes, natural soaps and more. New location at St. Ann’s Church, 134 Main St., Lenox. lenoxfarmersmarket.com
Monterey Farmers Market — Tuesdays 4 to 6 p.m., June 6 through fall with vegetables, eggs, meat, cheese, baked goods, jam and fruit. Monterey Community Center, 468 Main Road, Route 23.
North Adams Farmers Market — Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 10 to Oct. 21, in St. Anthony lot with local farmers and food producers, crafts and musicians. St. Anthony Drive and Route 8 / Marshall Street, North Adams.
Otis Farmers Market — Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Oct. 7. Parking lot of Papa’s Healthy Food and Fuel, 2000 East Otis Road, East Otis. 413-357-9919
Sheffield Farmers Market — Fridays, 3 to 6:30 p.m. through Oct. 6, Food from the farm and locally produced goods: meat, eggs, vegetables, salad greens, fruit, breads, desserts, prepared foods, cut flowers, honey, maple syrup, beeswax candles, popcorn, potted plants, and handmade gifts. First Congregational Church lot, 125 Main St., (Route 7), 860-706-4424, sheffieldfarmersmarket.org
West Stockbridge Farmers Market — Thursdays, 3 to 7 p.m., through Oct. 5. accepts SNAP / EBT. On Merritt Green on Harris Street, opposite the Post Office. 917-209-0926, weststockbridgefarmersmarket.org
Williamstown Farmers Market — Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., through to Oct. 14. Spanakopita and moussaka, baklava, East Mountain Farm’s bratwurst and sausages, Mighty Food Farm’s glorious sunflowers, vegetables, maple products, cheeses, dried lowers, duck and chicken eggs, grilled sandwiches, jams an jellies, tarts and cobblers, quilts and more, with live music. At the base of Spring Street, 413-441-4811, williamstownfarmersmarket.org
Bennington Farmers Market — Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., year-round, outdoors through Oct. 28, also Tuesdays 3 to 6 p.m. June 6 to Oct. 10. Fresh greens and vegetables, baked goods, dairy products, meats, crafts and more, demonstrations with local chefs, live music, accepts SNAP/EBT. River walk park along the Walloomsac River, 150 Depot St., Bennington, Vt. benningtonfarmersmarket.org
Dorset Farmers Market — Sundays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. year-round. Vegetables and fruits, home baked breads and pastries, artisan cheeses and wines, grass-fed meat and poultry, free-range eggs, canned condiments and pickled produce, specialty goods, hot foods, Vermont crafts, and live, local music. at J.K. Adams, 1430 Route 30, Dorset, Vt. 802-353-9656, dorsetfarmersmarket.com
Manchester Farmers Market — Thursdays 3 to 6 p.m., through Oct 6.
Community tent with local non-profits or a cooking demonstrations using local foods, music tent with local musicians, Art Farm kids activity tent with free, food-inspired crafts. Power of Produce Club for kids age 5-12 in July: kids get $2 coupon for any fruit or veggie. Adams Park, Route 7A / Main Street, Manchester, Vt. 505-470-4237, ManchesterFarmers.org
Amenia, N.Y. — Fridays, 3 to 7 p.m. year-round, outdoors May to Oct. Amenia Town Hall, Route 22. Accepts WIC, SFMNP. 845-373-4411, ameniafarmersmarket.com
Hillsdale, N.Y. — Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Oct. 28. Roeliff Jansen Park, 9140 Route 22. 518-851-7518
Millerton, N.Y. — Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Oct. 28. Millerton Methodist Church, 6 Dutchess Ave. 518-789-4259, millertonfarmersmarket.org
New Lebanon, N.Y. — Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 5 to Oct. 16. Windswept Farm, 36 Old Route 20
Cannan, Conn. — Wednesdays 4 to 6:30 p.m. June 7 to Sept. 20. Stadium System, 297 Ashley Falls Road, Route 7. canaanfarmersmarket.org
Cornwall, Conn. — Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., through Oct. Locally grown, raised and artisanal handcrafted food, edible and ornamental plants. 413 Sharon-Goshen Turnpike, Cornwall, Conn. 860-672-2969, cornwallfarmmarket.org
Norfolk, Conn. — Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May to Oct. Locally grown fruit and vegetables, locally raised meat, herbs, cheese, yogurt, bread, cookies, tarts and pies, jewelry, honey and maple syrup, jams and pickles, arts, crafts and live music. Town Hall, 19 Maple Ave. off Route 44. norfolkfarmersmarket.org
Salisbury, Conn. — Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Organic vegetables, various grass fed meats, rustic breads, pizza, focaccia, cheeses, salad dressing, vinegars, vegetarian pate, maple syrup, jams, orchids, seedlings and occasional tastings. 38 Main St., Scoville Memorial Library lawn
— Information from Bennington Farmers Market, Berkshire Grown, Manchester Farmers Market, Lee Chamber of Commerce, North Adams Tourism, Lenox Farmers Market