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Berkshire Grown Sets Holiday Farmers Markets

05:26PM / Friday, November 22, 2013
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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Berkshire Grown will host its 5th annual Holiday Farmers Markets on two weekends this season in both Great Barrington and Williamstown.

The market runs from runs from 10 to 2 on Saturdays, Nov. 23 and Dec. 14,  at Monument Valley Middle School in Great Barrington and on Sundays, Nov. 24 and Dec. 15, at Williams College Towne Field House in Williamstown.

The events feature locally grown and produced foods, including fruits and vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat, poultry, bread, pies, pickles, jams and more. Admission is free.

"The 5th annual Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers' Markets will be more festive than ever," said Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown. "This year, we'll have more than 65 vendors, including many new ones, and we've invited the farmers and food producers to share their favorite seasonal recipes with shoppers. We've also expanded the kids' activities to make the markets even more fun, and there will be live music and lunch food vendors. The markets are wonderful community events. We're so lucky to be able to celebrate the holidays with the delicious food of the Berkshires."

Food Adventures, a collaboration between the Nutrition Center and the Berkshire Co-op Market, will be on hand at the Great Barrington markets giving free, five-minute cooking classes to children for fare like "Squapple Crisp." Jisela Vasquez, an artist who works at Wild Oats Co-op Market, will lead face painting, seasonal arts and crafts, and a farmers' market treasure hunt for kids at the Williamstown markets.

Given the success of its first two markets in 2009, Berkshire Grown increased the number of markets to four in 2010, adding the weekend before Christmas as a second economic opportunity for the food and farming community. Last year, the four markets were attended by 5,300 people and generated more than $133,000 in revenue for local vendors, a 33 percent increase over the previous year's figures.

Major sponsors include the state Department of Agricultural Resources and Williams College. In addition, Berkshire Grown notes support from the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce, Green Pastures Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Berkshire Co-op Market, Berkshire Organics, Guido's Fresh Marketplace, Inn at Sweet Water Farm, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Sweet Brook Farm, and Wild Oats Market.

For more information or to become a member, see berkshiregrown.org or call 413-528-0041.

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