Dear Friends and Neighbors,
While the coming winter may seem dreary, there are many reasons to celebrate! Things have been kicking into high gear over at the Dorchester Community Food Co-op. The Dorchester Winter Farmers’ Market, our first project and the first winter market in any Boston neighborhood, is quickly approaching and there is still a lot to be done.
The market currently has six vendors that have committed to bringing a range of winter produce like potatoes, greens, squash, onions, turnips, celery root, beets, carrots, as well as meats including pork, beef, chicken, and goat. They will also have eggs, jams, mustards, and bread!
The Winter Farmers’ Market will not only provide residents with fresh local food during the winter months; it will also offer an array of activities to create a public space for people to gather, learn about food and each other, and share their knowledge and experiences. Market Day programming will include workshops from canning to composting, children’s entertainment like face painting and valentine making, music, book swaps, local craft vendors and artists, and more!
The Winter Farmers’ Market will open with a Winter Carnival theme, and then kick up its heels for the Vietnamese Lunar New Year (known as Tet), Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, and of course, Spring! Community and neighborhood groups will provide “crews” to help staff the market-if your group would like to be assigned a day to volunteer, if you would like to volunteer, or if you have any suggestions for activities, themes, and other programming, please email Sarah Cadorette, our programming organizer, at email@example.com.
There are many things YOU can do to help get the word out about the Winter Farmers’ Market. Our kickstarter.com campaign is going strong, but still needs $1500 to reach our goal. We will be sending out another challenge to reach the 80% mark by December 8. If you haven’t given to the Winter Farmers’ Market yet, we encourage you to do so. Even a small donation will help and in return you will receive a small gift as a token of our gratitude.
Local newsletters are a great way to reach your neighbors. If you subscribe to any of these, we encourage you to submit a posting for their next printing with information about the Winter Farmers’ Market. Here is an example from the December edition of the Ashmont Outlook:
“Dorchester’s very own Winter Farmers’ Market will open on Sunday, January 8, at the Great Hall in Codman Square and run every Sunday through March. Hours are 12 noon to 3 p.m. Vendors are still being finalized, but expect locally grown produce as well as local meats and other products like cheese, honey, and jam. vendor application is on the website. EBT/SNAP accepted. Info: contact the Dorchester Community Food Co-op at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://dotcommcoop.wordpress.com/.”
Are you an artist? Do you just like to draw? We need a logo for the Winter Farmers’ Market, and we are having a logo contest! If your design is chosen, not only will your art be featured on banners, bags, and shirts sold at the Market, you will also receive a $25 gift certificate to a Dorchester restaurant. Submissions will be accepted at email@example.com. The deadline for the logo contest is December 10, so start those sketches now!
While we have focused in this update on the Winter Farmers’ Market, work is moving forward on the building of the Food Co-op as well. We will soon be incorporated, and we will be featured as a design project for students at the Boston Architectural College. We are working on partnerships with other community agencies to be a food hub as well as a retail store, and we are continuing to craft our mission statement and business plan. Our next update will have more on the Co-op developments.
This will be a winter to remember! Forward this email to your friends so they can share in the bounty and thank you so much for your support.
The Dorchester Winter Farmers’ Market Team
We are grateful to the individuals who are already helping with programming, volunteer recruitment, and marketing, as well as our corporate and organizational sponsors of the Winter Farmers’ Market: Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition/Green Dorchester, Boston Natural Areas Network, Codman Square Health Center, Eastern Bank and Carney Hospital. (list in formation).
The Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness is providing sponsorship of the Bounty Bucks Program