The Trustees Now Have an All-Local, Totally Mobile Farmers’ Market
It will increase access to fresh, healthy food.
This summer, your local farmers’ market may be coming to you.
The Trustees Mobile Farmers Market, a colorful converted truck loaded with local fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, and dairy products, hits the streets Thursday after years in the making—and it’s one of several moveable feasts cruising around Boston this season.
“One of our farmers was really interested in finding ways to connect with the Boston population with more limited access to healthy food,” explains Cathy Wirth, agriculture program director for the Trustees. “She kind of got the ball rolling.”
A couple years and a United States Department of Agriculture grant later, the Mobile Farmers Market is ready to transport nutritious food to neighborhoods where fresh, local products can be scarce. In its first season, lasting from July through October, the truck will visit community and health centers in Roxbury and Dorchester, including the Roxbury YMCA, the Whittier Street Health Center, the Dimock Center, and Dorchester Head Start. In future years, it may visit additional areas, including Mattapan and East Boston.
Most of the farm stand’s inventory will come from Powisset Farm, a Trustees property in Dover. All of it will be affordably priced, and can be purchased with cash, credit, SNAP/EBT credits, WIC coupons, and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program coupons.
“Because our food is coming directly from our farms, we’re able to [keep costs down],” Wirth says. “It’s really a mission-based decision for us that we want to be making a commitment for our food to reach a wider and more diverse audience.”
The Mobile Market is in good company there. The BPM Blueberry, a similarly intended produce trike run by the Boston Public Market, will hit the streets on Friday. Meanwhile, Fresh Truck, a produce market operating out of a converted school bus, has been roaming the roads since 2013. The mobile nature of these projects, Wirth says, points to a promising future for food access equality.
“To ask someone to make a special trip to a farmers’ market to access local food during work hours or when they have family commitments is really challenging,” Wirth says. “To be able to bring fresh, local produce to people in a way that’s part of their daily routine…makes a big difference.”