• Feature

Copley Square Farmer's Market

Molly Ford

If you find yourself on an afternoon stroll through Back Bay on a Tuesday or Friday in summer, you’ll likely stumble upon a bustling market. Squeezed into a square framed by the Trinity Church, the John Hancock building, and the Boston Public Library, its two dozen-plus vendors sell everything from fresh produce, plants, and flowers to local fish, meats, and freshly baked breads.

Farms are clearly the backbone of the Copley Square Farmers Market. Atlas Farm’s stand brims with herbs and tomatoes. Mycoterra Farm stocks mushrooms in various forms (fresh, dried, and extracts). Potted flowers color the stands at both Heron Pond Farm and Foppema’s Farm. The Stillman’s Farm tent is chock full of seasonal produce, while Stillman Quality Meats stocks a freezer with organic poultry, beef, and pork. Copicut Farms also offers local pasture-raised meats, from chicken drumsticks and livers to spare ribs and pork sausages, while River Rock Farm provides dry-aged beef in a variety of cuts. Red’s Best has fresh-caught fish on hand: hake, scallops, or skate wing.

Other specialty vendors offer unique products you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Snag some of Bell & Goose’s cheese curds and make your own poutine at home. Sample Hamilton Orchards’ jellies made with Sam Adams beers or the Chrissy’s Crumble range of dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free granola flavors. Passersby with a hankering for something sweet can indulge in Cook’s Farm Orchard and Bakery pies, Nüssli118° chocolate pecan squares, a Hamilton Orchards fruit scone, or a fudgy Yummy Mummy brownie.

Molly Ford

At The Herb Lyceum outpost, peruse herbal tea blends like ambrosia and licorice mint, a line of infused honeys, and herb-laced salts. Valicenti Pasta Farm sells fresh pastas in a multitude of unusual flavors and specialty grains (plus some gluten-free options); we love the Moroccan braised carrot and chickpea ravioli and the beet and ginger girelle. You’ll also find sauces made with homegrown produce. (Pro tip: Do not, we repeat, do not pass up the arugula pistachio pesto.)

Since the market is surrounded by offices, it’s little surprise to see local workers wandering over at lunchtime to enjoy a pizza from Iggy’s Bread, a panini from The Herb Lyceum, or even a simple build-your-own brown bag lunch with a baguette, a chunk of Narragansett Creamery cheese, and a piece of seasonal fruit. The best part? Copley Square’s multitude of picnic benches—post up with your nosh and do some quality people-watching. While you’re at it, pick up a mason jar filled with mixed flowers from Field & Vase by Stow Greenhouse to perk up your office desk.

Looking for something other than food? Lightning Willow Farm concocts all-natural soaps and toiletries that incorporate herbs and other ingredients grown on the farm. Hickory Nut Gap Farm, meanwhile, sells soaps made with goat’s milk.

What really makes this market a standout, though, is that it’s more than just a place to pick up some locally grown lettuce or organic coffee: It’s a social experience. Shoppers engage the vendors in lengthy conversations, getting ideas for recipes or advice on cooking techniques.

Molly Ford

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