Here are four fun ways to experience the state's farm-fresh food
Every season in Massachusetts brings fresh tastes and experiences, from tractor tours of scenic farms to farm-to-table dining. Let the seasons guide your fresh experience.
1. Local, seasonal dining
Massachusetts chefs celebrate the diversity of local, seasonal ingredients year round. The Farm Table at Kringle Candle in quaint Bernardston sources ingredients for dishes such as warm quinoa and roasted root vegetable salad from its own organic farm and nearby growers.
The creative pasta bar Nudel in Lenox takes inspiration from changing seasons and local farmers with farm-fresh creations such as penne with roasted tomato and fresh ricotta. Looking for a healthy and delicious breakfast or lunch? Try Wheatberry Bakery and Café in Amherst, where diners rave about dishes featuring local, organic grains, dairy, meat, cheese, produce — and especially the handmade veggie burgers.
Local dairy farms and retro soda shops serve tempting Massachusetts-made ice cream.
2. Farmers’ markets
In summer, take in the local atmosphere, buy fresh-picked fruits and vegetables, and meet Massachusetts farmers by visiting one of the state’s many farmers’ markets. Check out the Quincy Farmers’ Market, one of the oldest markets in the state, for everything from heirloom tomatoes to local honey.
In addition to fresh, local goods such as eggs and flowers, the North Adams Farmers’ Market features workshops on composting, seed-saving and other topics. The downtown Pittsfield Farmers’ Market offers live music and workshops in addition to a variety of fresh and prepared foods, including locally roasted coffee and artisanal sourdough bread.
In the summertime, Quincy Farmers' Market features vendors selling everything from eggs to flowers to local honey.
3. Farm tours
Learn about local food up close with a Massachusetts farm tour in summertime. Visit Breezelands Orchards in Warren for a scenic tractor ride through the fruit trees. Take a hay ride around Eastleigh Farm in Framingham, a raw-milk dairy farm, to watch as cows munch on bagels and apples. (Save room for ice cream!) Or bring the kids and challenge each other to the giant maze at Davis Farmland in Sterling. Young visitors love the pony rides and visits with the farm animals (call ahead for tour reservations).
Many local farms across the state offer the chance to pick your own apples from the many blossoming fruit trees.
4. Maple sugaring
Massachusetts is home to more than 300 maple syrup producers who make more than 50,000 gallons of syrup each year. Visit one of the state’s “sugar shacks” in March or early April to learn how maple sap is tapped and boiled down into syrup. The shacks often offer pancake breakfasts and sell maple-syrup candies and other foods in addition to bottled syrup — a sweet take-away.
Massachusetts is home to more than 300 maple syrup producers, many of whom sell their sweet syrup at farmers' markets.