A Day at the Tuesday Market

The Tuesday Market

Northampton’s Tuesday Market is one of the many things we love about living walking distance from downtown. However, it’s a treat we have to wait for Spring and Summer to bring to us.  In season, I walk over with the kids nearly every week for music, shaved iced in exciting flavors and for artisan cheese. Yes, that’s right local, artisan cheese – best dairy ever, for those that partake, of course (It’s true that if your kids like cheese samples, you will have to watch them closely… I’m just saying.).

Farmers’ Market Season is kicking off, which means pretty soon there will be roadside tomatoes – real drive-thru food.  Pull in, grab a tomato or two, some corn and stick some cash in the box. My kids love this errand – it is the speediest, get them back to playing and swimming soonest, grocery shopping ever.

Northampton’s Tuesday Market we love for the opposite reason.  It is our town square, suddenly come alive with bands, book readings, and occasional side shows of pedestrians turned dancers. It is the most leisurely, communal, let’s stay a while because this is as good as home grocery shop of the summer. The market’s slogan tag line is Live Music, Live Farmers. My kids and I enjoy chatting to the real live farmers about the plants, the veggies, the fruit, the syrup, the cheese and the flowers. Everything tastes good. Everything smells good.

Lux Deluxe was the band this week. Their lead singer had the good sense to admire Theo’s vintage Star Wars t-shirt – over the microphone – making Theo puff up his five year old chest with Star Wars pride.

When I say the Tuesday Market is child friendly, it is an understatement. Every week Tuesday Market staffs its tent with interns who help kids with craft projects so you can shop. This market is not on a street, it’s on the sidewalk between Thorne’s and the garage, set well back from the street. If you are my kids, you will spend time with a rock that draws as well as sidewalk chalk. I brought the sidewalk chalk so you have more than one color (I promise, next time I will remember kids!).

Speaking of others, the market sponsors a program called FoodStampsX2. The market accepts WIC coupons and doubles the value of up to $10 worth food stamps, which are now known as SNAP benefits. Donations to this program are accepted weekly at the market. This week those who donated were treated to a delicious honey miso noodle salad. SNAP benefit customers can head to the friendly Tuesday Market tent  & use the debit swipe machine  – the same one you can use if you forget cash  – to get farmers’ market tokens that can be accepted by every farm for delicious, local, real, live food.

The market is open every Tuesday of the season from 1:30-6:30. We think it is the best thing since sliced bread – and yes, you can get bread from El Jardin there too.  I think you should sign up for the market’s newsletter so you can preview next week’s delicious treats! Go here to find out more, www.northamptontuesdaymarket.com

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen Bayne

Karen grew up in Manhattan and lived in Connecticut before moving to Northampton with her husband Matt to raise their boys. Her sons Isaac, Henry and Theo are 11, 6 and 4,  leaving Karen on a search for all the “just right adventures” that will wow them and wear them out.  She works as a birth doula, childbirth and parent educator in the greater Northampton area. She writes about mothering at Needs New Batteries and about birth in our culture at Gentle Balance Birth.

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