Nov 172015


As many of you know — or may not know — Salem Main Streets is responsible for a fair share of the holiday fun and cheer to be found/experienced in downtown Salem in November & December. But, as you can well imagine, it is far too much for one person to orchestrate, and way more fun to do with friends! Therefore, here are just a few (seriously) of our upcoming volunteer needs.

Ribbon Wrapping around downtown – this Saturday, Nov. 21
9 am – Ribbon pre-measuring and cutting – Salem Main Streets office, 265 Essex Street
10 am to 12 pm – Meet at East India Fountain on Essex Street Mall
Needed – as many as possible!
Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets reveals, “This is one of my favorite volunteer days of the year – it’s always cold and blustery, but we always have the best group of people, and the more people, the faster we go!  Volunteers should be able to handle the cold for 2 hours (while moving around); ability to climb ladders comfortably is a plus, and ‘ability’ to bring your own ladder is even better!”

Salem Winter Market – November – this Sunday, Nov 22.
1:30 to 3 pm and 6:30 to 8 pm
217 Essex Street
Needed – 4 to 6 people
We need help unloading and setting up vendors for our indoor winter market, in addition to breaking down and loading out at the end of the evening. Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.

Santa’s Arrival at Hawthorne and Holiday Tree Lighting at Lappin Park, Friday, Nov. 27
5 pm to 7 pm
Needed – 2 or 3 volunteers
We’re combining two beloved annual events into one night this year – and that means it will be even harder for Kylie to be everywhere at once!  We could use a couple extra hands to help carry and set up/break down tables and sound systems at the different sites. Again, volunteers should be relatively able to handle the cold for 2 hours, and need to be able to lift and carry tables, sound equipment, etc.

Salem Winter Market – December, Saturday, Dec. 19
11:30 to 1 pm and 4:30 to 6 pm
217 Essex Street
Needed – 4 to 6 volunteers
We need help unloading and setting up vendors for our indoor winter market, in addition to breaking down and loading out at the end of the evening. Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.

New Year’s Eve LAUNCH! Thursday, Dec. 31
2:30 pm to 7
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square
Needed – As many as possible!
Kyle requests, “Help us ring in the New Year at Old Town Hall!  The City of Salem and Salem Main Streets are teaming up to throw a New Year’s Eve party at Old Town Hall, with live music and family-friendly activities.  There will be an early countdown promptly at 6 pm.”

Volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs:

  • Set up (2 to 4pm): Volunteers should be able to lift up to 25 pounds.
  • Greeters (4 to 6 pm): Greet people at the door and collect optional donations.
  • Craft activity support (4 to 6 pm): Help activity leaders as needed.
  • Break down (5:45 to 7pm): Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.

One other thing, Kyle adds, “Have an idea for a fun (and inexpensive) NYE activity that you would like to lead? Even better – just let me know.”

If you are interested in filling any of these needs, please contact her by email at, or by phone at 978-744-0004, or in person at 265 Essex Street.

Just think of all those happy faces on kids & adults at events where you gave a little of your time.

Nov 152015

Holiday shopping starts this upcoming weekend! The Salem Winter Market returns in a new & improved form with special presentations on Sunday, November 22nd from 3 – 7 pm, and Saturday, December 19th from 1 – 5 pm. The indoor market will take place at 217 Essex Street on the pedestrian mall (the Naumkeag Trust building, formerly home to The Gathering).

KylieDid you note that one is before Thanksgiving and the other before Christmas? They could almost be called “Holiday” winter markets. Did that play into the specific dates?

“Absolutely,” explains Kylie Sullivan, executive director of Salem Main Streets and organizer of the market. “There’s a LOT of shopping that needs to be done for the holidays, whether you need ingredients for cooking, gifts for family, friends, or colleagues, or maybe even just a treat for yourself to relieve the stress of this crazy time of year!”

She reveals“The Winter Market has been a fantastic opportunity to support local farms and artisans through the holiday season, but the weekly weekday market we’ve done in past years just wasn’t working for a lot of our customers.”

“Having two weekend events will be much more convenient for many of our shoppers, as well as our vendors. We’re very excited to showcase so many of our usual Farmers’ Market favorites as well as some new vendors in this unique space.”

Obviously, due to the seasonality of produce, many vendors at Salem Winter Market will have very different offering that you’re used to seeing at the summer Salem Farmers’ Market. There will be a lot of squash, leafy greens, and root vegetables, and some of the farmers will be carrying decorative holiday greens, including garlands, wreaths, and kissing balls. There will also be a larger mix of vendors with prepared foods, including baked goods, sweets, and pickles.

winter MarketBut there’s more to the scheduling than meets the eye.

Sullivan adds, “We’ve also timed them to fit in with other community events and increase the festive feeling downtown on those days.”

For example:

  • Sunday, Nov. 22 from 2 pm to 5 pm, the Salem Collective of Artists and Musicians (SCAM) will be leading a free lantern-making workshop at the Salem Arts Center (179 Essex Street),  in preparation for Santa’s Arrival and the Tree Lighting on Friday, Nov. 27.
  • Also on Sunday, Nov. 22, from 11 am to 7 pm, the tenants on Artists’ Row will also be holding a special pop-up shopping event
  • Saturday, Dec. 19, there will be a Salem Holiday Market being held at Old Town Hall with a number of local artisans.

Something else to be excited about is your continued support of the Farmers’ Market in this 2.0 world.

Sullivan reflects, “At a time when you can buy anything from the internet without out ever speaking to a living person, I think people really miss having a personal relationship with the people who are making the products they buy, and where they can interact with their community. At these markets, you can actually talk to the people who’ve made the lotion, who’ve raised the chickens, who’ve stitched the clothes.”

“You see your neighbors, catch up with long-lost friends, and say hi to a chef from one of our wonderful downtown restaurants as they shop for ingredients for that night’s menu. There’s so much added value when you shop at local markets like ours.”

The Salem Farmers’ Market and Winter Market are organized by Salem Main Streets with assistance from Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, and the City of Salem, Salem Chamber of Commerce, and numerous volunteers. For further information regarding current vendors and Winter Market updates, refer to the Market’s website, Facebook, and Twitter pages, or contact Kylie Sullivan directly at 978-744-0004 x15.

Oct 212015

Bittersweet may it be, another Farmers’ Market season is coming to a close. The stands will soon be bare. The Salem weekly Thursday outdoor gatherings of vendors and buyers from 3-7pm in Derby Square ends on 10/22/15. Which means you have one more opportunity to get the freshest of the fresh, in produce and baked goods for your dinner table.

FM12According to a Boston Globe  article, “The U.S. government recommends that American adults eat 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables depending on your age, gender, and activity level,” and while a Harvard School of Public Health study is suggesting eating any more than five servings a day won’t further improve results, it does add more confirmation to that recommendation.

Researchers sifted through 16 studies involving 833,000 participants with the conclusion that going with at least the daily five servings “lowered the risk of dying by 25 percent.”

Therefore, eating fruits & veggies is a good thing. And the Salem Farmers’ Market has fruits and veggies (and bread, lobsters…).

The Farmers’ Market also has been a strong supporter of the food stamp/SNAP program. That has also been a good thing.

According to USDA at farm markets across America, overall food stamp participation and spending has increased since 2008 when the program had an average monthly participation of 28,233,000 beneficiaries, and spent a total of $37,639,640,000. In 2014, the program had an average monthly participation of 46,537,000 and spent a total of $74,157,710,000.

Those are a lot of fruits and vegetables! So get down to our final of the season Farmers’ Market before the stands are empty.

And just to keep your memories alive until next year’s Market, this link will take you to the photos page of the Farmers’ Market Facebook site (although two Salem Winter Markets are set for Nov. 22 at 3 pm and Dec. 19 at 1 pm, indoors at 217 Essex Street).

Jun 222015

Salem FMWe came across an interesting article in Reader’s Digest that advised on “13 Things You Should Know About Farmers’ Markets.” Thirteen, really? That’s so Salem, Ma!

While we can’t list all 13 without infringing copyrights, a few are obvious no-brainers such as get there early for the freshest of the fresh, and it can’t hurt to ask for a sample if it’s something you’ve never seen.

We also found #8 out of the 13 to be worthy of re-posting as it speaks from the vendor’s side of the table. Something you may not have thought about.

8. Standing out in the summer sun is nice, but the job isn’t easy.
Up early, loading trucks with heavy produce, being mindful of money, home late. Plus, when it rains, customers stay away and bad weather can easily damage products.

BreadThe vendors who take the time to participate in our Farmers’ Market are not paid representatives of corporate monoliths. They ARE the lifeblood of the products or services on the Derby Square tables that you see Thursdays. Every minute they are here is a minute taken away from tending to crops or producing a product (for example, bread does not grow on trees…). Any size purchase or positive comment is welcome.

Take the time to read the Reader’s Digest article for more tips and insights.

The Salem Ma Farmers’ Market operates now through Oct. 22nd on  Thursdays from 3-7 pm on Derby Sq. as it intersects Front Street.

(Cover photo courtesy John Andrews at Social Palates Photography)

Jun 092015

No sooner does the energy of the Salem Arts Festival fade from Derby Square / Artist’s Row area than the Salem Farmers’ Market moves in with just as much fanfare, sounds, sights, colors and characters. This Thursday, from 3-7 pm you can get fresh with a veggie, fruit, etc. at Derby Sq on Front St. — rain or shine.

A farmers’ market allows growers the opportunity to market directly to consumers without having to deal with a food broker; they can also explain to customers how the food is grown and even advise on preparation. It’s a win/win.

That is especially true this year as we have a bumper crop of farms that will be delivering diverse produce.

SFM1Clark Farm
Gibney Gardens
Grant Family Farm
Heavens Harvest Farm
Honey Pot Farm (new!)
Long Hill Orchard
Maitland Mountain Farm
Wally’s Vegetables

But, as has been said before, this isn’t your grandmother’s Farmers’ Market. It’s produce and more.

Things You Can Eat (or drink)
A & J Lobsters
All Fruit, Inc. (new!)
Auntie Elsie’s Oatmeal Crisps
Cookie Monstah
Far From The Tree
Fishwives Specialty Foods
Jodi Bee Bakes
Grassy Roots (new!)
Milk and Honey
Mill River Winery
Rowand Seafood
Stillman’s at the Turkey Farm
Sweet Lydia’s
Valicenti Pasta Farm
When Pigs Fly

Other Things To Bring You Joy
Teas, Herbs & Spices : Just Herbals (new!); Salem Spice

Jewelry: Heritage Handmade

Bed, Bath, Home Products: Salem Soapworks

Plus music. Don’t forget the music. Everything from folk to rock, Celtic tunes, sea shanties, and classical to name just a few. Keep checking this list as we constantly update the performance schedule.

The Salem Farmers’ Market participates in SNAP and accepts the EBT card. SFM is still looking for volunteers to help with set up and break down of the market. Click here for more info.

Salem Farmers’ Market is a Salem Main Streets project in partnership with the City of Salem, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and Mass in Motion Salem.