Last week my friend and I spent a few hours catching up and strolling around the 2nd annual Boston Local Food Festival, held in Fort Point (basically where Downtown Crossing meets the Financial District and waterfront). There were a ton of people there and a lot going on. It was so nice to see such a great response for local food! The day included:
- Freshly harvested produce and seafood from farmers and fishermen
- Scrumptious, $5 servings, featuring locally grown foods
- Entertaining demonstrations and competitions by chefs and other food experts
- Lively local music of many cultural tastes
- Tastings of Bay State hand-crafted wines and locally crafted beer
- Engaging exhibitions and playful activities for the kid in all of us
- Interactive workshops featuring local food leaders
- Food-inspired arts and crafts
- Recycling and sustainable practices for minimal waste
A bunch of food vendors had samples to share, and I tried everything from Tazo salt and pepper chocolate to sorghum mini “popcorn.” There was a booth on composting, an Iron Chef type competition going on where I saw chef Didi Emmons judging, and a few food trucks I hadn’t seen before. For lunch I snagged this vegan sandwich (wish I could remember what restaurant I bought it from) that had butternut squash, arugula, apples, and a delicious creamy tofu spread.
The festival was a zero waste event, which means there were efforts to maximize recycling, minimize waste, and reduce consumption. All of the trash barrels were blocked off and you brought your waste to bins set up for compost, co-mingled containers and mixed paper, and trash. Vendors were encouraged to provide recyclable containers and minimize waste. Very green!
One of my favorite stops of the day was at a booth where I learned Boston may be getting a year-round, indoor food market, hopefully in the next year! Hooray!!! It’s been in the works for a few years, but you can read more info about it here. Apparently I’m way behind the times, because I never heard this was in the works. I love indoor markets, like Reading Terminal in Philadelphia, and would LOVE it if Boston had something similar. It’s so sad when the farmers’ markets close up at the end of fall for the winter, but this would give us year round goods! Boston is not known for our food, but we have such wonderful local food vendors, and I think this could help put my favorite city on the foodie map.
What do you think: If you’re a Bostoner, would you visit an indoor food market? Or do you live in a city that has a year-round indoor food market?