Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Make a Difference in Medford's Health

Want to contribute in a real way to making fresh, local produce available to more people in Medford? Contribute to making Medford a healthier place for all?

We are seeking your support to continue our awesome SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) matching program and to inaugurate a new project in coordination with the Medford Housing Authority. We need $7,000 to run both programs.  

We are asking the Medford Community to come together to achieve the goal.  

Can you help?

We would appreciate a donation of any amount, but here is some math to help in your decision:  if 280 people contribute $25 each, we will reach our goal!  We only have until May 1 to commit to offering these important programs, so please take 2 minutes and donate now by clicking here! We will keep you informed on our progress.

100% of your money goes into the hands of people in the form of healthy, local food through these two programs:

⇛⇛⇛⇛ SNAP Matching Program⇚⇚⇚⇚
Double the Benefits!
For the past two years we have been able to offer matching benefits to SNAP recipients (matching up to $20 per week) who debit their benefits at the market.  The funding for this program is coming to an end and we need your help to sustain it.  Last year we supported families with over $4,000 matched benefits and we want to keep it going at that level or higher.  Investing in more people using SNAP benefits for purchasing healthier food for their families is a great investment in Medford’s future!

⇛⇛⇛⇛ Willis Ave Farmers Market ⇚⇚⇚⇚
Fresh, local food 
right to the doorsteps of the residents 
of Willis Ave. Housing!
The Medford Farmers Market wants you to know that there are still multiple barriers to access to the market for low-income residents. In response, we developed the Willis Ave Farmers Market to offer subsidized, fresh, local produce directly to low-income residents of Willis Ave. housing, along with educational tools, and community building opportunities.

We are excited about these endeavors to strengthen our entire community through access to local, fresh, and sustainable food. Please help us reach even more Medford residents with a donation today.

There are two convenient ways to donate: 

1- Click the donate button on the right to donate online, or

2- send a check made out to 
Medford Farmers Market 
℅ Susan Fairchild
31 Hillcroft Park 
Medford, MA 02155

Medford will be healthier as a result!

Thank you!
Medford Farmers Market

Thursday, March 27, 2014

We are hiring an Assistant Manager for the upcoming season!

Job Description: Assistant Manager of the Medford Farmers Market
Seasonal position from June 5th - October 9th, 2014

The Assistant Manager of the Medford Farmers Market works directly with the Manager of the market to run the market each week during market hours. Qualified candidates will be organized, timely, professional, and excited to communicate with guests and vendors. The Assistant Manager must be comfortable greeting familiar and new faces every week and providing each guest with excellent customer service.

Primary Responsibilities
  • Complete EBT/SNAP and Credit/Debit transactions
  • Help set up/clean up the managers tent and tables
  • Show vendors where to set up their tents
  • Greet customers and answer questions about the market and future events
  • Explain the “frequent shopper program” to customers
  • Keep track of the foot traffic every 15 minutes
  • Keep the “MarketBucks” organized
  • Make promotional materials, signs and posters for events (as needed)
  • Attend meetings as needed
  • Staff of the managers tent, act as the face of the market
  • Assist with putting up/taking down signs
  • Put up cones blocking off parking spaces on Wednesday nights

The salary for this position is $10/hour, 5-6 hours a week. The market is open from 3-7 pm, so the assistant manager needs to be at the market from 2-7:20 pm.

We will be accepting applications until Friday, May 9th 2014. Please send resume and cover letter to

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

We are hiring!

POSITION: Summer Farmers Market Manager
ORGANIZATION: Medford Farmers Market                                       
COMPENSATION: $15/hour @ approximately 15 hours per week
COMMITMENT DURATION: Mid-May through Mid-October 2014
POSTED: March 17, 2014

The Medford Farmers Market Board seeks a resident of Medford or a neighboring community to assist in planning the 2014 season of the Medford Farmers Market and to be the market’s on-site manager for the summer season (June 5 - October 9, 2014).  

The market manager is responsible for operations of the weekly Medford Farmers Market on Thursdays for the 2014 season (approx. 6 hours), plus an additional 8-9 hours per week on non-market days, beginning on Thursday, June 5 and ending on Thursday, October 9 . The market’s operating hours are 3:00-7:00 pm every Thursday. The manager will be required to participate in at least one training day and approx 15 hours dedicated to pre-market planning and advertisement.  Employment will begin May 15 and will end around October 16, after wrap up at the end of the season.

The manager is required to be available for the duration of the market season and be at the market on market days to assist vendors and consumers. A successful manager will understand both the vendors’ and the consumers’ needs and work to meet these needs. The manager will report to the president of the Medford Farmers Market board of directors.

Managers are required to be available for cell phone contact with Board members on market day and for regular e-mail contact throughout the duration of their employment. Manager must be willing and able to work outdoors and to safely lift and carry 40 pounds. The position requires the ability to work independently as well as interdependently with a team of other staff members. (Also see Specific Responsibilities, below.)

The ideal candidate will have an interest in local agriculture, food, community, and/or local economies. S/he must be reliable, friendly, outgoing, self-motivated, flexible and able to problem solve quickly.  Previous experience with farmersʼ markets, marketing, outreach, and/or event planning and management a plus.

The market manager is responsible for the following activities:

Market Management
·         Educates vendors about market policies and programs such as Market Bucks, Farmers Market Nutrition Program, frequent shopper cards, and EBT matching program
o        Learn and be able to enforce all federal and state requirements for income assistance programs at the market (training will be provided)
·         Staffs the market managerʼs table.  Operation of the market managerʼs table includes:
o        Processing credit card, debit, and EBT transactions and managing money box
o        Educating guests and others about locally grown produce and local food system
o        Displaying and distributing educational and promotional materials
o        Collecting consumer contact information and entering it into database
·         Develops and maintains good working relationships with vendors, consumers, community members, and Board members.
·         Assist vendors, community representatives, and consumers by providing market-
related information, conflict resolution, and general aid as appropriate.
·         Enforces market rules.
·         Communicates, clearly, efficiently, and regularly with Board, including a monthly written Market Report that is used in official Board of Directors meetings and minutes.
·         Manager may occasionally assist vendors by providing limited setup help and brief personal breaks and by assisting vendors with sales during especially busy times.

Market Logistics
·         Set up Market infrastructure weekly (manager table, decorations, banners, etc)
·         Communicates with vendors during the week including
o        serving as first line of communication regarding Market issues
o        sending weekly footprint of market to vendors the day before the Market
o        confirming weekly attendance of vendors
·         Ensures safety and cleanliness of the site before, during, and at the conclusion of each market.
·         Maintains and transmits the daily records and reports required by Board on a weekly basis.
·         Contribute to weekly Newsletter

·         Performs other duties necessary to support the market.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bread and Percy: Brookford Farms’ Beloved Baker to Visit Medford Farmers Market

Just mention Canterbury Breadshop and watch people enter into rhapsodic celebration. Made with fresh flour milled from wheat grown on Brookford Farm in Canterbury, New Hampshire (yes, local wheat!), these loaves have developed a devout following at the Medford Farmers Market. And Canterbury Breadshop’s baker Dane Percy has noticed! Medfordites are buying so much bread every week that he is coming to meet you Thursday, February 27, during the Winter Market (3-7 pm at the Hyatt Place Hotel). You can talk with him at the Brookford Farm stand.

Dane Percy checking on bread in his wood-fired oven.
Photo by Jessica E. Hagerman; property of Dane Percy.
According to the Concord (NH) Monitor, Dane learned how to bake bread at a community for people with developmental disabilities in Pennsylvania, where he learned how to naturally rise dough and bake it in a wood-fired oven. Then, in 2012 Dane and his family moved to New Hampshire, and he set up the Canterbury Bread Shop at Brookford Farm.

To give you a few ideas for conversation, we recently caught up with Dane to learn more about his bread, including how exactly he most likes to enjoy it (hint: he’s not worried about cholesterol). Here’s what he had to say:

Medford Farmers Market: You have a science background. Did that have anything to do with your switch to baking bread?
Dane Percy:  I have an B.S. in geology and chemistry and a M.S. in marine sciences.  I trained mostly in analytical chemistry lab techniques, with some optics in there at the end. And for my MS I studied a lot of fermentation reactions (albeit in the ocean). Now that’s the dominant theme in my life: bread fermentation.

MFM: Tell us a little about what fermentation means to you.
DP: I look at fermentation in an anthropological sense, meaning that before refrigeration, fermenting liquids and solids was probably the most common food preservation technique.  Sandor Katz [see his books Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation] has outlined thousands of fermentation techniques within cultures that span the globe.  I consider myself in the same vein as that: continuing to do what peoples have done for a long time.
     What I do, professionally with bread and personally with lots of other foods,  would be very familiar to someone, say 200 years ago, but because of modern food technologies makes me unfamiliar to a common person today.  And this idea goes beyond nostalgia as a motivation.  I suppose, when I think of it critically, that I also believe there is a higher level of nutrition inherent in fermented foods because of the microbiology involved in the process.

MFM: Do you ever get tired of baking bread?
DP: When the bread is coming out well, I feel like I can do this forever.  When the bread isn't the way I like it, I pine for other work. [Note from MFM: We always think Dane’s bread is heavenly.]

MFM: If you could only share one thought about your bread with people, what would it be?
Stop being so afraid of bread (or gluten or whatever it is you are afraid of) and start enjoying it!

DP: What is your personal "most wonderful thing about bread"?
Slicing it thick, putting butter on top so thick it looks like cheese, sipping on strong tea, and knowing that those two pieces of toast will take me through until lunch, easily.

The best thing about bread (besides making it wobble under the weight of butter)? It is really easy to make! Sure, bread baking can also be a ridiculously exact science (that’s how you get bread as good as Dane’s), but anyone can produce warm, delicious sandwich loaves with little effort and no previous experience. Indeed, now’s a perfect time to start! It’s cold and snowy, and bread could be the perfect new hobby to help enrich these last weeks of winter. It will feed your body (and if you use Brookford’s flour, it will feed you with local ingredients!) and your mind.

From kitchen chemistry to nutritious whole grains to the wild frontiers of fermentation to cooking on a budget, bread offers so many interesting possibilities for learning and exploring healthy eating. Bread baking also opens up exciting—and frugal—culinary options that depend on leftovers; Italian panzanella and American bread pudding are nothing but ingenious ways to use stale bread.

Dane says, “I think people would be surprised to know what bread tastes like again….I’ve had so many older people come to me and say, ‘This is the bread I remember.’“* You too can find out what naturally leavened, wood-oven-baked bread made from locally grown and milled wheat tastes like—the next two Thursdays only, at the Medford Winter Farmers Market. Don’t let this chance slip through your fingers!

Medford Winter Farmers Market:
Thursdays, February 27 & March 6, 3-7 pm
Special visit by Dane Percy, Thursday, February 27
At the Hyatt Place Hotel, parking garage (take lobby elevator down to P)
And plan to join us again for the fabulous Summer Farmers Market: Thursdays, 3-7 pm, June 5 to October 9, 2014.

So, have we piqued your interest about making your own bread? Here are some resources, whether you are a beginner or an expert:

Ready to rise to the next level? Try:

And read this great article about Dane and his bread in the Concord Monitor, here: