Farmers markets aren't just about fresh veggies anymore. Sure, you can still pick up fresh, organic fruits and produce, but you'll be filling your basket with so much more local goodness.
Although a few of the Cape's farmers markets operate year-round, most stick to a spring/summer season. Even if you are on vacation, you'll want to check out the Cape's farmers markets where you will find baked goods, seafood, fresh cut flowers and items handcrafted by local artisans. At some, you'll even be serenaded by local musicians while you shop.
If you are staying in a vacation rental, pick up the ingredients for a great locally-inspired meal. Staying at a hotel? Pick up some snacks or tasty scones and fresh fruit for breakfast the next morning.
The 2016 season is underway in some towns and soon to start in others.
The Chatham Farmers Market kicked its season off earlier than most on May 17. It will run each Tuesday through October 11 from 3 p.m to 6:30 p.m. This market is held at 1652 Main Street (between Local Color and Ocean State Job Lot).
Here you will find fresh eggs, honey, hummus, donuts, alcoholic ginger beer brewed by Farmer Willie, wine, kettle corn, herbal products and more. Local artists and artisans will also be on hand.
The 2016 season of the Falmouth Farmers Market begins on May 26 and runs each Thursday through October 6 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. This long-established farmers market is held at Marine Park on Scranton Ave. where you can enjoy the water view while you shop (plan to have lunch at the Flying Bridge right next door on the harbor). Some of the available items include: produce, berries, eggs, breads, cheeses, wine and coffee.
The Harwich Farmers Market begins on June 9 and runs each Thursday through October 6 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Here you will also find produce, meats, flowers, cheeses and much more.
Like the Osterville Farmers Market, you can get your history on during this weekly event. Each Thursday, the Harwich Historical Society's Brooks Academy Museum is open too.
The "most fun farmers market" award just might go to Cape Cod Beer for their weekly "Farmers Market Meets Happy Hour" event. This farmers market begins on May 27 and runs each Friday through October 7 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
In addition to produce and local products, enjoy outdoor games, live music and a delicious, frosty beer in the beer garden. The Cape Cod Beer Farmers Market is held at the brewery at 1336 Phinneys Lane in Hyannis.
The Orleans Farmers Market begins on May 21 and runs each Saturday through November from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. This is the largest and oldest Cape Cod farmers market. They even operate a winter farmers market if you find yourself visiting during the quiet season.
The Orleans Farmers Market is at 21 Old Colony Way, in sight of Rock Harbor Grill (consider coming back for dinner) and the Hot Chocolate Sparrow (for a great cup of coffee. Afraid the line is too long, check out their webcam.)
The Osterville Farmers Market begins on June 24 and runs each Friday through September 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The farmers market is held on the grounds of the Osterville Historical Museum at 155 West Bay Road.
In addition to shopping for produce and interesting items, enjoy free admission to the historical museum.
The Provincetown Farmers Market began on May 14 and runs each Saturday through November 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It's party with six local and organic farms. You can pick up a variety of seasonal vegetables and fruit, meat, jams and jellies, baked goods, kettle corn, ginger beer and much more. Kathy Sanders, the Provincetown Farmers Market manager said many local restaurants and chef visit the Saturday market. "When you see chefs shopping at a farmers market, you know you are in the right place," Sanders said.
The Sandwich Farmers Market begins on June 7 and runs each Tuesday through October 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This farmers market is held on the village green at 164 Route 6A. Here you'll find produce, meats, lobster, flowers, soaps and much more including wood fired pizza from local vendors including Honey I'm Home, Thyme After Thyme and Wicked Good Kettle Corn. There is live music too.
The Truro Educational Farmers Market begins on June 13 and runs each Monday through August 29 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. This farmers market is held at 20 Truro Center Road. In addition to fresh produce, meats, baked goods and honey, you will find lobsters plucked from the waters of Cape Cod Bay. There is live music and educational and art tables. All this, right along the beautiful Pamet River.
Here you will find jams and salsas, "lots 'o eggs" (according to their website), Truro chickens and Barnstable pork. You can even pick up a Wellfleet Farmers Market t-shirt to remember your trip!
When you are done stocking up on fresh goodies, grab a schedule at the hall. They offer classes, concerts, film screenings, dancing and open mics.
The Bass River Farmers Market begins on June 16 and runs each Thursday and Saturday through September 17 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Bass River Farmers Market is at 311 Old Main Street in South Yarmouth.
The Bass River Farmers Market is right next door to the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. You'll want to pop next door and see what's happening during your stay. The center is host to workshops, gallery exhibits and really fun concerts (a couple of them are even BYOB).