Westminster Farmers’ Market Report from Maple Heights Farm
Welcome to Westminster… Now Leave!
The weather forecasters are calling for another beautiful day on Friday and the market promises to be a busy place with all our vendors and shoppers. This week Tess Rembetsy-Brown will be singing for us (and last week she began selling her famous sugar cookies – sold out very quickly, too!). Button Box Shadow Theatre will entertain our children with another fine performance, and they now offer a puppet craft were children can make their own puppet.
Consider having a farmers’ market meal. The market has everything you need to put together a gourmet meal (and gourmet can be simple) offering Westminster grown grass-fed beef and pastured pork, award-winning cheeses from Hubbardston and Winchendon, loads of vegetables and fruits in all varieties (I had a delicious patty-pan squash with dinner this week), and now, Joe Serio from Westminster Pharmacy is helping us with food/wine pairings. Look throughout the market and you will see bottles of wine on display as Joe’s suggestions for pairings with some of our market foods. He offers $2.00 off per bottle and you need to head to the pharmacy to make that purchase. I have tried one of his suggestions of a Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina to go with red meat. Delicious!
Don’t forget to top off your meal with a dessert from our fine bakers, Honeybee Baking Company or Crumb’s.
Today is the last day to vote for Best of North County!
And don’t forget to forget to fill out your Best of North County 2010 survey. You want to make sure your opinion counts and you can do this by filling out the survey and helping area businesses and of course our farmers’ market (if it is your favorite!). Don’t forget that you MUST answer at least 10 questions for your vote to count. This contest is closing soon, but you can still get your vote in if you click on the link NOW! \
Welcome to Westminster… Now leave!
That is the message that I get when I go into the Westminster Town Hall these days. I am baffled by the beautiful oak stand that is filled to the brim with leaflets and flyers. Flyers that give us every reason to drive 50 miles for out of town “day-cations”. I’m guessing that the town reaps a small financial reward for allowing it to be placed in our town hall, but I feel that having it there is has a serious hidden cost.
If I am looking for something to do with my family, I can now go to the town hall and be sent to Boston or the ocean or approximately 75 other places that have absolutely nothing to do with our beautiful town. This seems to be a stark (and dangerous) contrast to what many in our town are trying to do for our town.
Several groups of people in Westminster (and surrounding areas) are working very hard to bring awareness of our local economy. This means everything from our shops on Main street, to our rich agriculture and food systems, and our recreation (which is probably unsurpassed in the state for any non-ocean-side town). In addition we have children’s activities brought to you by our cultural council, library, farmers’ market, and schools, and there is so much more.
Instead of sending me out of town, why aren’t we all working together to bring awareness of our LOCAL recreation and entertainment to develop our own Westminster-centric flyers?
Our town hall should proudly display a beautiful oak stand that is filled to the brim with leaflets and flyers of our local restaurants, schools, hiking trails, specialty shops, farmers’ market and vegetables stands, golf courses, churches, and everything else we can think of. When a person is considering moving to North Central Massachusetts, Westminster is THE place that should be first on any list. We have so much to offer in our town, but how does anyone get this information?
Considering all this, I have created my Westminster Bucket List: a list of things to do in (and perhaps around) Westminster. If you have additional items to add to the list, let me know and I’ll begin posting them online…
Westminster Bucket List
· Attend the Farmers’ market every week and purchase the fixings for at least three complete meals for the week.
· Hike EVERY trail in Westminster: I wonder how many miles of hiking trails we have in Westminster. These are the crown jewels of North Worcester County right here in town. Among them we have the Midstate trail, Leominster State Forest (yes, in Westminster), Mount Wachusett, Crocker Pond, Hager Park, High Ridge Wildlife Management Area, Muddy Pond (where you can not only have a campfire, but stay overnight in a shelter).
· Ski weekly all winter: With Wachusett Mountain Ski Area and many cross-country trails, we are lucky enough to have access to both downhill and cross country skiing. I like to try to get outside for recreation at least twice per week all winter – for a bit of exercise, fresh air and sunlight/VitaminD therapy. Skiing is a great way to do this.
· Swim at all our beautiful ponds: Crocker Pond, Wyman’s and Leominster State Park.
· Canoeing and/or kayaking at our local ponds and still waters: Access at Crocker Pond and Wyman Pond and Leominster State Forest.
· Visit every church in town. With no less than seven churches in town there is something for everyone. As I sat in church last Sunday, listening to our new music director, Ashley Garafalo, it struck me that it is such a shame that most of the town missed hearing what I was privileged to hear. Now, this should draw people in to a church, but it did make me wonder what I may be missing at other churches in town. Though I would not consider leaving our church (we have a great minister and fantastic church school program and a great community), I did think I should at least visit all the churches in town at least once.
· Eat at every restaurant in town: eat great seafood or sit at the old mill overlooking the river when the snow is falling… And there are many family restaurants and several critically acclaimed fine dining restaurants within a short drive (Harrington Farm and Sonoma’s).
· Visit our golf courses: We have two of the states finest golf courses that are surprisingly affordable! Since I don’t golf, perhaps I’ll take a lesson or find another way to enjoy them.
· Visit 10 stores: including the pharmacy (which covers just about anything you can find in the Health and Beauty section of Whole Foods), country treasures, Vincent’s (where else can you run into a real grocery store and be back in your car within three minutes)
· Attend our local tours: Wachusett Brewery, Sugar houses in the spring, farm stands, the Historical Society
In addition to this, we have local horseback riding stables, fantastic community theater within a 10 minute drive and several art galleries also within a 10 minute drive. We also have quiet country roads for an evening stroll, sidewalks throughout the Main street area that give safe access to walkers and roads that are fairly easy to navigate (if you don’t consider the hills) by bicycle.
So this is what I would like to see spilling out of a brochure rack in our town hall. Brochures of all that we have to offer in Westminster instead of what is currently there – all that we don’t have to offer!