Gloucester is getting a new farmers market in 2024, more than two years after the city’s original market suspended operations. The new market, a partnership between food equity nonprofit Backyard Growers and the city, will take place at the centrally located Burnham’s Field, featuring produce and food from growers and producers throughout the North Shore.
“We are excited to join forces with Backyard Growers to meet a need in our community and create a new tradition in Gloucester,” Gloucester mayor Greg Verga says. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work hand in hand with a well-established organization that knows the significance of nurturing not only our green spaces but also the health and well-being of our residents.”
The new market’s location, Burnham’s Field, has undergone a revitalization in recent years, and now includes a playground, softball fields, and a walking path. It is also home to more than 50 community garden beds operated by Backyard Growers. The park’s central location means the new market will make fresh, local food accessible to a wider range of local residents while adding even more activity and culture to the neighborhood.
“Backyard Growers is committed to cultivating healthy, connected, resilient communities, and a strong local food system is critical to achieving that mission,” says Alison DiFiore, Backyard Growers’ executive director. “A farmer’s market that prioritizes public access, community development, and economic opportunity for small-scale farmers and business owners is an integral component of a resilient local food economy.”
The city’s previous market, the Cape Ann Farmers Market, was founded in 2006, and ran every season through 2021. During COVID shutdowns it adopted a system of online ordering and weekly, drive-through pickups, and 2021, it moved from its former location at Stage Fort Park to a smaller downtown location. In 2022, a variety of financial and logistical stresses required the market to cease operations.
During its run, the Cape Ann Farmers Market helped launched successful businesses and organizations: Backyard Growers was itself originally a program under the farmers market umbrella when it began in 2010.
“The team who built the original Cape Ann Farmers Market created an amazing community resource and we’re honored to carry on the tradition of connecting Cape Ann through food,” DiFiore says.
For more information and updates on the market, visit backyardgrowers.org.