|The Westwood Farmers Market|
The drama began over a hundred years ago when, in the late 19th century, two towns diverged in a wood. The people who lived in the woods in the northern part of a town called Dedham thought to themselves, “Hey, we live in the north wood. Let’s start our own town and call it Norwood.” Done.
Twenty-five years later, the people who lived in the woods in the western part of Dedham copied the new Norwoodians and thought to themselves, “Hey, we live in the west wood. Let’s start our own town and call it Westwood.”
Despite the appalling lack of creativity these people demonstrated in the town-naming process, they were successful: today, Dedham, Norwood, and Westwood coexist peacefully.
Until now. Norwood and Westwood have recently become entangled in what I have ridiculously decided to deem The Great Farmers Market Schism of 2012. Way back when the towns diverged in a wood, there were farmers markets all over the place. There wasn’t any other kind of market.
But now, farmers markets are kind of a big fancy deal, and since there are only a few months of the year during which it makes sense to even have a farmers market in Massachusetts, there is stiff competition for farm stands.
This year, Norwood decided to relocate its farmers market from the humble parking lot of a paint shop to the much more centrally located town square and gazebo. But that meant that all the farms that had been setting up shop there for years wouldn’t be able to park their vehicles close enough to transport their goods easily.
According to the disgruntled Norwoodians at the Norwood farmers market today, Westwood jumped at the chance to steal away the farm stands from Norwood. But if you ask a Westwoodian frequenting the new farmers market, they’ll say the farmers responded to Norwood’s random and inconvenient relocation by coming over to the better side of the woods.
However you look at it, all the farmers who used to sell in Norwood now sell at Westwood’s new market, and Norwood had to scramble to find new farmers to fill the booths. Both markets are held on Tuesday afternoons, so they’re in direct competition for customers.
Exhausted as I was, I committed my afternoon to seeing for myself which farmers market was the better of the two. The Norwood market is certainly bigger, with eleven booths (including Foxboro Cheese Company, which almost won me over with samples of goat cheese).
|The Norwood Farmers Market|
|Jim Cellucci at the Great Harvest Bread Co. stand|
In conclusion, in case it’s not clear by now, dramatic farmers market battles are quite silly. The more opportunities for local farmers to sell their goods, the better, as far as I’m concerned. I’ll frequent both!
Two towns diverged in a wood, and I –
Cared too much, I think.
And that has made no difference whatsoever.