For 14 years, the Arlington Farmers’ Market has been providing area residents with all of the necessary ingredients to make a nice, home-cooked meal.
This year, that won’t change, but for the first time, the market will be adding the perfect compliment: Wine.
At the request of the market’s manager, Patsy Kraemer, the Board of Selectmen passed a motion last week allowing a local winery, Turtle Creek in Lincoln, to sell wine at the market, which returns Wednesday, June 13, in Arlington Center’s Russell Common Parking Lot.
“I think we should go forward with this,” Selectman Daniel J. Dunn said of Kraemer’s proposal. “Let’s give it a go, and see if it works. I don’t envision it being a problem.”
Since the state legislature started allowing local wineries at farmers’ markets four years ago, a number of neighboring markets have begun inviting them with great success and no incidents, according to Kraemer. Of the more than 50 farmers’ markets in eastern Massachusetts, about 20 had wineries as vendors last year, according to Kip Kumler, who owns and operates Turtle Creek.
Impact on Local Wine Sellers?
He told the board that he believes the presence of wine at the markets actually helps local wine sellers.
“People develop a taste for it,” Kumler said, “and we’re only in town one day a week for half of the year, so they end up patronizing local stores.”
Turtle Creek wine is already sold at and served at , he said.
In addition to the Selectmen’s approval, to operate at the market, Turtle Creek also needed the approval of a state agriculture board, which it had already received prior to last week’s meeting, Kumler said.
He said there may be wine samples available at the market, but patrons would be limited to five, 1-ounce samples and all employees would be TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) certified.
“Having wine creates diversity at the market,” Kumler told the board, “makes it a more fun experience.”
The weekly market, which goes from 2 to 6:30 p.m., will run from Wednesday, June 13, to Wednesday, Oct. 31.