The start of the outdoor farmers market season is an annual rite of spring in Vermont. From Burlington and Brattleboro to Craftsbury and Dorset, you will find town greens, local parks, and parking lots transformed into pop-up marketplaces offering locally grown produce, handmade jewelry, craft beer, grass-fed beef, and more.
When farmers markets first started in Vermont in the 1970s, there were a handful of offerings in towns like Montpelier, Brattleboro, and Norwich. Today, there are 70 farmers markets across the state, selling everything from vegan sauces and Thai food to pasture-raised poultry and butcher block cutting boards.
Here are 11 outdoor Vermont farmers markets to visit between May and October
The Norwich Farmers Market features more than 50 vendors from four counties in Vermont and New Hampshire each week. The market, which started in 1977, keeps a consistent ratio of agricultural products, prepared foods, and handmade crafts. Visitors can enjoy live music every week and other special events, including Youth Day on Aug. 17 and Harvest Day on Sept. 21. The outdoor market kicked off in early May and is held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 281 Route 5 South (1.5 miles South of Exit 13 off I-91). Visit www.norwichfarmersmarket.org.
The Craftsbury Farmers Market will celebrate its 18th season when it opens May 25 on the scenic Craftsbury Common in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. The market, which has a motto of “Food & Crafts Less Traveled,” includes 30 vendors, live music, and special events. This year, the market will host the Vermont Blueberry Festival on July 27 and the Vermont Authors Fest on Aug. 17. Entertainment throughout the season includes performances by Jon Gailmor, Jackson Hughes, and Dale Cavanaugh as well as Circus Smirkus and Bread and Puppet Theatre. The market is held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays on the Craftsbury Common, starting May 25. Visit www.craftsburyfarmersmarket.com.
The West River Farmers Market opens Saturday, May 25 for its 25thseason. A favorite among locals in southern Vermont since 1994, the market features a variety of produce, meat, cheeses, crafts, jewelry, honey, and more. The market, which hosts more than 40 vendors, is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. next to the junction of Routes 11 and 100 in Londonderry. Visit www.westriverfarmersmarket.com.
Every Saturday, the Mad River Green is filled with 60 vendors for the Waitsfield Farmers Market. Visitors can pick up produce, plants, meats, and cheese, and get to know newcomers to the market, including Collaborative Brewing, Live Young Kitchen, which sells vegan sauces and condiments, and Stone Ledge Woodworking, which makes cutting boards. Live music is performed each week by local musicians, including Phineas Gage, BOGO Boys, and Sugar Snaps. The market starts Saturday, May 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the green, located off Route 100. Visit www.waitsfieldfarmersmarket.com.
The Ludlow Farmers Market will kick off its 10th season on Friday, May 24. The market features about 25 vendors selling goat cheese, pesto, wine, maple syrup, soaps, homemade bread, authentic Brazilian cuisine, eggs, pottery, and more. The market is held every Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School, located at 53 Main Street in Ludlow. Visit www.ludlowfarmersmarket.org.
This year marks the 45th year for the Brattleboro Area Farmers Market, which offers produce, handmade crafts, and prepared food. The market is full of Vermont flavor with wild harvested and cultivated medicinal mushroom-based products, CBD products, raw honey, wool products, gluten-free baked goods, and more. The market is also a zero-waste market, which means that all vendors serve their food in compostable packaging. The Saturday market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Route 9 in Brattleboro near the Creamery Covered Bridge. Visit www.brattleboroareafarmersmarket.com.
The Capital City Farmers Market in Montpelier has been bringing local producers and customers together since 1977. This year, the farmers market location is being expanded to include the Heney lot and State Street to the intersection of Main Street. Over 50 vendors sell local meat, vegetables, jewelry, flowers, and more. The market is open every Saturday, beginning May 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit capitalcityfarmersmarket.com.
The Dorset Farmers Market kicked off its weekly summer market on Sunday, May 12. Customers can find everything from raw milk goat cheese to baked goods to organic vegetables from local producers. The market sells green produce, meats, cheeses, bread, specialty food items, wine, jewelry, potter, and more. Stop by Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market is located next to H.N. Williams Store on Route 30. Visit www.dorsetfarmersmarket.com.
The Rutland Downtown Farmers Market includes 60 vendors offering product, pottery, meat, maple syrup, eggs, wine, mushrooms, flowers, cheese, and hot prepared foods from a variety of ethnicities. The market opened for the season on Saturday, May 11, and runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Depot Park (the Wal-Mart parking lot) in Rutland. Visit vtfarmersmarket.org/markets/summer.
The Stowe Farmers Market starts its summer season on Sunday, May 19. The market features local fresh vegetables, meats, cheese, milk, berries, maple syrup, jewelry, photography, baked goods, flowers, pottery, herbal products, prepared foods, pizza, spirits, and more. The market is held from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the green between the Blue Donkey and the Red Barn Shops on Route 108. Visit www.stowefarmersmarket.com.
The Burlington Farmers Market started in 1980 and has been held in downtown Burlington ever since. In 2019 and 2020, the market is temporarily relocating to Pine Street in the city’s South End while City Hall Park gets a makeover. With more than 90 vendors and community groups, the Burlington Farmers Market is where you will find seasonal produce, pottery, paintings, prepared foods, flowers, and more. The market started the season at its new location on 345 Pine Street on May 11, and by all accounts, it’s as good as ever. Stop by this spring and summer between 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit www.burlingtonfarmersmarket.org.
What’s your favorite outdoor Vermont farmers market?