Tag Archives: REC farmers markets

Support a great Worcester inner-city non-profit! Say YES! to jobs and training for our city kids!


💚 Crystal (UNIVERSITY) Park Farm Stand (across the street from Clark University):
Saturdays, 9 AM – 1 PM🎂
965 Main St.

Mondays & Fridays, 9 AM – 1 PM🎶
306 Chandler St,


inner-city loveliness. file pic: Rose T.

The Regional Environmental Council’s Farmers Market Season begins!

At Crystal Park – Opening Day Strawberry Festival!!🍓

The REC Community Farmers Markets and Mobile Farmers Markets will return to sites throughout Worcester starting on Monday, June 18

Help the planet! Eat local!

They will run six days a week until November 2.

The annual REC Strawberry Festival will return to University (Crystal) Park on Saturday, June 23, 9 am – 1 pm.

The REC Strawberry Festival celebrates the opening of the REC Community Farmers Market season in Worcester and will include:

🎶 music

🍰 food trucks

🍦 ice cream

🍛 a picnic area

⚾ sports and lawn games

🌻Free portraits!!

🐦 Kids’ activities

😁 face painting

👓 reading circles

🌻 arts and crafts

🍓🍓as well as a strawberry-themed community cook off!🍓🍓


All REC FARMERS MARKETS accept SNAP and HIP and Senior Citizen Coupons:

For more info, visit recworcester.org

And don’t forget:
Farmers Market 1-1-2-1

🌿Massachusetts Farm to School🌿: Pioneer Valley Grows Forum💚 – Saturday, April 7 🌷

Blast from the past: REC crew, outside their Castle Street headquarters in Main South. Miss you, Josie🌱🌿🌾🌾!!

Farmers Market 1-1-2-1
Here in Worcester: The ONLY inclusive, diverse farmers markets are REC markets! ALL REC FARMERS MARKETS – Mobile/Blue Van, Crystal Park and Beaver Brook Park – accept SNAP/EBT cards, enabling working poor folks/families (many of whom are Hispanic, Vietnamese and African American) to stretch their dollar and buy even MORE nutritious veggies and fruits for their dinner tables! Yay!!💚🌽🍓🍅🍆🍎


2018 Pioneer Valley Grows Forum

Saturday, April 7

9:15 am – 4:15 pm

🎨Gateway City Arts!! – Holyoke

Immigration, Food Access, Land Access:

Attendees will dig deep on the urgent and timely topics of immigration, food access and land access through a series of speakers and discussions.

Join the PVGrows Network to learn from local and regional efforts and craft strategies for action.

Keynote speakers from Vermont’s Migrant Justice will discuss their work, which builds the voice, capacity and power of the farmworker community.

Migrant Justice’s Milk with Dignity Campaign calls on corporations to take responsibility for the farm worker rights abuses in their supply chains.


Launched in 2014, the Milk with Dignity Campaign achieved a major success after years of effort when Ben and Jerry’s signed the first Milk with Dignity agreement in 2017.

💜💜To learn more about Migrant Justice’s work CLICK HERE.

In addition to their keynote address, Migrant Justice will join a workshop with local workers, advocates and PVGrows participants to discuss approaches to supporting food system workers in the Pioneer Valley during this time of heightened stress and fear for foreign-born residents.


The PVGrows Forum will also feature a workshop and discussion on food access, with an emphasis on community responses to the suspension of the Healthy Incentives Program and the threats to SNAP in the Farm Bill reauthorization process.


A third workshop will address the challenges of land access for urban, rural and immigrant farmers – recognizing the long history of enslavement and racial discrimination that created and maintain patterns of land and wealth ownership.


Register today to join this conversation about challenges facing the local food system, to broaden and deepen your relationships with others in the field, and to identify ways to take collaborative action for a more just, equitable food system.

Note: We want the PVGrows Forum to be accessible to everyone regardless of financial standing or institutional support. For this reason, there are six different fee level options, ranging from FREE to $75. These options exist to give attendees the opportunity to select a fee level that fits within their budget. Attendees will not receive additional benefits for paying a higher fee.

Live Spanish language interpretation services will be available. To register for the Forum in Spanish, please call CISA at (413) 665-7100 and ask for Mia.

CLICK HERE to register for the 2018 PVGrows Forum!💜💜💜

Downtown! Tomorrow! On the Worcester Common! Gear up for the Latin Festival!

Tomorrow! Thursday!

11 AM to 2 PM

Free music! Grupo Fantasia!!!

REC Farmers Market!


Food trucks!

Artisans selling their art/crafts!



Out to Lunch Summer Concert!

On the historic Worcester Common Oval! (behind Worcester City Hall)


Creative, local and fun – all in the heart of downtown!


Thursday’s band: Grupo Fantasia

Grupo Fantasia:

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Angel Wagner began his career playing with a cheese grater and fork!

At age eleven, Angel went on professional tour with a Merengue band, later performing in Miami and at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Angel has performed with such groups as Aramis Camilo, Orchestra Cafe, Luis Ovalles and Manguito.

Angel Wagner provides traditional island entertainment for all people and much of the music is performed on original, handmade indigenous instruments.

The extensive repertoire includes original and cover songs from the Caribbean and Latin America. Also represented are various Cuban, Dominican Merengue, Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena, Colombian Cumbia, Mexican Mariachi, Calypso, Reggae and Salsa music.

A teaser!

Here’s to a VIBRANT downtown Worcester!

images (12)

From the City of Worcester website/R.T.;pics R.T.

Wowza! My tomatoes are getting bigger!!!

Not these, silly readers!


I’m talkin’ my baby tomato plant I was given four weeks ago! It is shooting straight up to my kitchen ceiling! Its fruit secretly blossoming in its slender shoots …


When I got her she was so teeny! See her on my kitchen window-sill with her kid brother, in the green pot, a pretty blue dish to collect the run off???


I gifted her bro to a friend. Now it’s just “Stella” (yes, sometimes I name my plants!) Soon I’ll have to move her, for the last time, to a BIG POT I have waiting for her …


Yes, you can be a gardener in Worcester’s ‘hoods…enjoy God up close… I’m getting more pretty petal babies this afternoon. Placing them in da other window. This one is getting a little crowded!


… Or you can buy FRESH TOMATOES and delicate flowers from Worcester County farmers AT REC FARMERS MARKETS (Beaver Brook today!):

Farmers Market 1-1

– pics/text: Rosalie Tirella

Shop for the freshest veggies, fruits, breads and more …

Jett and Lilac romping in Worcester County farm country earlier this week!


Every Saturday!

9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Visit their farmers at Crystal Park (University Park) – across from Clark University – and check out the real deal!


Local kids!

Local farmers!

Local produce!

Diverse, hip group of people!

Affordable for all! SNAP ACCEPTED!

Farmers Market 1-1

Mondays: REC FARMERS MARKET at Beaver Brook park

2016 Farmers Gala!! … parked in A.I.


May 19, 2016

6:00 – 9:00 PM

At Tower Hill Botanic Garden
11 French Drive
Boylston, MA 01505

REC and Tower Hill Botanic Garden
invite you to support urban agriculture and Worcester’s food justice movement at our upcoming event!

2016 Farmers Gala!!


Spring tasting menu, by Pepper’s Fine Catering!

Local beer wall!

Silent and live auctions!

Live music!

All in a beautiful indoor/outdoor setting!

We hope to see you there!


Tickets available now!

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets!

Questions? Contact the REC:
Email: www.RECworcester.org


Hooray!!! Kudos to all involved!!!! … Supporting local farmers! Supporting the working class and poor! FRESH PRODUCE AND MORE VIA WORCESTER’S NEW FOOD HUB!!!

The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) and the Regional Environmental Council of Central MA (REC) are pleased to announce continued funding for their food hub partnership.
In 2015, the Chamber and the REC embarked on a yearlong assessment to determine the feasibility of establishing a food hub in the Worcester region.

Food hubs are broadly defined as facilities that manage the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, or marketing of locally and regionally produced food. A food hub provides better consumer access to fresh, locally grown food and a larger consumer market for the region’s farmers.
At the conclusion of the study, an application was submitted to The Health Foundation for funding of a pilot year. A slate of programs falling into three categories have been identified for the pilot grant year.

These initiatives will:

support healthy local food access

job creation

economic development

While the food hub currently has no official headquarters, much of the pilot year activities will be operated out of the Worcester County Food Bank in, Shrewsbury.
“Food is fundamental to our lives. We all eat, and we all want to eat fresh healthy food. So, ease of access to affordable healthy food is critically important to us, regardless of our station in life. Yet, it is estimated that 90 percent of the food we eat in New England comes from somewhere else,” stated Dr. Jan Yost, president of The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts. “Thus, the Foundation is pleased to announce a grant of $423,235 to the Regional Environmental Council of Central Massachusetts to partner with the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce to pilot a regional food hub.”

Yost went on to explain that, “Today 80 percent of the land in New England is covered with forest, much of which used to be farmland. Researchers suggest that by 2060, New England could expand its farmland to 6 million acres, or 15 percent of the entire land mass, which would enable New England to grow half of its own food.”
“The Worcester County Food Bank is the region’s largest anti-hunger organization, annually distributing nearly 6 million pounds of donated fresh and non-perishable food to a network of 131 Partner Agencies that help feed hungry people”, said Jean McMurray, Worcester County Food Bank’s Executive Director. 

She continued: “We are proud to host the Food Hub’s pilot year because we believe that healthy food grown and processed by community members benefits the entire community, including those struggling with poverty and hunger.”
Responsibility for pilot year activities will be split among the partner organizations, with the REC leading efforts to create opportunities for healthy eating via marketing, aggregation, and distribution of local farm products to institutional food service providers at area schools, colleges, and hospitals.

An initial group of eight to ten small to mid-sized family farms will be involved in these activities during the pilot year and four to five institutional buyers will be purchasing local farm products via the food hub.

The food hub will also be working to enhance healthy, local food offerings through the REC’s existing Mobile Farmers Market and through the City of Worcester Division of Public Health’s Mass In Motion Healthy Corner Store initiative.
”The REC has been working with organizational partners and grassroots community members for decades to help make healthy, local food universally accessible in the Greater Worcester area,” said Steve Fischer, REC Executive Director. “We are thrilled at the prospect that a regional food hub could help create a regional food system that is increasingly based on principles of economic and social justice and environmental sustainability. Working together, we have an opportunity to make healthy food more accessible while supporting local farmers, growing the economy, creating jobs, and preserving the environment.”
The Chamber will oversee food hub activities operated through a Commercial Kitchen Incubator to be located at the Worcester County Food Bank. During the pilot year, the Chamber will spearhead the recruitment of potential tenants including farmers, budding food entrepreneurs, small culinary businesses looking to take the next step in their development, and even home cooks looking to scale up a long-held family recipe.
“Given the success of last year’s planning grant process, we are excited to move forward with this pilot year that will set the stage for long-term success,” stated Chamber president and CEO Timothy P. Murray. “Our efforts with the commercial kitchen fit into our working motto of recruit, retain and incubate. Incubating the next generation of food entrepreneurs will help them turn their passion into a career, add to the region’s growing food economy, and result in a healthier population in Worcester and Central Massachusetts.”
The final piece of the pilot year project is a culinary training program that will be overseen by Quinsigamond Community College (QCC).

QCC expects to train at least 2 cohorts of 8-10 students and to provide job placement at area restaurants, caterers and institutional food service providers.

This new certificate program will target students who are members of vulnerable populations in Worcester County and who have previously experienced barriers to employment.
Dale Allen, QCC’s vice president for community engagement stated “Quinsigamond Community College is excited about being selected as a key partner in this grant. We are committed to supporting program activities that will increase access to healthy, fresh foods for underserved neighborhoods in our city. This program will be modeled after QCC’s successful ‘Cooking Up a Culinary Career’ program which has been offered for the past several years through the Worcester Youth Center and Hector Reyes House. We look forward to working with the Regional Environmental Council and Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce to expand access to healthy food and economic self-sufficiency for vulnerable populations in Worcester County.”
All of the pilot activities will be carefully evaluated and measured by an evaluation team from John Snow Inc., a health consultant company. Working closely with the grant management team throughout the pilot year JSI will continually evaluate the activities to provide real time feedback. The success of the outcomes of the various aspects of the piloted activities will be key to determining how the food hub operates after the pilot year.
The Food Hub project will hire a full-time operations manager to oversee the day-to-day aspects of the project during the pilot year.

Other partners collaborating on the project include Central Mass Grown, World Farmers/Flats Mentor Farm, Worcester Public Schools, Pepper’s Fine Catering, UMass Amherst Stockbridge School of Agricultural Extension, Worcester Division of Public Health and the Community Harvest Project.

REC’s parked in animal issues today!

Worcester city kids (and hands-on-learning) in one of REC’s Worcester community gardens!


Have you considered a gift to the REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL – REC – this year?

If you’ve already given to REC’s Annual Fund, THANK YOU for your generous support.

If you haven’t yet given, time is running out. There are only a few days left to give in 2015 to help build healthy, sustainable, and just communities in Central Massachusetts.

The REC relies on financial support from friends like you. Will you join in to help raise $37,000 – the amount needed to continue to make a powerful difference in 2016?

Your gift of $25, $50, or $100 will help close the distance on our fundraising goal. Help raise the final $19,000 needed so that together we can create a better Central Massachusetts in 2016.

Give today and say, “I’m in!”

When you give today, you will give young men and women their first job through YouthGROW, and you’ll help them become tomorrow’s community leaders.

You will help families stretch their food dollars by supporting the REC Mobile Farmers Market and Community Farmers Markets to reach senior centers, affordable housing complexes, and community spaces throughout Worcester with healthy, affordable, local food.

Your gift will also be visible next spring when more than 60 community and school gardens are flourishing throughout the city and when more than 1,000 volunteers come together to celebrate Earth Day with a citywide cleanup. 

When you give today and say, “I’m in!” you join with like-minded people to grow a better Worcester and Central Massachusetts!

Thank you for your generous support!

Steve Fischer, REC Executive Director and Julie Orozco, REC Board President


CLICK HERE to give to REC!

Support their wonderful work in inner-city Worcester!

They have the BEST FARMERS MARKETS – Main South, Foley Stadium AND the REC blue mobile market van – that welcome and support poorer folks and the working class! SNAP accepted! Coupons doubled!  … FOOD JUSTICE NOW!

And … Help them provide jobs to Worcester inner-city kids!


Rose T.

Tomorrow! Saturday, August 1 – FREE YOGA 10 am – 11 am, FREE LIVE MUSIC, FREE KIDS ACTIVITIES …


At the:


… behind the YMCA Central Branch on Main Street!

At Fuller Family Park

9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

(Every Saturday until mid-October)

Support the Worcester farmers market that supports EVERYBODY IN OUR COMMUNITY – especially Worcester’s most vulnerable citizens! It’s Multi Cultural! It’s an employer of our inner-city youth!  It’s an education! It’s run by a truly DIVERSE group of COOL YOUNG PEOPLE WHO KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT FARMING, PLANTS, WELLNESS and want to share their ideas with you!

Support REC farmers markets – ALL OF THEM! This one, the Main South farmers market, has so much happening! A veritable mini-festival!

Show some love to Main South!

Buy FRESH, LOCALLY GROWN FOODS at the REC farmers market.


While you shop at the REC Farmers Market, enjoy…

FREE YOGA! 10 am – 11 am! Kids and adults welcome!

Free live music!

Free kids’ activities!

Arts and crafts (for sale)!

Pup-friendly! ( your baby must be on a leash!)




– photos by Ron O’Clair and R.T. (Lilac and Jett)