First winter farmers market is a hit

The city's first winter farmers market is drawing about 400 customers per week. Some 18 vendors, including four farms, haul parsnips, kale, apples, and other cold-weather crops to the first floor of the parking garage at the Hyatt Hotel on Riverside Avenue, behind City Hall. Artisan breads and pastries, granola, and nuts are among the nonfarm items sold. The market will be open every Thursday, from 3 to 7 p.m., until Feb. 28. The garage is heated, and potted plants, twinkly lights, and acoustic guitar music add a cozy touch. Tables and chairs are set up, too. “It's just a spot where people can sit down and have a cup of coffee,’’ said Susan Fairchild, chairwoman of the farmers market committee. “We also have a lady who makes a fabulous cup of hot chocolate.’’