Participants of the 2017 Pie Eating Contest at the Wethersfield Farmer Market- Photo credit Claire Lewis Photography based out of Colchester
Last summer we took a detailed look at the fabulous farmers markets in the area. This year there have been a few changes, improvements, and additions to the markets, including the town of Rocky Hill joining the festivities as part of their 175th anniversary. Farmers markets offer the ultimate do-it-yourself farm to table experience and they bring communities together to achieve a common goal, which is to support the local agriculturists and entrepreneurs. Here’s a glance at the 2018 farmers markets schedule.
Cromwell Farmers Market
When: Every Friday through the end of September (4:00 pm -7:00 pm)
Where: 1 River Road, Cromwell
What to Except: Going to the Cromwell Farmers Market is like visiting a coastal village in Italy. The backdrop for the market is a picturesque view of the Connecticut River, including the Arrigoni Bridge, and there is plenty of free parking lining the edge of the water. Every Friday features over 30 vendors filling the grounds of Frisbee Park, offering a variety of products to fulfill any market goer’s needs. Food trucks and edible staples Sweet Madeline’s, Granny’s Pie Company, Pan De Oro Tortilla Chips, and Chet’s Italian Ice will satisfy the taste buds, while other unique booths are selling goods and products made in the Nutmeg State. Several local farmers are regulars, including Phoenix Farm and Littel Acre Farm, selling the freshest produce this side of the Mississippi. Next up is the high-anticipated pickle contest, which will crown the best pickle maker during the second week in August. There will be prizes for the top three finishers and everyone is welcome to sample the entries and cast their vote for the most delicious pickled delight.
North End Farmers Market
When: Every Friday through October (10:00 am – 2:00 pm)
Where: 575 Main Street, Middletown
What to Except: Main Street is booming with business on the weekends and this farmers market kicks off the festivities every Friday morning. Middletown’s market houses the ‘who’s who’ of fresh produce producers in the area. Beckett Farms, Gotta’s Farm, Long Lane Farm, and Rose’s Berry Farm are just a few of the vendors selling everything from heirloom tomatoes to herbs to huckleberry jam. The market is a lively event with fun for the whole family, including a great tutorial for kids to become educated on their local food system. Each week a guest restaurant and a guest vendor are featured, so there is always something new to experience. The spectacular scene on Main Street is something you have to see to believe.
Newington Farmers Market
When: Every Saturday through the end of October (9:00 am – 1:00 pm)
Where: Constitution Square near Market Square- On the Newington Green
What to Expect: What this market lacks in size, it makes up for with charm and quality. Fresh produce and homemade goodies fill the handful of booths that liven up downtown Newington. Seasonal flowers are also sold at this location, giving the market an aroma that will make bees blush. Don’t forget to bring walking shoes because the market is located in the heart of the city and exploring the local establishments is an absolute must. Food trucks also frequent this area, especially during the market’s hours, so bring your appetite too.
Rocky Hill Farmers Market
When: August 22 and September 26 (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm)
Where: Ferry Park- 311 Meadow Road, Rocky Hill
What to Expect: The possibilities are endless. Rocky Hill’s pop-up market is part of the town celebrating their 175th anniversary and is located near the pristine river passage that the historic ferry uses to travel back and forth from Glastonbury. Rocky Hill knows how to throw a celebration so there should be plenty of energy and excitement for the monthly market, which will feature vendors from all around the community, including many local farms, along with food and entertainment. With Rocky Hill’s rich history of farming, this could be the start of something special and could lead to more frequent farmers markets in the future.
Wethersfield Farmers Market
When: Every Thursday (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm)
Where: The Solomon Welles House at 220 Hartford Avenue, Old Wethersfield
What to Expect: Every week is something new and exciting. This year the market is celebrating their 10th anniversary in style with even more vendors and events than ever before. The grounds in historic Old Wethersfield houses more than 30 vendors every week, offering a variety of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, baked good, meats, dairy, honey, and so much more. Earlier in July they held their annual pie eating contest, a summer favorite, and next up is the Meet a Beekeeper & Honey Tasting, which will be held on August 16. It’s a chance to sample the sweetest and tastiest local honeys, which will not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also mellow those pesky summer allergies. It’s a win-win.
Surrounding towns New Britain (Wednesday 11-2), Glastonbury (Wednesday 4-7), and Berlin (Saturday 9-12:30) offer famers markets as well. Every market offers something unique and individual to the town, and many have live music throughout the summer. It’s a great way to support the local communities because buying local is always a good idea, it not only feels good but it tastes good too.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin