Farmer Market Madness

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There are tons of farmers markets booming right now in our local areas.  Last week, the Journal Inquirer newspaper listed 15 different area farmers markets running through October.  Many homeowners are putting out their home-grown garden prizes in mini-roadside stands on their front lawns too.  Plus garden nurseries have joined the bandwagon by adding temporary farmers markets at their stores.  Just take a drive down the road, and it won’t be long before you spot a farmers market, a sign for a market, or a roadside stand offering the best of the harvest right now.  It is farmer market madness out there.

For those located in my neighborhood, did you know the East Windsor Trolley Museum is holding a farmers market every Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm through mid October?  I think I will go for the first time this weekend.  Why don’t you join me?  If you have kids, what better way to start your morning?  Get some locally grown goodies and take a ride on a historic trolley with your kids  – how many towns can offer that combination?!   Located at 58 North Road in East Windsor, CT.   http://ceraonline.org/visit/admission.phpUPDATE:  There is no Farmers Market at the EW Trolley Museum – What a shame!  It would be a great place to do so.  The volunteers said some local farmers approached them on the subject, but didn’t proceed.  😦

But farmers markets are not just popping up at untraditional places like trolley museums — try visiting one at a college campus – as I did this past Wednesday at the Manchester Community College Farmers Market.  Yup, college campuses seem to be joining the farmers’ market craze too.  And what a great idea, don’t’ you think?  Imagine being a student with the choice to get fresh fruits or vegetables between classes versus a bag of chips out of a vending machine. I’m sure the professors don’t miss this opportunity either.

MCC Welcome

The Manchester Community College Farmers Market, like so many others, has great produce, yummy cheeses, honey, crafts, and more to enjoy – all made by regional and local producers, growers, and artists.  It is held near the MCC Band Shell in an open field adjacent to the campus buildings with plenty of parking available.  Sometimes they have a band playing and even pony rides for kids!  So after browsing the vendors, you can sit in a comfy chair to listen to some great music or take the kids on a ride.  And on the first Wednesday of September, I will be there selling Cathy T’s fall selections for Container Gardens.  Hope you will visit me if your schedule allows – and please pass the word!  Directions: www.manchesterbandshell.com/directions.asp.  Address is 60 Bidwell Street, Manchester, CT.  Time:  1:30-5:30 pm, every Wednesday, through October 19.

If you enjoy eating while reading, try the East Hartford Farmers Market market being held today at the Raymond Memorial Library in East Harford, CT.  This is an early one, opens up at 9 am and goes until 1 pm.  Why not hit it up on your way to work so you have a healthy snack or two during your day?  For directions, see http://www.ehtfdlib.info/DIRECTIONS.htm.  Available every Friday through October.  A great way to TGIF!  And for today – a great way to stock up before the storm expected on Sunday – make some stews, can some tomatoes, or cook some sauce using the freshest herbs and veggies from places like this market.  It will warm you up and fill your tummy while you watch a movie inside on Sunday.

Locally Grown!

Farmers markets are not just popping up everywhere, they are held every day of the week somewhere and of course, on the weekends.  Mark your calendars now!

Other towns where you can find markets:

Andover (Saturdays, Andover Historical Society, 12:30 to 3:30 pm), Coventry (a big popular one at Nathan Hale Homestead, 2299 South Street, Sundays), E. Hartford and E. Windsor (as mentioned above), Ellington (in a quaint park, Saturday mornings, 35 Main Street, Rt 286, Arbor Park), Enfield, (Wednesday afternoons, 3-6 pm, Back of Town Hall, weather permitting only), Hebron (Saturday mornings, 1 Main Street, Grounds of Church of Hope and the Red Barn), Manchester (as noted above – Wednesday afternoons– come see me on the first Wednesday of September), Somers (Saturday mornings, Main and Battle corner streets), Stafford Springs (Good bike or motorcycle ride, Monday and Thursdays, Mocko’s Lot, Rts 32 and 190), Suffield (Saturdays, 9 am to noon, Town Green), Tolland (Saturday mornings, Tolland Green), Union (Sunday mornings, 771 Main Street), and Windsor (Thursday, 3:30-6:30 pm, 240 Broad Street).

So if you don’t grow your own or have a friend or family member offering some from their gardens, take out your calendar, mark the day of the week you can visit a market, and treat your taste buds before the onset of fall in late September.  Be part of the movement while it lasts.  And remember to visit me, Cathy T, on Wednesday, September 7, at MCC’s Market.  The days to partake are numbered!  Cathy T

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