Colchester Farmer's Market enters its second year
By Kevin Hotary - Staff Writer
Colchester - posted Mon., Jul. 11, 2011
One of the main perks of living in southeastern Connecticut– after tolerating the cold, snowy winters and the often rainy springs – is the coming of summer and the sprouting of the local farmers’ market, where the fresh, delicious produce that abounds provides a welcome respite from the usual supermarket fare.
The closing last year of the farmers’ market at Priam Vineyard threatened to make it more difficult for Colchester residents to stock up on locally-produced goods. Fortunately, local farmer Jeff Savitsky was there to see that that didn’t happen by starting the Colchester Farmer’s Market, which is now entering its second year in the parking lot of the St. Joseph Polish Club at 395 South Main St.
“I thought there was a need,” said Savitsky of his willingness to organize the market, which includes up to 10 vendors selling not only locally-produced vegetables and fruits, but also flowers and plants, handcrafted soaps and skin-care products, maple syrup and honey from Sugar Maple Farms of Lebanon, artisan cheeses from Cato Corner Farm, and even homegrown beef from Grande Marquis Farm of Voluntown.
The location on the well-traveled Main Street has been a boon for the market, said Savitsky, providing a steady traffic flow. In addition, the Polish Club allows the vendors to set up under the pavilion in case of rain.
“We’re very pleased,” said Savitsky of both the steady growth he has seen in market attendance since last year and with the cooperation of the Polish Club.
“Buying local is good,” said Joseph Rosenblatt, of Rose’n’ Petal Farm. He sells plants and flowers at the market, even though his farm also grows produce. He doesn’t want to take any business away from the farms that rely on their produce sales, and “Colchester deserves pretty plants and flowers as well as good food,” he said.
What started as a hobby has grown into a business for Susan Berry, of Country Family Herb Farm. She makes soaps using no animal products and scented with only pure plant oils.
“Making real soap does take a while,” she said, adding that it takes about two to three weeks to cure. But, “a real cold-processed bar of soap will last a long time.”
The Colchester Farmer’s Market is held on Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon through mid/late October. Visit the website www.colchesterfarmersmarket.com for a complete vendor list.