Eastern Connecticut towns host farmers' markets
By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Region - posted Mon., Jul. 15, 2013
Farmers’ markets throughout the area are open for business, bringing regional produce and crafts directly from growers to the tables of local residents.
Opening day at the downtown Norwich market at Howard Brown Park was a lucrative one for the three farmers who brought produce, said Miria Toth, office and marketing manager for the Norwich Community Development Corporation. “Most of my farmers sold out. That was good,” she said. “We had a good first day and it’s going to be better next week.”
NCDC took over management of the downtown market several years ago. This year’s version will offer not only fresh fruits and vegetables, but also baked goods, alpaca products, and food trucks selling prepared foods for the lunch crowd, said Toth. In addition, Savings Institute Bank and Trust is sponsoring a space to be occupied by its business clients on a rotating basis, and a local non-profit will sell cold drinks and treats.
Voluntown’s farm market has moved this year to a new location at Voluntown Elementary School. Along with vendors of fresh produce, hand-milled soaps and cast concrete sculptures, the market also features live music. Special guests and events will be featured throughout the season as well. The July 14 market featured Backus Hospital dietician Joan Sommers as well as guitar music by Jewett City singer Phil Tarrano. The market, organized by the Voluntown Economic Development Committee, is being funded in part by a Department of Agriculture Community Investment Act grant.
The following towns are hosting Connecticut Department of Agriculture certified farmers’ markets this season. The certification means that growers are committed to only offering Connecticut-grown products. They are also FMNP (Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program) authorized, allowing them to serve WIC clients, eligible seniors and families living in state-subsidized housing. To qualify for FMNP, all fruit, vegetable, fresh-cut herb, and honey producers are required to go through a short training and certification.
In Bozrah, the market takes place Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m. at Maples Farm Park on 45 Bozrah St. each week through Oct. 11. For more information, visit www.bozrahfarmersmarket.org.
Lisbon hosts a market on Thursdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Lisbon Meadows Park on Route 169. The market will be open weekly through Oct. 3.
Norwich’s farm market opens Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Oct. 30 at the boat marina at Howard Brown Park, Route 2. A second market takes place Monday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Nov. 1 at Uncas-on-Thames’ Campbell Building, 401 W. Thames St. The Uncas-on-Thames market also participates in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) and in the WF & V, the fruit and vegetable program administrated by the USDA’s WIC (Women, Infants and Children). Eligible WIC participants can use their checks to purchase fruits and vegetable at this farm market.
Voluntown’s market takes place Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Oct. 13. The market website is www.voluntown.biz/. It also has a Facebook page for information updates.