Hampton Farmers' Market open at a new location

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hampton - posted Tue., Jul. 23, 2013
JoAnn Desrochers, from Moosup's 18th Century Purity Farm, offers a variety of produce at the Hampton Farmers' Market on July 19. Photos by Melanie Savage.
JoAnn Desrochers, from Moosup's 18th Century Purity Farm, offers a variety of produce at the Hampton Farmers' Market on July 19. Photos by Melanie Savage.

In the midst of the area’s third heat wave on July 19, vendors set up shop in the shade at the Hampton Farmers' Market’s new location on the grounds of the town office building. JoAnn Desrochers, from 18th Century Purity Farm in Moosup and Hall Homestead in Plainfield, was offering up a variety of early-season fruits and other produce, including small green Lodi apples. “They’re the first variety to be ripe,” said Desrochers, adding that, in total, she grows 78 different varieties of apples.

“As the season progresses, we will have many more to offer,” said Desrochers. On display alongside the apples were raspberries, including wild black and a less-common heritage variety, potatoes, peaches, blueberries and pint containers filled with an array of heritage tomatoes sporting a variety of hues and shapes. There were tiny, green currant tomatoes, bright red fig-shaped tomatoes, small yellow pear-shaped tomatoes, and many other varieties.

Desrochers makes the weekly trek to the Hampton market due to a family connection. Her grandparents owned a farm on Bigelow Road and Route 6 from 1918 to the 1990s. Producing vegetables and milk, the family worked the land “for many years,” said Desrochers. “That’s why I come out here to the market,” she added. “My grandparents lived here.”

Alongside Desrochers was Lynn Burdick, from Burdick Family Farm. Burdick offered local maple syrup, blueberries and free-range chicken eggs in many different colors.

Market Master Renee Cuprak offered fresh-picked squash. She said she brings out extras from her home garden when they’re available. “But mostly what I do is jams, jellies and pickles,” said Cuprak. Cuprak uses local produce whenever possible - some, like wild raspberries and sweet blackberries, coming from her own property. Grapes are wild, picked locally. Mulberries come from a location in Willimantic. “The guy calls me and I drive out there two times a day for a week to catch them,” said Cuprak. Pears are purchased from another grower in Hampton. All jams and jellies are low sugar.

The Hampton Farmers' Market is open every Friday through the end of September, rain or shine, at the town office building at 164 Main St., from 3 to 6 p.m. The market is always looking for new vendors, and live musical entertainment would also be welcome.

Contact Cuprak for more information at 1-860-455-1351 or rcuprak@yahoo.com.


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