Jul 7, 2011
Litchfield County Farmers Markets: Your Source for Fresh and Local This Summer
Nothing says summer like fresh fruits and veggies, and if you’re looking to buy local products in Litchfield County this season, look no further than your nearest farmers market. We’re lucky in the Northwest Corner to have so many opportunities to support local businesses and agriculture through as many as ten different weekly markets. No matter where you live, it’s guaranteed that the taste of the summer season is right around the corner.
Torrington and Thomaston
The Northwest Family Farms Co-Op runs five different farmers markets throughout the state, two of which are located in Litchfield County. What sets these markets apart from others in the area is that they run entirely by farmers. So though you won’t find special events or musical guests, you will get the freshest, highest quality products available, determined by those who really know their produce. The Co-Op, which has been around for over 25 years, runs the Torrington and Thomaston markets, with about 18 vendors participating at each one.
Mark Gauger, the Co-Op’s president, says some of their most popular vendors are their bakers, like Bantam Bread, and best-selling items include specialties like bruschetta from Garlic Head’z and gourmet cheese from Twin Pines Farm. Want to know what’s in season now? Gauger recommends checking out berries from Deeply Rooted, and the CT grown corn in coming weeks. It’s all about buying what’s fresh, what’s ripe and what’s local. When asked what the support of local agriculture means to him, Gauger replied, “This is certainly a way for farmers to sell.” A farmer himself, Gauger says this venue is a great outlet for smaller farms, but it’s a shame that “there aren’t that many specialty farmers around anymore.” Stop buy and support these local farmers. Thomaston market opens tomorrow, July 8, and runs every Thursday in Seth Thomas Park from 2:30-6pm until October 28. The Torrington market runs Tuesdays from 3-6pm and Saturdays from 10-1pm in the downtown plaza parking lot through October 30.
The Litchfield Hills Farm Fresh Market is always a popular summertime event, with local vendors, children’s activities and a Litchfield Food Systems raffle. Some featured vendors include Arethusa Farm Dairy products and Laurel Ridge Farm grass fed beef. Expert advice is also available with weekly chef demos and Q&A sessions with master gardener Margy Miner. The market runs from 10am-1pm on Saturdays through October.
The goal of the Norfolk Farmers Market is “to supply its customers with fresh food and high quality handmade goods, and to foster respect for local agriculture and handicrafts.” This admirable ambition is met weekly with over forty different vendors and a backyard farmers table where home gardeners can sell their produce as well. Upcoming events include Kid's Day July 9 with music by Spaghetti Cake, and a chef demo July 16, with music by Grant Mudge and Friends. Stop by Saturdays 10am-1pm through October 15 at 19 Maple Street in front of Town Hall.
Besides those featured here, there are also weekly markets in Kent, West Cornwall, New Hartford, New Milford, Watertown and Woodbury this summer. Visit the CT Department of Agriculture site for dates, locations and more info.
Why buy local? Check out these top ten reasons from the Northwest Family Farms Co-Op!