SOUTHINGTON – Following the festivities of the Fourth of July, folks flocked to the Southington Farmers Market Friday, which saw an assortment of new vendors offering a variety of fresh produce.
The market is open on Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m. from July to October, on the Town Green across from Town Hall at 75 Main St. It features Connecticut vendors selling fruits, vegetables, breads, meats and other organic products.
“We are super excited to see that there are quite a few new vendors this year and that we are continuing to grow our local farmers market,” said Jolene Miceli, from the Southington YMCA and Activate Southington, one of the groups organizing the market.
New Haven Tea was one of those new vendors. Richard Wright, who was manning the tent, said that he was bringing herbal tea, black tea, green tea, white tea and their own brand of gourmet roasted coffee to the market.
“Tea is very good for you – there are a lot of antioxidants,” Wright said.
Basil Poulopoulos, of Wave Hill Breads of Norwalk, was also a newcomer. He said he was bringing sourdough breads, ciabatta bread and other artisan bread products, flavored and unflavored, as well as pastries.
“The farmers market is a great place to get to see where food comes from and try some unique things,” he said.
Clayton Beckett, of Rooster’s Rise in Berlin, was a third newcomer – his farm having got its start last year. At his booth, people could purchase raspberries, blueberries, lettuce, peas, broccoli, squash, zucchini and more.
“Our farm is right down the road and we were looking for a market that would be open on Friday nights,” he said. “Farmers markets are great because locally grown produce is just a better and fresher product overall.”
Forest Bly, of Gulf Shrimp in Plantsville, said that the family-owned business of 27 years was also a newcomer to the market. They had shrimp, swordfish, wild fluke, scallops and other fresh fish.
“We sell fish that is caught and picked up fresh every day from fishermen up and down the east coast,” he said.
The Farmer’s Market also managed to attract some new shoppers this year.
“I just like to support local farms and pick up fresh produce,” said Rebecca Russano, of Southington, who said it was her first time at the market.
Janet Carangelo, of Play it Again Sports, was also a first time visitor.
“I’m just going to look around and see what catches my eye,” she said. “Usually I’m working during the day but I figured I’d stop by since I was in the area.”
Gail Vogel, another newcomer, said she was very impressed by the bread selection from Wave Hill.
“I grew up in New York and moved to Southington six years ago and I’m very happy to see all the different types of bread they have available – a lot of European style breads,” she said. “The Farm to Table movement started a few years ago now but it really seems to be catching on. People are supporting locally grown food and local farms. It’s simpler and fresher.”
Debbie Lincavicks and Patty Pickus both had been enjoying the fresh, locally grown food at the Southington Farmer’s Market for some time, with both saying that they had been coming down every week for the past couple years it was open.
“I like the fresh produce and it seems like there are a lot of new faces this year,” said Lincavicks. “I like to see whatever comes through each year.”
Pickus said the Southington Farmer’s Market is “fantastic.”
“I usually go for the fresh veggies, but this year they have fish too,” she said. “I’m definitely going to be purchasing some of the fish.”
For more information on the Southington Farmers Market, visit southingtonfarmersmarket.org.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.