|JANUARY 18, 2011 --
It’s a common sight on many New England summer weekends -- a dozen farmers gathered together, selling fresh produce, baked goods and other handmade products. Only this scene is happening in January, not July. The Fairfield Indoor Farmers’ Market opened its season Saturday morning at the Greenfield Hill Grange. Alex Gross and 11 other vendors will return every weekend until spring to sell their farm-fresh goodies.
“I’ve seen a lot of familiar faces who followed me here,” Alex said. “It’s very encouraging.”
Alex was selling a full range of produce from Riverbank Farm in Roxbury. She keeps the home-grown items fresh and edible using a cold storage process. A handful of the other farmers on hand use cold storage, including Newgate Farms in East Granby and Daffodil Hill Farms in Southbury. Others have fresh produce in the dead of winter because of lush greenhouses.
Keed’s Farm uses the glass structures year-round to grow their microgreens (“bigger than sprouts, smaller than normal greens,” explains grower Ed Dillon). Geremia Farms in Southington mostly relies on cold storage, but uses a greenhouse to grow fresh tomatoes year-round.
“The sun brings the flavor out a little better in the summer,” said Sal Geremia, the farm’s owner. “But it’s the freshest you’re going to find this time of year.”
The market also featured baked goods (courtesy of Wave Hill Breads in Wilton and Blackbird Baked Goods in Georgetown), potted herbs from Nancy Moore of Trumbull and homemade jams and sauces from Judy Waldeyer of Stratford.
The market even had a collection of non-edibles. Lisa Agee of New Milford sold Goatboy Soaps made from goat’s milk. Lisa started the company because her son was allergic to every other kind of soap.
“It’s not so much what we put in it, as what we don’t put in it,” Lisa said.
And David Finn of Eaglewood Farms trekked all the way from Barkhamsted in Litchfield County with his self-raised beef and pork, touting the advantage of the Farmers’ Market.
“You know where your food comes from,” David said. “You can come by any time and see the farm, get to know the people making it, and how we treat the animals.”