According to a New York Times article, there are about 90 farmers' markets across Connecticut, and a burgeoning of these markets all over the region and the country. In case you haven't been to one, the idea is simple: Farmers from around the locale or the region gather in pre-arranged places like fields or parking lots or town squares to sell their produce directly to the consumer. In Connecticut, quite a few of the farmers' markets are organized by a great outfit called CitySeed.
These photos were taken this summer at the market off Wooster Street in New Haven, where we usually shop for local produce and bread on Saturday mornings. We go for the food, and because we like the people. A case in point: The day these pictures were taken, someone dropped a glass bottle of farm-made chocolate milk on the sidewalk. Big bang. Within a few seconds there were a half-dozen passers-by stooped over to pick up the shards.
It's a great move to buy as much food as you can from a farmers' market. Here are four top reasons:
- The food is fresh and, more often than not, organically grown. It tastes better that the stuff that's wrapped in plastic at the supermarket.
- It hasn't been transported hundreds of miles by trucks burning fossil fuel.
- It supports local farmers.
- It supports the wise use of land and open spaces.
People who live in four-season climates often think that farmers' markets disappear after the pumpkins of Halloween are carved. Not so. You can still buy local apples, potatoes, turnips, winter squash, and other foods well into late fall. See this Crop Calendar from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture for a quick guide to what's growing when.
To find a farmers' market near you, check the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers' Market Map.
~ Doug Logan, New Energy Watch