Since I grew up on a farm and spent lots of time working in our farm market (there’s a reason they nicknamed me “Abbie-on-call”), I have always been able to get fresh, local food. Because of that, I had never felt the need to visit a farmer’s market. But since I’ve been looking to support local farmers and buy locally grown foods, I decided to check out Madison’s farmer’s market today, rationalizing that I could buy things that our market doesn’t have right now.
Overall, it was a very pleasant experience. After a really tough day at work, it was nice to escape to the outdoors and enjoy the warm weather. Since my mom teaches at a close school, I met her there and we walked to the farmer’s market. There were lots of children and dogs, and not as many vendors as I had expected. I was in the market for some honey after using up what I had left of Aunt Wendy and Uncle Dave’s honey from last year. I ended up finding some honey from Riverside Apiaries in Marlborough, CT. It’s a big 32 oz. jar for only $10, which I thought was a really good price. I also bought some “Nehantic Abbey” cheese from Beaver Brook Farms in Lyme, CT. It’s creamy and sharp, and of course I had to buy it because of the name. I rounded out my items with a fresh baked baguette and some beautiful Buttercrunch lettuce. Of course once my own lettuce is ready, I won’t need to buy it.
I even spotted famous chef (and Madison resident) Jacques Pepin, but I couldn’t muster up the courage to say hi to him. He was buying asparagus, and I imagined walking over and saying his catch phrase “Happy Cooking!” or, “Hi, my father-in-law built your stairs!” but I didn’t… Anyway, he has a cute little black dog.
So although it was a nice atmosphere, with music, kids, and dogs, and although I got some nice items, I couldn’t help but wonder where the local farmers were. The ones from towns close by, who didn’t have to burn a whole lot of fossil fuels to get there. I think I need to check out the Dudley farmer’s market in Guilford. Maybe next Saturday morning I’ll head down there to see if there’s anyone there with products from closer to me, and visit with my sister-in-law Melissa, who sells clams and oysters from her and Chris’s aquaculture business, C.W. shellfish. That is of course unless I’m working at our own farm market.