Wednesday afternoon, the Wilton Farmer’s Market kicked off its 2016 season at the Wilton Historical Society, where it will be every Wednesday 12-5 p.m. through the fall. Despite small bouts of rain throughout the afternoon, shoppers strolled booth to booth and enjoyed the great variety of vendors, farmers and food purveyors set up, each with their own produce, goods and stories.
The market is sponsored by the Wilton Chamber of Commerce, and the group’s executive director, Debra Hanson, was really pleased with how the season looks, with all 15 available spots booked. New this year are two food trucks, Boothbay Lobster Co. and Jeff’s BBQ. In fact, with picnic tables in the center of the market and a noon start time, Hanson says the market will be even livelier than ever before as people can sit and eat lunch with what they buy.
“People can come for lunch, we’re going to have live food demonstrations, entertainment and music, it’s really going to be a great year for the market,” she said, as she watched shoppers pick up produce and fresh baked bread.
TJ’s Cookie Bar, a Norwalk based company, has returned for its second summer at the Wilton Farmer’s Market, after joining late last year. Its owner, John Wagner, founded the company after his retirement with an old family recipe, a unique cookie with pastry like dough, cinnamon and a variety of fillings, that was passed down through generations.
Stephanie Crateler, with Oronoke Farms in Shelton, Ct, brought jam, honey, cookies and a variety of pies that had only finished baking that same morning. She mentioned some of the positive notes of the Farmer’s Market “It’s a great way to get engaged with the community and get fresh food.”
Govanni Beldotti, one of the two Beldotti brothers who have been coming to this farmers market from the Beldotti Bakery in Stamford CT for many years now, expressed enthusiasm for the amount of interest the Farmer’s market garners: “People come from everywhere for this, all over Connecticut.”
Among the vendors is Wilton’s own Ambler Farm. One Ambler Farm intern, Hari Nair, described a part of Ambler Farm’s mission which fits into why they’re always a participant at the Farmer’s Market. “We don’t have machines like big farms do, so we do it all by hand, with hand tools and such. We’re encouraging people to get locally grown, organic food, rather than just going to Stop and Shop.”
Another vendor, Horseshoe Farm, has only been in existence for the past three months, on a small property in Ridgefield. They sell a variety of salad produce. “It’s almost like a micro-farm. We are about 3.5 acres.” said Pete, one of its founders. Pete, “ We plan to come back every Wednesday with what we have.”
Kate from Wildtree, a rep for a company based out of Roanoke RI, described Wildtree as, “mostly organic, spice blends, seasonings, oils, really we are all about helping people make quick and easy dinners and we also do meal prep workshops.”
In a different vein than edibles was Jester, a yellow lab in training to be a Guiding Eyes for the Blind dog, who was eager to give out kisses from his kissing booth. Jester was there with Darlene, his Guiding Eyes volunteer.
“He’s a pup that I am raising for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, and hopefully he’ll become a guide dog for a blind person. He’s almost a year and he’ll go in for his test in September,” she said.
For the most part, all these businesses (and more!) will be returning each Wednesday for this weekly Farm Stand at the Wilton Historical Society. Make sure to stop by and try something new!