The third season for the Farmers’ Market at Bishops Corner begins on Saturday, June 18.
By Ronni Newton
As spring turns to summer and Connecticut’s produce is ready to harvest, another West Hartford farmers market will be open on Saturdays, providing fresh, local produce and prepared goods, as well as other special guest vendors and activities for market-goers.
The Farmers’ Market at Bishops Corner will be open every Saturday from 9 a.m. through noon, from June 18 through Sept. 24, in the parking lot of Crown Market Plaza and the Bishops Corner Starbucks, 2475 Albany Ave., West Hartford.
Now in its third season, there are some structural changes to the market this year that have been made based on feedback from visitors.
“We’ve made the market so you can build a full meal for the entire day – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert,” said Liz Spencer, a member of the board of the Farmers’ Market at Bishops Corner.
“We will have eight core vendors that will be there every week, and four guest vendors that will rotate weekly,” Spencer said. Some of the guest vendors will make repeat appearances – like West Hartford’s own Iron & Grain food truck which will be serving its gourmet breakfast menu on four dates. Muddy Roots will also be a frequent vendor, and will be at the Farmers’ Market at Bishops Corner every other week (including on opening day), providing pre-ordered, fully processed poultry and eggs, Spencer said.
“We’ve really partnered with local businesses for our sponsors and vendors,” said Spencer.
The core vendors are:
- Cafe Louise – baked goods, soups, gourmet cheeses, and gluten free options
- George Hall Farm – produce stand
- Sweet Harmony – baked goods, including gluten free and vegan
- Liquid Nirvana – juice and smoothie bar
- GeoRoots – specialty crop produce using chemical free/sustainable growing practices
- Adamah Farm – organic and kosher lactofermented vegetables and jams, maple syrup and salve
- Little Farm on Main – fresh goat’s milk, chevre, and Greek style yogurt
- Mara’s Bake Shop – breads, sweets, candied fruit
Guest vendors on opening day, in addition to Muddy Roots, will be Anderson’s Sugar House (maple products including syrup, cream, candy) and Roadside Flowers.
A number of special events and offers are planned for opening day, including a complimentary herb seed bomb from GeoRoots that will be given to the first 150 guests. Those who bring in the postcard announcing the market will also receive a complimentary bag courtesy of TDBank.
Spencer said that representatives from the UConn Extension Master Gardener Program will be on site on opening day, and will answer gardening questions. They will be specifically discussing Pollinators, Spencer said, and will also have a giveaway for kids.
Future planned special events include a visit from the Yard Goats mascot and free ticket giveaway on July 23, and the Dog Days of Summer on Aug. 6 – a date when dogs, who are always welcome – are specifically invited for special treats.
On Sept. 10, local crafters will be featured, including Tree Turtle, Happy Sunflower, and Here is Good Design.
The Farmers’ Market at Bishops Corner is small, but Spencer said this year’s structure will allow for the best utilization of the available space, and a great variety for market-goers. “We have something for everyone,” Spencer said.
Because Whole Foods on Raymond Road discontinued its parking lot farmers market this year, Spencer hopes that the Bishops Corner market will become even more popular as an alternative for the community.
The Farmers’ Market at Bishops Corner will close for the season on Sept. 24, rather than staying open until October as it has in the past. It’s also opening later in the year. Spencer said that the condensed timeframe is in response to feedback, and a study of when the most people visited the market.
The Farmers’ Market at Bishops Corner is a Certified Farmers’ Market, a designation received from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture. By becoming certified, the market has indicated its commitment to selling Connecticut-grown farm products and harvest, participating farmers have also passed various state certification requirements, and the farmers “participate in supplemental nutritional programs that expand access to farm fresh fruits and vegetables to eligible individuals.”