Westport Farmers Market: Fresh fare always in season
Published 1:37 pm, Sunday, November 17, 2013
The change in seasons means only that it's time to reap the rewards of the harvest, and the Westport Farmers Market has changed venues for the winter to do just that.
The market, marking its first session of the season at Gilbertie's Herb Gardens, was expected to draw about 1,000 customers availing themselves of later-fall fare from the region's farms and more.
"This is our fourth winter here and it's a great thing," said Rebecca Howe, the board chairwoman for the market.
"We see all new faces in here on Saturdays," she said, "so we reach a whole new part of Westport that can't come."
During spring and summer, the local farm market is open weekly on Thursdays at the commuter parking lot off Imperial Avenue. It will be open Saturdays through March 15 at Gilberties, 7 Sylvan Lane.
"It's a little crazy until people figure out that we moved," said John Filch of Ox Hollow Farm in Roxbury, but once people realize the market's annual move, they begin coming in large numbers for the wide selection of produce, meats, fish, baked goods and specialty items.
"We were actually surprised at how many people were here before we opened," said Lori Cochran, the market executive director.
"It's an awesome opening day," she said. "There are lots of new faces and lots of old faces."
Cochran said there were a total of 48 vendors involved with the market throughout the season, with 22 of them there on a given weekend.
"Everything's going great," she said. "We have a ton of support. It's been really amazing."
"It's always wonder," Beth Natt of Easton, who brought her family, said of the market. "They have good variety. They have good people."
One of the new features this season is a jar exchange table, which invites customers to bring in three jars of something they made at home. They leave these on the table and, later in the day, will get the chance to choose three jars of foods made by others to take home and try.
"A lot of communities do this as a way to try new things," Howe said.
She said there will be different themes over the coming weeks for participants.
"I think it's fabulous," Jennifer Duncan of Riverbank Farm said of the winter market. "It's a wonderful collection of local produce -- wonderful for our bodies and our environment. You can't beat it. You support our local economy."