A summer Sunday ripe with possibilities at farmer's market
Here's a recipe for a picture-perfect summer Sunday morning: A lazy breakfast amid farm-fresh fare, plenty of inspiration to ease into the day ahead.
That's sort of Sunday starter on offer throughout the season at Christie's Country Store, which hosts a Sunday Farmer's Market at 161 Cross Highway.
This past Sunday, visitor were treated to free squash and a tasty slice of Dutch apple pie, courtesy of Mimi Walker of Aspetuck Valley Apple Barn. Julie Tolkin was selling cookie dough through her Unbakeables business out of Weston. Artist Patri Feher was making custom greeting cards, featuring images of flowers placed directly on a scanner.
"The market is a great way to meet a lot of local people and introduce them to our products," said Walker, a sentiment shared by others among the half-dozen vendors at the market this Sunday. Asked how this year's growing season has been, Walker said, "It was good. The crops came in early due to the warm spring. We got more yield and larger fruit and vegetables."
A quick look at the robust squash, glistening nectarines, ripe zucchini and chubby peaches laid out on her table was all you needed as proof of Walker's assessment.
Though now an Easton resident, Walker said she had a special love for Westport. "My grandmother Joy Walker's family grew up here," she said. "She was an English teacher at Staples. And my grandfather, Phillip Schuyler, was a writer for Westport News."
Renee Hooper, of White Oak Farm 2 Table, was spooning out delectable fruit spreads, finishing sauces, salad dressings and ketchup onto small cubes of bread for visitors to try. Her flavorings were born out of a desire for more creative food expressions. "Food has to be an experience," she said. "I got tired of eating the same old thing."
Nancy Hubbert, of Smith Acres Farm out of Niantic, had the largest offerings, displaying fruit, vegetables and flowers. About the year's harvest, she concurred with Walker that it was a good one. "We had more tomatoes, and the fruit has been coming in real well, too."
Inspecting Hubbert's tomatoes, Westporter Gwen Tutun said it was her first time visiting the market, though she was "happy to find some of the same area vendors with whom I'm already familiar."
Fairfielder Paige Simcox, who was inspecting some eggplants after a workout at the Y, said of the farm market, "There just aren't enough of them here," she said. "I lived in New York where there was fresh produce on every corner, even in the dead of winter. It's good though to see the few that are here."
The Sunday farmer's Market at Christie's Country Store takes place weekly from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There is another, larger farmer's market in Westport every Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Imperial Avenue commuter lot.