Monroe Farmers’ Market brings sunshine on a cloudy day

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The Monroe Farmers’ Market, previously voted the best in Connecticut, had its opening day of the 2023 season Friday. The farmers’ market opens its metaphorical doors every Friday, starting from the third week of June through to the third week of October. 

With 29 different vendors spread across the Monroe Town Green, there is an abundance of different produce, baked goods, desserts, and more. The shopping is accompanied by live music. Griffin Anthony, a staple of the Monroe’s market for over a decade, performed Friday.

Kim Meachen, the entertainment coordinator for the market, shared the rationale behind picking their musicians.

“We try to stay as local as possible with our musicians, and we have a lot of good people come year after year,” she said. “And we just like the vibe that our musicians bring to the market, and it gets people to stay, enjoy some pizza, and do a little bit more shopping.”

Meachen was one of many volunteers working to ensure everything went as smoothly as possible on opening day.

“We were definitely on par with having a great day” said Kelly Plunkett, the market manager. “One of our vendors [the bakery, Fatto A Mano] has very little left, and at four o’clock, if it had not been raining, he would have sold out.”

This year, the Monroe Farmers’ Market included six new vendors: The Tasty Empanada, Grumpy Dumpling, Sunset Farms, Reverie Brewing Company, Hoadley Hills Farm, and Stylish Spoon. Whether it be authentic Latino cuisine from The Tasty Empanada or handcrafted baked goods from the Stylish Spoon, you could find nearly all types of food items at the market.

Aside from the food, the market provided an opportunity to support a worthy cause. The Monroe Rotary Club sold “stocks” to defray the cost of fireworks celebrating Monroe’s bicentennial.

Phil Lindstrom, a Rotarian, sells “stocks” to raise money for the town’s bicentennial fireworks.

“They’re five dollars a share, and you can buy as many shares as you’d like to buy,” said Phil Lindstrom, a member of the Rotary Club.

The Monroe Farmers’ Market’s Market Minis program offered activities for children, making the true farmers’ market experience accessible to all ages.

“This week they are growing a bean in an ice cream cone,” said Lauren Gotimer, a volunteer. “We’re filling the ice cream cones with some garden soil and planting bean seeds in them to grow. Every week we have something different, trying to get kids really involved.”

Gotimer also mentioned the market’s Tasting Tent.

“We have the tasting tent. We started it last year,” she said. “We, twice a season, will have a sample from every one of our vendors. So every week we have something; we try to have two different people’s. Today we have ice cream from Oronoque [Oronoque Farms] and cookies from The Drunk Alpaca. We’ll switch out, depending on the time of the season.”

Plunkett said, “it was very crowded. People were happy. They were coming in in droves. We love that. It’s a highly anticipated opening to the summer season. Between us and Monroe Congregational’s Strawberry Festival, this is the kickoff to the summer.”

Click on this link to find the full list of vendors.

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