MONROE, CT — Fresh produce and natural products will be available on the green in front of Monroe Town Hall this Friday, when the Monroe Farmers’ Market celebrates opening day of its new season. The market will be held Fridays through Oct. 20 from 3 to 6 p.m.
“We have 29 vendors this year, including a few new ones — The Taste Empenada, Grumpy Dumpling, Sunset Farms, Reverie Brewing Company, Hoadley Hills Farm and Stylish Spoon,” said Kelly Plunkett, the market manager since 2021. “Three Bridges Coffeehouse in Shelton will also be returning.”
Dr. Thea Marx, formerly the resident naturopathic physician of Common Bond Market, will book free 15 minute sessions, working with clients on their health concerns.
The market will also have some new offerings.
“Guardians Farm will finally be adding milk, butter and cheese and Oronoque Farms will now be bringing ice cream with mixins of their traditional items, such as apple pie and brownies,” Plunkett said.
She said the farmers’ market will have eight new sponsors this year. Among them are Canterbury Pediatrics, Amendola Family Chiropractic & Wellness, Charter Community TV, Frontier, Connex Credit Union, RowHouse, The Healing Touch Family Chiropractic and Board & Brush.
The Monroe Farmers’ Market, which was voted the Best in Connecticut two years running, is held on the Town Green at the corner of Fan Hill Road and Church Street.
In an online contest by the American Farmland Trust last year, the Monroe Farmers’ Market was recognized as Connecticut’s number one Farmers Market, was number two in New England and number five in the country.
“The focus has always been on being a traditional farmers’ market which means that anything that’s agriculture related, whether it’s livestock, flowers, fruits and vegetables, has to be grown in Connecticut to be at our market,” Plunkett said. “Even our specialty vendors are required to use farm fresh ingredients in their products. So you are either a grower, producer or purchaser here at the market.”
Special events this year include Pickle Fest on July 14, Monroe Bicentennial Day Aug. 4, National Farmers Market Week Aug. 11, Tater Fest Sept. 15 and the Market Goes Pink on Oct. 6, in partnership with Think Pink Monroe, a grassroots organization providing assistance to cancer patients, spreading awareness of the disease, and promoting preventative care.
Plunkett praised Kim Meachen, the farmers’ market’s longtime entertainment coordinator, for choosing artists to perform over the years.
This Friday, Griffin Anthony, a musician who has performed at the Monroe Farmers’ Market for over a decade, will provide the entertainment.
“He’s a national recording artist who conveniently lives right in Newtown and we just adore the vibe he brings to the market,” Plunkett said. “We’re excited to have him for opening day.”
Market Minis and more
The Monroe Farmers’ Market’s free Market Minis program was launched last year, encouraging children to engage in the full market experience by trying new foods, talking to farmers and buying local produce with market tokens they earn.
“We had such great feedback from parents that we wanted to make sure we invested the time and resources into growing the program even more,” Plunkett said. “There will be no limit to the number of children who participate this year and we are looking to provide T-shirts for them to enjoy.”
“We even launched an online form so parents/guardians can sign up in advance and immediately join the program,” she added.
Click on this link to the website for information and signup details.
“Our Tasting Tent will also return this season as it was an overwhelmingly positive response last year,” Plunkett said. “Customers simply loved being able to try a product they had never tried before, and vendors/farmers found it helped their sales. Each week there will be two samplings done, so be sure to stop by the tent as you shop.”
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