Rainy forecast can’t stop Monroe Farmers’ Markets’ opening day

The Monroe Farmers' Market had a big turnout for its opening day last Friday.

MONROE, CT — Despite the chance of possible thunderstorms and a little rain, residents from Monroe and neighboring towns flooded the green to kick off opening day of the Monroe Farmers’ Market’s 17th season Friday afternoon.

“We are a rain or shine market, which means we could have five inches of rain or hail — and Gazy (Gazy Brothers Farm) will still pull up in their trailer of produce,” said Kelly Plunkett, the market manager.

The farmers’ market will be held Friday’s from 3 to 6 p.m. until Oct. 25. It offers a wide variety of natural products from local vendors spread out across the town green. From fresh vegetables to Italian ice to live music, the farmers’ market is a summer
staple to support locally based companies.

This is Plunkett’s 13th season working at the market and she said she is excited to offer five new vendors this season, including Ideal Fish, Murphy’s Mushrooms, Rowland Farm Creamery, American Dream Coffee Co., and Fifth State Distillery. Along with some fan favorite’s returning, such as the Drunk Alpaca and Little Kernels Popcorn.

An especially long line was for Wave Hill Bread, an artisan micro-bakery, just minutes
after the market opened its doors Friday. Monroe resident Beth Forger shared her thoughts on Wave Hill Bread.

“I’ve been to the market many times and my favorite is definitely Wave Hill,” she said. “I like to get their garlic pesto bread.”

Connecticut grown ingredients

The Monroe Farmers’ Market was awarded a grant from the state this year, allowing it to bring back the tasting tent and the Market Minis program, which started two years prior, and was and continues to be a huge hit, according to Plunkett.

“At the tasting tent we do samples from two vendors every week, which is great because
it allows customers to try things they may not have realized they enjoyed,” said Plunkett. “And then our Market Minis program lets kids come and learn about the food that they’re finding here by doing scavenger hunts where they have to go talk to different vendors.”

The market not only offers an opportunity to try locally produced or
grown food, visitors can also learn about it.

“Our purpose is to provide Connecticut-grown products to the community,” said Linda
Moffet, one of 14 volunteers working for the farmers’ market this year.

“I’ve been to the farmers’ market every year since moving to Monroe,” said Elizabeth Lee of Monroe. “I come every time I can make it.”

Those going to the Monroe Farmers’ Market can socialize with friends and explore tasty local foods.

“Among our 27 vendors, 14 of them are farmers, and everyone else includes Connecticut-grown ingredients,” Plunkett said. “Every vendor here is within 30 miles of Monroe. It really is staying local.”

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