Rosemary scented breads and tart berry pie samples persuaded the senses that even though Tuesday was a chilly, overcast day, summer is well on it’s way. If the sun had shown up, would the lemonade have been more refreshing? Would the soft acoustic guitar of Glenn Roth have been any more soul soothing? Maybe, but maybe it was all just humbly, homey, and wonderful, just as it was.
Let’s talk about those pies. They are from the Whistle Stop Bakery at the Branchville Rail Road Station, where Lolly Turner has been baking for 30 years. Whether you are looking for a veggie quiche, chicken pot pie or peach pie, if it’s baked in a crust, you are likely to find it here, and equally likely to find yourself swooning before you even sample your first bite.
The usual veggies are well stocked by more than a few farms, the yellow and red stalks of chard almost magically colorful amidst the variety of greens. And the breads, did we mention the breads?
The array of plump crusty boules made by Beldotti Bakers, who have had a stall in Newtown for seven years, may come as no surprise to the regulars. For those who are unfamiliar with these bakers, owner Giovani Castano explained the effects of his heritage on the 20 different kinds of breads he sells. "There's seeded batard, ciabatta, multigrain boule, sesame, semolina.." the list went on and on.
“My father was from Palermo, and my mother is Columbian,” Castano said. “The pesto and fresh mozzarella comes from my father’s side.” Pointing to a glazed orange pound cake, he said, “That is made with yogurt instead of with butter or oil. That is how it’s done in Medellin, Columbia.”
Jim and Sue Shortt, whose farm at 52A Riverside Rd in Sandy Hook is already overflowing with produce and flora, also displayed their edibles at the Farmers Market. “We had an early growing season,” Jim Shortt said, but added that until July 4, people don’t really get into the swing of shopping for local produce. “It’s amazing how much is ready now, when you imagine it is only a 90 day growing season,” he said.
The season started early this year, according to Mary Fellows, organizer of the Farmers Market. Fellows said that the market opened a week or two earlier than usual because spring came so fast this year, and the growing season was well underway.
Fellows said that Tuesday kicked off the tenth year of the Farmers Market, and it’s third at Fairfield Hills. The Farmers Market at the Fairfield Hills Campus takes place each Tuesday, now through October 18, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m., rain or shine.