As published in the Record Journal, Friday July 15, 2011
By Russell Blair
WALLINGFORD — For the 12th straight year, local farmers, merchants and artisans will congregate on the railroad station green for the Wallingford Gardeners Market, which kicks off its 10-week run Saturday.
Wallingford Center Inc. Executive Director Elizabeth Landow said this year’s market has about 35 registered vendors, selling everything from fresh produce to jellies, jams, honey, bread and eggs.
This year, Wallingford Center is sponsoring the event, which will also feature live music. Landow said the produce offered would be in season.
“We’ll have tomatoes in September, for example,” she said. “We encourage people to shop local,” Landow said. “This is the farmer down the street who went out at 4 a.m. and cut the flowers. This is here for the local merchants, the downtown merchants. We want people to come out and support the people from their own backyards.”
An advantage to a farmers’ market is that in addition to buying produce, shoppers can get valuable tips and tricks from the town’s farmers.
“They’re very informational; if you have questions, they can help you out,” Landow said. “They tell you when to plant, what to plant and where to plant.”
Saturday’s market will coordinate with the final day of Wallingford Center’s three-day sidewalk sale, which kicked off Thursday.
The market has grown remarkably, Landow said, from just three or four vendors when it started to the nearly 40 vendors today.
“It’s grown locally, you know where it’s coming from,” said Ellie Tesmer, a Wallingford Garden Club member. “The farmers that we have this year are in the region. If you come on Saturday, you’ll see the best that they have.”
Tesmer said the cost of farmers’ market produce is reasonable, because money is saved on transportation. He said that supermarkets are catching on and offering more local produce, but that the market’s offers are usually freshly picked, some even that morning.
Tesmer said the market is a chance for people to swap stories and recipes with the farmers, and that if they have any questions about a product, they’re able to ask the grower in person.
“It’s about supporting your local businesses,” Tesmer said. Businesses in Wallingford’s downtown will also have the opportunity to set up booths at the market, Landow said. Shoppers will also have the opportunity to get massages and haircuts.
The market will be open from 9 a.m. to noon from Saturday until Sept. 17.