Saturday, August 1, 2009

Farmers' Market Report...Brattleboro, VT

This farmers' market could quite possibly be the most picturesque market in the country. Nestled in a hollow alongside a brook and next to the Creamery Covered Bridge, is the Brattleboro Farmers' Market. Held twice weekly from May 1st through the end of October, its semi permanent structures looked as if they belonged in an English countryside open air market.

We were greeted by an acapella women's choir, whose angelic voices drifted over the summer breeze, along with the heavenly fragrance of many different ethnic foods being cooked to order in several stalls near the front. The sights, sounds and smells rendered me absolutely speechless and brought tears to my eyes. I could have stayed there all day.

The berries were plentiful and delicious...we took a pint of red raspberries along with us, after tasting black and purple raspberries for fun. Though we all preferred the red ones, it was quite something to taste varieties we had never seen before.

A few vendors were selling maple syrup. This farm was giving out samples that were so rich and sweet I practically fell into a sugar coma on the spot. Of course I had to buy some...just half a gallon (for only $26!!).

Here in the northeast, root veggies are still plentiful, along with squash, berries and some tomatoes too. I also noticed several varieties of peas, beans and fresh herbs.

Local organic meats and cheeses were available, as was yarn, pottery and wine. We bought two bottles of rhubarb wine, made with locally grown, organic rhubarb. It is tart, dry and refreshing and will be perfect on the hot summer days that awaits us when we get back to southern California.

In addition to all the farm-fresh items, there were several food vendors selling everything from granola to pizza, Thai food, Indian food, West African food, omelets and freshly squeezed juice. Another exciting feature of the market was their use of debit tokens, whereby you can run your debit card through at the information booth for a set amount and get one token per dollar. All the vendors accept tokens and cash, and some even took credit cards. And folks with food stamps are welcomed too, which was a revelation for me.

In the middle of the market were tables for diners and a sandbox to keep the kids busy. The place was packed with people who looked as fresh and healthy as the Vermont air. The singers' voices, like so many sirens, drifted over me, beckoning me to stay forever. I would have liked to, but for now, I must go. I do hope to return someday--it's worth a trip all the way up there just to see this spectacular market.


Linda said...

Wow...I wish we had this here. It looks so inviting and that fruit...juicy and good.

Tara said...

Oh my gosh - I think I hear the sirens calling too! Wow, what an amazing market.