“It gets bigger and bigger every single year,” said Jim Calkins, owner of Seasonal Sweets & Catering, from behind his table inside the market Saturday.
But unlike fields that lie empty in winter, the market is open and alive with farmers, shoppers and live music this winter season.
The market’s products range from wine to fresh vegetables, and, of course, food perfect for colder temperatures. In time for the season of coats and scarves, Calkins was offering coffee and soups — broccoli cheddar and butternut squash maple bisques — all made in Connecticut.
All of the vendors in the market make their own products as it is a “producer’s only” farmers market. Vendors can’t purchase products and resell them, Calkins said.
Since vendors make their own products, shoppers can make a personal connection with those who make their food possible. “You can look the farmer in the eye,” Calkins said.
The farmers market also offers shoppers the chance to buy produce that is tastier and more environmentally friendly than produce sold at the supermarket. Produce sold at the farmers market often travels a shorter distance from farm to table, Calkins said.
There were no shortage of customers at the market Saturday, who shopped to the soundtrack of several musicians playing live acoustic guitar music.
Calkins said he estimates that 100 people will visit the market each day in the winter. In the winter, it is open the first Saturday of each month. But, during warmer months, he said hundreds more visit.
In the summer, the market opens up the large fire-house-garage style doors and vendors sell their products on the patio. But until, then there is the heated building that houses the market.
No other town in the state has a dedicated building for its farmers market. “It is the only one of its kind in the state of Connecticut,” Calkins said.
For more information on the Shelton farmers market, visit their Facebook page here.
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