New Blue Back Farmers’ Market opens on Sunday, June 19.
Connecticut is well known for its vast farmlands, plush meadows and countless fruit and vegetable stands. In fact, according to the Connecticut State Department of Agriculture, Connecticut boasts nearly 6,000 farms that occupy more than 380,000 acres of land. Now, one West Hartford couple with a passion for locally grown produce and fresh fun is bringing the bountiful harvest from the green suburban fields into the city streets by opening a Certified CT Grown Sunday Farmer’s Market in West Hartford on Sunday, June 19, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
More than 20 vendors will line the rows of West Hartford’s new Blue Back Farmers’ Market every Sunday, including some of the most reputable organic and conventional farmers in the state, like Barden Farm, Clatter Ridge, George Hall Farm, Sub Edge and Sweet Acre, Lyric Hill, among others. Specialty vendors offering a range of products from linens to microgreens will rotate in each week so that visitors to the market will always find something new to experience.
“As both foodies and community supporters, we always seek out and prefer to purchase locally sourced produce and products – they simply taste better and last longer,” said Mary Collins, co-manager of Blue Back Farmers’ Market. West Hartford is the perfect access point for Certified Connecticut Grown farmers and other vendors since the town is literally located in the middle of the state.”
Collins notes that the Blue Back Farmers’ Market plans to live up to its motto—Come for the food, stay for the fun—by offering extensive programming every Sunday. Upcoming summer events include:
- Live, acoustic music each weekend
- Meet the Chef Q&A
- Meet the Nutritionist
- Guest Author Reading by New York Times best-selling food and wellness author Terry Walters
- Programs on composting and recycling
- Art demos
- Story-sharing program for veterans and seniors
- Dog Days of Summer event in August
Visit www.bluebackfarmersmarket.org for a full calendar of activities and to read updates in the non-profit organization’s monthly newsletter, “Gatherings.”
Blue Back Farmers’ Market Co-Managers Scott Franklin and Mary Collins first met while working on a bicycle festival for the town of West Hartford. They soon realized that they both shared a deep love for community building, have different but complementary skills sets (he’s a lawyer; she’s a creative writing professor) and loved working together. After getting married in May, 2019 and weathering COVID together, they emerged determined to find a new community project as a couple.
They recruited a Board of Directors that includes a farmer, experienced former farmers’ market manager and a range of professionals who have worked with them for a year on building out a farmers’ market that will draw visitors from all over the state.
Blue Back Farmers’ Market is located in the West Hartford Town Hall parking lot a few hundred yards from Blue Back Square and will have two primary entrances, one on Raymond Road and the other on Main Street. There will be ample free parking in the West Hartford Town Hall Parking Lot and surrounding streets.
“Many of us have felt ‘closed for the season’ since the start of the pandemic,’” Collins adds. “That makes the opening of the first annual Sunday Blue Back Farmers’ Market perfect for June. What better time to re-open ourselves and our community life than by wandering outside past the exceptional vendors and then lingering to watch guest speakers or art demos?!”
There are several convenient and affordable sponsorship levels available for companies and individuals interested in supporting the new venture ranging from $100 to $5,000. Please visit www.bluebackfarmersmarket.org for more information.
The Grand Opening of the Blue Back Farmers’ Market takes place on Sunday, June 19, 2022 and runs every Sunday until October 23, 2022.
About Blue Back Farmers’ Market
West Hartford has increasingly become a destination for people from all across New England. Blue Back Farmers’ Market co-managers Mary Collins and Scott Franklin felt that the town could support a substantial Sunday Farmers’ Market that celebrated not only locally grown and produced food, but also the local culture. The Blue Back Farmers’ Market is their ambitious venture to create a successful “Third Place”—neither work nor home—where people linger, connect and belong. Stop for some fresh lettuce, pick up that special cheese, but then pause at the Story Tent or watch an artist demonstrate his or her craft. Visit www.bluebackfarmersmarket.org for more information on participating farms, events and activities.
The Janeway family of Sweet Acre Farm in Lebanon, CT, a small, diversified, family farm that produces Certified Organic vegetables and cut flowers, will be one of the featured exhibitors at the new Blue Back Farmers’ Market starting on Sunday, June 19, 2022. The weekly event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the West Hartford Town Hall parking lot until Sunday, October 23, 2022.
Photo Credit: Sweet Acre Farm