Westport, CT – Theories on the origins of the toast abound, but one thing is certain: toasts are a symbol of celebrations. The yearly tradition of toasting the opening of the Westport Farmers’ Market is no different – with one exception perhaps: this will be a celebration of what founders think will be the best season yet.
“The Westport Farmers’ Market community of sponsors, shoppers, farmers, vendors, chefs, and families gathers each year at noon on the first day of the market to raise a glass in honor of the harvest to come,” said Lori Cochran-Dougall, executive director of the WFM. “For 12 years the market has continued to grow to embrace the principles we all believe in – shopping local, supporting farmers, honoring the land, and giving back to our community. The toast this year will touch on all of that and more.”
The public is welcome to take part in the tradition, with this year’s toast provided by Cross Culture Kombucha, one of the WFM’s newest and most exciting vendors. Their ginger brew, or “booch” as CCK affectionately calls it, will feature fresh ginger grown by one of the WFM’s original vendors, Fort Hill Farm of New Milford.
Following the toast, Sunrise Rotary, one of WFM’s sponsors and founding sponsor of the WFM’s Farmer to School to Community (FSC) program will present a check to the very program it helped create. The FSC is a partnership established by the WFM between Staples High School Culinary program, the Gillespie Center, and local farmers where students learn about local ingredients while helping their neighbors in need.
Every second Friday of the month, WFM organizes and funds the Staples High School Culinary Arts students in preparing dinner at the Gillespie Center in Westport, the community kitchen for the Homes for Hope organization. Over 150 students in the Culinary Arts Program participate in every aspect of preparing a meal – from menu creation to serving.
“We are beyond grateful to Sunrise Rotary for helping to launch this program and for their generosity in continuing to fund it with this gift,” said Cochran-Dougall. “We invite the community to gather with the Westport Farmers’ Market board of directors, sponsors, vendors, and fellow market shoppers of all ages, at in the center of the market noon at 50 Imperial Avenue, Westport to give thanks in advance for what promises to be an incredible year.”
The Westport Farmers Market is committed to providing fresh, local, healthy and seasonal food. We aspire to create a fun, safe, and healthy community environment for education and socialization. Our mission is to increase awareness, knowledge, and support for local producers focused on sustainable and healthy growing practices.