From experience, finding produce and homegrown and crafted products in the winter, in New England, especially in northwestern Connecticut is quite difficult. For weeks, I've been hearing people nothing but good things about the Litchfield Farmers' Market. Winter doesn't stop farmers, nor should is discourage shoppers. So, I went this morning and will now make it a part of my Saturday routine.
But, the little-known farmers' market in Litchfield is the place for you. Located in the Litchfield Community Center, the space offers an array of vendors, from artisan bakers, cheese makers, farmers offering local produce (mostly conventional but some organic), honey, humanely raised meats, seafood, and specialty crafters. I was happy to see some of my favorite farms and vendors, including Wave Hill Bread, Starlight Gardens, Bantam Bread Co., the Olive Oil Factory and West Shore Seafood, and a steady stream of people visiting.
Starlight Gardens has delicious salad mix and spinach; for those who crave greens, especially organic ones, you should get them from here. But, besides the always terrific Wave Hill bread, my new favorite find was from Bantam Bread Co. I've been getting bread from them for several years now, and, instead of buying a hearty multi-grain loaf, I opted for their granola. Words cannot describe how incredible this granola is. Sure, you're thinking, she's a vegan, must be a hippie, and it's just granola, which all tastes the same. Not really true. Though I don't dread my hair, I guess I could be described as "crunchy granola" type (a label given to me by my friend Christina) BUT I'm usually underwhelmed by prepared trail mixes or granola. Finding granola made in small batches, without honey and doesn't taste like every other bulk brand on the market is challenging. I don't know what Bantam does differently, but the way they bake and toast the oats, slivered almonds and dried fruits and mix it with warming spices, sucanat, almond and vanilla extracts, well, let's just say it's magical and enough to make my eyes glaze over.
If the granola isn't enough to make you go to Litchfield, go anyway and judge for yourself. The market will held from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. during these dates through the rest of the winter, early spring season: 2/6, 2/27, 3/13, 4/10, 4/24, 5/8, 5/22 and 5/29. Dates are subject to change, so call 860.567.8302 or visit www.litchfieldhillsfood.org for updates and details. Go!