The CT Farmer’s Market Review: West End of Hartford

photo(11)This continues our sojourn to and through as many of Connecticut’s farmer’s markets as possible — this time to the West End Farmers’ Market. Since I work in the West End, this market was pretty convenient for me although the Anti-Couric had to trek across the river at rush hour as the market runs 4-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. (Beware, the website is not updated regularly.)

This ‘do takes place on the corner of Farmington Ave and South Whitney (not the fancy part of the West End) on the property of a church which isn’t sprawling, but they make good use of it. About six or seven pop up tents were set up and we immediately realized that if you wanted Glastonbury-grown produce, you can’t go to the Glastonbury farmer’s market. You need to go to the West End. Rose’s Berry Farm and Little Acres were both present. Apparently, Lebanon is the place where they make cheese. In Glastonbury, we bought cream cheese from Lebanon Ladies. Today, we bought chevre from Oak Leaf Dairy in Lebanon.

This was more of the traditional farmer’s market — no restaurants or booths that seemed more fit for a town fair like Boy Scouts, save one. The Hartford Courant was there begging people to subscribe to the dying form of journalism as they are at every minor or major event and Stop & Shop. However, they at least had the sense to make the incentive an opportunity to win a Whole Foods gift card.

There was a much wider variety of produce to be found including fresh garlic, yellow cucumbers, cabbage, radishes, and a rainbow of baby potatoes. Present also were your regular zucchini, lettuces and greens as well as some nowhere near ripe tomatoes from the Rose’s booth. Given the location and income disparities in the West End and its lack of proximity to a farm stand, this is definitely an ideal place for a farmer’s market. Wealthy West-enders can have their healthy, trendy produce and hippy goat’s milk soap and lower income families can have walkable, easy access to fresh vegetables that a local convenience store doesn’t provide.

West End Farmer’s Market

Concept: A

Effort: B

Execution: B+