The CT Farmers Market Review: Downtown Manchester

Yep...that's it.

Yep…that’s it.

It occurred to me that even though the Asian Persuasion and I have been frequenting a lot of farmers markets lately, and I had purchased a lot of cheese, none of it was for me. So I decided we should head to the Manchester Farmers Market, which hangs out in a parking lot on the corner of Main and Forest on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

We pulled in and were immediately disappointed. There were (maybe) a half-dozen tents. But our experience at Glastonbury taught us that you can sometimes find delicious cheese among a few tents, so we forged ahead. The AP bought some corn, some cucumbers (she seems to have developed an addiction), and I bought some apples. Buying apples at a farmers market in July is a bad idea, and I knew it was a bad idea but I like apples… especially green apples. I held out hope… but they were soft and mealy and … just… bleck!

Even more disappointingly, I didn’t find any cheese. Just vegetables, flowers, and fruit… which is nice but I can grow those myself. I cannot make cheese myself! (Well, I could, but I’m lazy.) So I’d like to tell whoever organizes these things, it’s very important to have a wide variety of products. I don’t need six vendors all selling arugula and beets.

Gerber daisies are always pretty.

Gerber daisies are always pretty.

There was nothing egregious about this farmer’s market. I mean, it’s not like they were selling canned vegetables and wilted lettuce. But there wasn’t anything to draw us back either. And it should be a great location with tons of visibility and lots of people within walking distance. So we got to thinking: How do farmers decide where to send their goods? Are there better markets to attend? Do they have people whose entire job it is to man the stands? Do the fru-fru folks in Glastonbury and West Hartford get the good stuff because they’ve got the dough?

Anyway… we ended up going to Botticello’s in Manchester in search of cheese, but they only had the hard stuff…I was after the soft stuff. So, after I dumped the AP off at her house I headed to Glastonbury in search of cheese and I found it (check out the story on that market for my update).

Manchester’s Downtown Farmers Market

Concept: B

Effort: C-

Execution: D