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Farmers Markets Highlight Connecticut’s Agriculture Industry

Photo Courtesy Chester Sunday Market

When you think of Connecticut, you might not think of agriculture, but over 10% of the state’s total acreage is farmland. These 5,000+ farms help to power the state’s thriving farmers market scene. 

According to Connecticut’s Department of Agriculture, the state has nearly a hundred farmers markets. One hundred might not seem like a lot; however, consider that the state only contains 169 towns. Let’s introduce you to a quartet of the Constitution State’s fine farmers markets. 

Photo Courtesy Connecticut Department of Agriculture

Stonington Farmers Market

The Stonington Farmers Market operates all year round on Saturdays (9 a.m. – noon) at the Velvet Mill shopping district at 22 Bayview Ave. This market, which has been around for over 25 years, does take New England weather into consideration by being located inside the Velvet Mill from mid-October until late May. 

Whether it is staged inside or outside, you can expect a variety of vendors selling all types of locally raised produce and meats, as well as crafts ranging from handmade jewelry to baby clothes.

This Southeastern Connecticut Market typically has 20 permanent vendors and five to eight guest vendors. 

Several vendors are especially “permanent.” Davis Farm and Stoneyledge Farm have been at the market since day one, while 18th Century Purity Farm has been part of the Stonington Village Farmers’ Market family since year two. 

Additionally, local musicians make appearances all year round. Dog owners should note that their canine pals are welcome to the outdoor and indoor markets.

Photo Courtesy Stonington Village Improvement Association 

Chester Sunday Market

While the Chester Sunday Market hasn’t reached the quarter-century mark, it has been around for more than 20 years. This popular operation, which has earned top Farmers Market honors in a Shoreline Times Readers’ Poll, fills Chester’s Main Street on Sunday mornings 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. from mid-June through mid-October. The street is closed off to traffic so that folks can wander freely. 

The vendors are solely food-related, as well as Connecticut-based. Although the regular market closes up shop when autumn turns chilly, the Chester Village Holiday Market operates on Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

However, the market isn’t the town’s only ongoing family-friendly event. Merchants of this Lower Connecticut River Valley community also present First Fridays evenings (5 p.m. – 8 p.m.) on the first Friday of the month, offering more music, more shopping opportunities, art exhibits, and other attractions. 

Photo Courtesy Chester Sunday Market 

Town Of Cromwell Farmers Market

Friday evenings are also when the Central Connecticut town of Cromwell hosts its weekly farmers market from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. along the banks of the Connecticut River. Each week, the Town of Cromwell Farmers Market welcomes around 850 visitors to check out a selection of locally sourced products, regional artisans, and farm-fresh produce. 

Each week, a different local musical act and food trucks are also spotlighted. This farmers market kicks off its 2024 season on June 7 and is slated to run through Sept. 6. 

All this activity takes place in scenic Riverport Park at Frisbee Landing at 1 River Road — the parking lot is at 262 Main Street. If you are wondering, Frisbee Landing is actually named after a local family; however, it is a favorite spot for Ultimate Frisbee playing. 

Photo Courtesy Cromwell Farmers Market   

Kent CT Farmers Market

Kent holds its farmers market on Fridays. A relative newcomer to the scene, the current operation began in 2016; however, it has only been held at the Kent Land Trust Field at 37 South Main St. since 2022. 

Just the second land trust in Connecticut to be accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, the nationally recognized Kent Land Trust is the ideal host for this event. The market and its vendors fit in naturally with the Land Trust’s mission to support the Kent community and protect Northwest Connecticut’s nature and beauty. 

Kent CT Farmers Market typically features 18–25 local vendors offering fresh produce, baked goods, meat, seafood, home goods, and more, including live music performances. At the time of publication, the weekly event occurs from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. starting on May 17 and concluding on Oct. 18. Leashed dogs are welcome, but “early birds” are not. 

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