Saturday, February 26, 2011

Coventry Farmer's Market Community

 Please read to the End, because there is a very 
Happy Ending to this blog!

Every week, Winter or Summer, I look forward to going to the Coventry Regional Farmer's Market as much as time will allow.

 It nourishes my body and soul. The food , the crafts, the delights for the sense with the aromas, the visual playground and the tastes overlap and delight.

Here, you find real food and products, produced with integrity and love. Local. Regional. Hometown.
Supporting the local economy.

 But an amazing thing happened when when I went more often and became familiar with all of the vendors and organizers.


I began taking pictures at the market in the summer. It was a visual delight and everywhere I turned there was something more amazing to focus on.  I submitted some photos to the website. I became acquainted with the rest of the photographers and the Market Masters.

When they announced they were looking for volunteers to photograph and document the farms and "behind the scenes" of the market vendors, I raised my hand quickly!

 "Market Roots" is a  photographic project sleeping, ready to birth, waiting for a corporate sponsor. 
It will be a photographic journey through the farms and artisans that make up the market.
We want everyone to know where their local food comes from.

That was "Project One" for me. I went to Windham Gardens, Four Fields Farms and Rich Valley Farms.
I was able to meander through fields of fresh summer flowers, rows of gorgeous lettuces of every color, and 
play with baby goats (triplets and quadruplets) and go through the whole milking, feeding, 
and cheese-making process. Here are a couple pictures from the market, 
the actual Market Roots pictures will be released in the near future.

Jayson-Rivard Darby makes new friends

                                                                   Four Fields Lettuces

                                                         Erin Windham and her son.


But truly the most amazing event to come out of the market and it's community is the rally and the outpouring of support for Topmost Herb Farm after Carole Miller's greenhouse was crushed by the weight of the February snows that rocked the weather record books. Almost 35 volunteers gathered for a day of dismantling the demolished greenhouse to make way for a new one.


A rapid rally ensued and anyone and everyone who knows Carole through the market began to put ideas together to try and find a way to replace her greenhouse, that is key to her business. It is where she starts her herbs and Heirloom Tomatoes. Click on the picture below to see a small gallery of photos from the Tomato Festival at the market. Carole was sampling her delicious Heirloom Tomatoes.

Supporter, volunteers and Market Masters brainstormed and delved into different possibilities and we collectively agreed to take a deep breath, visualize, trust and we dove in and started the auction process.

We choose Bidding For Good for a number of reasons. It is a good fit. As soon as the word spread via CRFM's Facebook page and newsletter, the auction took off at a rapid pace. The power of Social Networking and love (not in any particular order!) First 10, then 20, and finally up to 140 donations of auction items poured in. Stunning artwork, photography, food, services, unique experiences like learning to make maple syrup at the sugar house, or sitting in on Faith Middleton's show. Within 2 days we have raised over $4000. Winter Caplanson , one of the Market Masters has been a non-stop whirlwind and the driving force that has organized and rallied her Community "posse" to come to the rescue.

The Auction will run from Friday February 25th to March 4th. An extra Winter Market at the Coventry High School will extend the Winter season with one more market day full of additional opportunities to support the project and allow auction winners the opportunity to pick up their winnings at the market.

The "Good Ending" to this story? The greenhouse will be rebuilt in a Community effort on May Day, complete with Maypole  and a Pot-luck. With over $4000 raised in less than 2 days so far, I'm certain we will meet our goal of $7500. 

Here is some information. Please contact me at for a PDF to print and hand out. It looks like this:

Read articles here from The CourantFairfield Food Guide and Conscious CT 

I will let you know how much we raise after the tally on March 6th. There is a week to shop and auction! One of the auction items from me is a Social Media Package which will teach you how to make and upkeep a this...and 20 photo gift cards suitable for framing, and $50 gift certificates to Miya's Sushi

There are so many people to mention, it would be easier to see who donated what if you go to the auction.

I am proud to call this community...friends.

You can also view a lot of their web pages and blogs to the right here....