Riding a wave of popularity that has seen farmersí markets break the 100 number mark in Connecticut, the Farmersí Market at Billings Forge in Hartford will open Thursday, May 22.
This year the Farmersí Market at Billings Forge is building on their successful first season by opening on Mondays in addition to Thursdays from 11 am to 2 pm through the month of October.
There will be twice as many vendors, more live music, arts and crafts, falafel, empanadas and a cornucopia of new products ranging from locally roasted coffee and fresh salsa to Connecticut pastured beef and scoops of farmstead ice cream.
The market has become a lunch-time destination for those working and living in and around the Capitol.
This year the market moves to a grass courtyard twice the size of its former site in Frog Hollow; complete with picnic tables.
The new location is still on Broad Street but is on the north side of Firebox Restaurant, closer to Capitol Avenue.
The combination of colorful vendors, live music, picnic table seating, and lunch will make the market an ideal getaway from the office during long summer days.
To help the Farmersí Market at Billings Forge become a competitive and vibrant one-stop shopping market it will also be accepting EBT/Food Stamps, credit, and debit this season.
Because of the high cost associated with the purchase of the wireless Electronic Benefit Transfer terminal and its ongoing administration there are not many markets in the state that have been able to provide this service.
The Melville Charitable Trust purchased the Billings Forge apartment complex a few years ago to jumpstart revitalization and investment in Hartford.
Last year, The Trust provided the leadership and capital to open the Farmersí Market at Billings Forge in part to make available healthy and unprocessed foods in the neighborhood.
Because most grocery stores are located in the suburbs and many living in Hartford are without transportation, food shopping is often done at corner store bodegas where processed foods are the rule and fresh fruits and produce are scarce.
In addition to bridging this food gap, the Farmersí Market at Billings Forge strives to be a truly public space where the diverse populations living and working in Hartford can comfortably co-mingle in the pursuit of the freshest and tastiest corn, peaches, and tomatoes.
Firebox Restaurant, which works in partnership with the farmersí market to provide a market for fresh and seasonal products grown nearby, is adjacent to the market.
During the season Chef Jason Collin purchases from the farmersí market vendors for his menu and serves as the resident chef at market cooking demonstrations throughout the season.
Please contact Market Master Hannah Gant for more information at (860) 548-9877 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit the new Farmersí Market at Billings Forge website: www.hartfordfarmersmarket.org.