BRISTOL â€“ Bristolâ€™s second farmerâ€™s market opened Wednesday on Federal Hill to enthusiastic crowds and vendors praising its popularity.
Visitors moved from booth to booth, picking out fruits, vegetables, soaps and more as Jason Gerrish entertained on acoustic guitar. Ten minutes in to the market opening, lines had started to form at multiple booths.
Margaret Niski, who came to the market with her young son, said that the farmerâ€™s market is â€śfantastic.â€ť
â€śIâ€™m happy to have it here â€“ Iâ€™ve always missed it on Saturday,â€ť she said. â€śI got lots of vegetables. You need to buy fresh and local to avoid preservatives and chemicals, especially if you have kids.â€ť
Nancy Mead, who came to the market with her husband John, said that the market is â€śbeautiful.â€ť
â€śThereâ€™s a great selection of vegetables,â€ť she said. â€śI also bought supper at Better Baking by Beth. I hope to see the Farmerâ€™s Market grow and increase.â€ť
Vendors included Nature View Farm of Bridgewater, Gresczyk Farms, Ridge Runner Soaps, Better Baking by Beth, Bristol Hospital, and the Hospital of Central Connecticut. The Mum Festival Committee and City of Bristol also had booths and handed out carrying bags and information.
Riva Martin, whose sister Felice started Nature View Farms of Bridgewater six years ago, said that she started coming to the Bristol Farmerâ€™s Market three weeks ago and was excited to be there. She sold cucumbers, squash, lettuce, radishes, kohlrabi, kale and green beans.
â€śItâ€™s a good market and weâ€™re happy to bring our 100 percent organic goods here,â€ť she said. â€śWe also have relatives who live in Bristol and they come to visit us when weâ€™re here.â€ť
Jack Zuknowski, husband of Beth of the Torrington-based Better Baking by Beth, praised the good turnout at the Bristol Farmerâ€™s Market, which he has attended for a total of eight years. He sold a variety of pastries, including croissants, biscotti, tarts and their most popular item, â€śdirt bombsâ€ť â€“ an old fashioned donut rolled in butter and cinnamon and baked, not fried.
â€śThere are a lot of good people here and a lot of happy returning customers,â€ť he said. â€śThatâ€™s what itâ€™s all about.â€ť
Henry Gresczyk, owner and manager of Gresczyk Farms of New Hartford, said that he is proud to have been able to come to the Bristol Farmerâ€™s Market for 12 years. This year he brought blueberries, raspberries, corn, kale, lettuce and more.
â€śOver the years that I have been here, Iâ€™ve learned that Federal Hill has a very strong sense of community,â€ť he said. â€śI think that the word will get out quick; this is a great location.â€ť
Maurice Piper, owner of Harwinton-based Ridge Runner Soaps, which was founded four years ago, said that his business really got its start at the Farmerâ€™s Market. He brought with him soaps of a variety of scents, made with goat milk, as well as lotions, lip balm and shaving butter. Lavender, he said, has been the most popular scent.
â€śIt has been great for us,â€ť he said.
The new Farmerâ€™s Market is open on the Federal Hill green from 3 to 6 p.m. each Wednesday. The city also has another farmerâ€™s market downtown on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.