Thursday, June 29, 2006
People browsed through a rainbow of fruits and vegetables in Westport’s center today, but they weren’t making a stop at the local supermarket.
Instead they were buying produce directly from the farmers at the first day of the new Westport Farmers Market at the Westport Country Playhouse.
The market kicked off today and will run every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October.
There were 14 vendors selling fruits, vegetables, flowers, breads, baked goods, honey and molded soaps.
Town officials have been working with playhouse officials and the owners of the new Dressing Room Restaurant—Paul Newman and Michel Nischan—over the last few months to start the market.
Nischan said they saw the new restaurant as a community gathering place and are planning to implement a menu that echoes back to the era before the convenience food age.
“You knew your farmer and you knew where your food came from,” he said.
The groundwork for the restaurant made him and Newman think there should be a farmers market, he said.
Then they found out that First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and Selectman Shelly Kassen already had one in the works as part of their “Celebrate Westport” initiative.
He said he and town officials decided to pursue the idea together.
Joseloff, addressing the crowd before the official ribbon cutting, said the market is starting small, but they hope to expand in the future.
“We hope to expand, but we needed to start somewhere,” he said.
Visitors strolled along spaces usually occupied by cars at the rear of the Playhouse parking lot enjoying samples from the farmers.
Also represented in individual tents were the Westport Historical Society, which collaborated on printing the brochure for the market, the Westport Arts Center and the playhouse.
Posted 06/29/06 at 05:08 PM Permalink
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What a fine beginning for the Westport Farmers’ Market!
Working women and men have several weekend choices for excellent farmers’ markets. Weston’s saturday morning market has been functioning for many years. Greenwich’s farmers’ market is right by the Greenwich railroad station every Saturday morning… several of the participants in Westport’s farmers market have stations there. And Georgetown’s farmers’ market is every Sunday ... just drive up Route 57. Warrups Farm in Redding attends some of these farmers’ markets but later in the season opens its own organic farm stand.
Many kudos should go to to Paul Newman for finally initiating a local Westport farmers’ market.
The awesome farmers’ markets of California (particularly Santa Cruz) and Europe should set a standard that we in Conneciticut strive for… we should go out of our way to support local farmers of the field and the sea.
Again, in this era where we are finally appreciating organic farming and realizing the benefits of slow foodm, what a fine, auspicious beginning for Westport this last Thursday has been.
Our First Selectman, Gordon Joseloff, promised during his campaign for election that he would bring a Farmer’s Market to Westport. Thank you Gordon, for delivering on your promise. And thank you for including Daniel Lanzilotta in the creative team that helped make the Farmer’s Market a reality. When Daniel first met Gordon last July, Daniel said “What this town needs is a farmer’s market.” Gordon agreed. Gordon told Daniel that if and when the planning began to bring the market to Westport that he would contact Daniel. Gordon did, Daniel did, and that’s what happens when people have an idea, follow through, and keep their promises. That is why I live in Westport. We are good people in a great town.